October 27, 2017

BlueSky Online School Newsletter


SCTCC Campus Tour
Nov. 3, 8:45 am - noon

End Q1
Friday, Nov. 3

Monday, Nov. 6

Start Q2
Tuesday, Nov. 7

We Day MN
Wednesday, Nov. 8

Student Day
Nov. 9, 10 am - 2 pm

Chemists in the Classroom
Nov. 17, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

November 22-24

Board Meeting
Nov. 29 @ 10:00 am

Principal's Message

We are making great progress so far this school year. We appreciate the high level of engagement from our students and parents working with our teachers and support staff. Students are progressing through their courses while demonstrating a high level of academic achievement. Our system transition to PowerSchool is well underway though updates will continue to be released throughout the year. In the coming weeks there will be an update to the Academic Snapshot in Moodle that will use colors to indicate if a student is ahead or behind in a class. Please work with your student's advisor and teachers if you notice they are behind.

At the beginning of October we completed our fall testing session of the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. Results using the new student profile will be mailed out in the coming weeks. Teachers will be using the results of the assessment to target specific class needs and to provide individualization for students. Nationally, BlueSky students were at the 57th percentile in math and the 64th percentile in reading. Please reach out to your student's math and English teachers if you have any questions.

Last, I want to share that we still have openings for the 2017-2018 school year. Many students and parents hear about BlueSky through word of mouth. If you know someone that is looking for another school setting, please let them know about BlueSky and share your story.

Thank you for your continued support!

Daniel Ondich.
Assistant Director/Principal

Parent Connect

Looking for ways to help your student stay organized? Help them to utilize their BlueSky Gmail account tools. To learn more about staying organized in Gmail, watch this tutorial.

BlueSky Stars

The BlueSky advisors have chosen to recognize these students for their hard work and dedication:

"Ella Pokorny is in her second year with BlueSky and outside of school she likes reading, hiking, listening to music, playing video games with her brother and spending time with her family. When asked what she likes about BlueSky, she replied, 'I like BlueSky because of how nice and supportive the teachers are and because of how helpful everyone is. I also like how simple everything is laid out because it makes it easy to get to all your assignments.' Ella is a stellar student!"

- nominated by Jane Craig

"Delaney Kunkel is nominated because of her hard work and dedication as a 7th grader this year. She has quickly adapted to online and is exceeding expectations. In addition to being a great student, she is an aerialist in Circus Juventas, she rides horses, spends time with her birds, and also plays the ukulele in her spare time! Delaney says, 'I joined BlueSky for several reasons, but it was also to make more time for my hobbies. I like BlueSky because I have learned time management skills and I feel that I have become more responsible as well.'"

- nominated by Angie Rackstraw

Student Day at BlueSky

The next Student Day is taking place on Thursday, November 9th - mark your calendars!

The second Thursday of each month during the first semester is Student Day at the BlueSky office! Work on your assignments, socialize, get help from BlueSky staff, or offer help to other students. Students can sign up for more than one day on the Student Day Form and all grades are welcome to attend.

ACT Testing

BlueSky is offering the ACT test at our West St. Paul office on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 for any interested juniors or seniors. The ACT is a college entrance test that is part of the application process for most four-year colleges and universities. Students are not required to participate in ACT testing and it is not required for gradation.

Per State of MN requirements, we must provide the opportunity for juniors and seniors to take the ACT during the school day at school. Traditionally, the test is give on select Saturdays throughout the school year. This opportunity for a weekday test at school is an additional option. Testing will cost $45, but students that qualify for free/reduced lunch will have their test fee waived.

Registration information will be sent out to all juniors and seniors in December. Questions may be addressed to Dawn Mensing, District Assessment Coordinator at dawn.mensing@blueskyschool.org.

Halloween Costume Contest

BlueSky is holding its 4th annual Halloween Costume Contest next week! Students and staff are encouraged to submit pictures of their costumes to Megan Hollenkamp at megan.hollenkamp@blueskyschool.org. Photos will be posted to BlueSky's Facebook page where people can vote by liking as many pictures as they want. The person with the most likes by Thursday, November 2nd - wins!

Check out the costumes from last year on our Facebook page.

Report Card Mailing Request

The first quarter ends on Friday, November 3rd for middle school students. Classes will remain open until 3:00 pm on Friday so make sure you submit all assignments before that time!

All report cards will be sent electronically to students at the quarter or semester end. If you would also like to receive a hard copy of your student's report card via mail, please fill out the Report Card Mailing Request form. Filling out the form will ensure you will be mailed a report card the rest of the school year.

Student Work

Students in Nicole Petersen's Digital Photography class have been busy capturing amazing images. Nicole wanted to feature two students in particular: Brittany Fahnel and Robyn Jaros, both seniors this year.

Brittany's images focus on techniques, like framing.

Robyn worked on elements of design, such as shape and texture.

Paddlewheel Boat

20 brave souls ventured out for the first field trip of the year today - a paddlewheel boat ride on the Mississippi in St. Paul! We had a mix of students, parents, and BlueSky staff enjoy the leisurely boat ride and learn some history about the area. You can see more pictures of our wintery fun-loving crew on the BlueSky Facebook page.

Find more information on upcoming field trips and how to register.

Social Workers at BlueSky

Who Are School Social Workers?
They are social workers who are specially trained to provide services to schools. They use their experience and links with community resources to work with children and teens, families and teachers and other school staff. They work with a wide range of social, emotional and academic issues. School social workers can help all students reach their full potential by helping pinpoint students' needs, give counseling, act as a bridge between people, make referrals, and help out in crisis situations. They can organize student support groups, help develop school policies, find resources for families, help schools develop prevention programs and give individualized support for students with disabilities.

Who can refer a student to a school social worker?
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • School counselors
  • Students (students may seek a social worker out on their own)
  • Parents
  • Community agencies

Which students most need the help of a school social worker? They include students who:

  • Have a mental health diagnosis
  • Miss a lot of school
  • Struggle getting along with others (peers or adults)
  • Discuss or attempt suicide
  • Struggle with substance abuse
  • Are coping with pregnancy or are a young parent
  • Feel stressed or overwhelmed
If you feel that you may be in need of such services, please do not hesitate to contact someone. You can find more information on our jobs here and who we are here.

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