News & Notes


The logo for south elementary
Kurt Hildebrandt

  Parent Tech Support Nights were held recently at 
  South Elementary for the school's Somali-
  speaking and Spanish-speaking families to
  familiarize them with Seesaw, South's online
  learning platform. 

Parent Tech Support Nights were held at South Elementary School on October 1st for Saint Peter Public Schools' Somali families and on October 12th for SPPS's Spanish families. The purpose of these events was to familiarize families with South's online learning platform called Seesaw.

Translation services were provided at both sessions, which were facilitated by South staff members Kaari Bly and Laura Zender. Affey Sigat (Somali) and Maripsa Romero (Spanish) served as translators, while Reading Corps tutors and leadership team member Liz Welter provided childcare. 

During the evening, staff members walked students and their parents through the step by step process of recording the student's attendance and using Seesaw to access assignments on digital learning days. 

"One of the biggest lessons we learned from last year's distance learning experience was that we did not have the opportunity to properly instruct our students and families on the tool that we used to deliver instruction," South Principal Doreen Oelke said. "Our goal this fall was to integrate the technology when we have the students in session and support families in using the technology so that they can be successful during distance learning days. These sessions are one way to address language barriers that may prevent students from engaging in their learning. It was wonderful to see so many attend."

The logo for south elementary
Kurt Hildebrandt

  South Elementary School Counselor Laura Zender 
  working with students on mindfulness techniques. 

Nervous, curious, courageous - returning and beginning in-person learning for our K and 1st graders at South Elementary has brought with it a variety of emotions.  One way that South is supporting students through this transition is through classroom lessons with Laura Zender, Elementary School Counselor.  

As part of this transition, first grade classes at South are reading Worry Says What? and learning mindfulness techniques.  In this picture, they practice Take 5, a simple trick to help you take 5 deep breaths.


1. Stretch your fingers out.
2. Use your pointer finger of your other hand to trace your hand. 
3. Breathe in while you trace up each finger. 
4. Breathe out while you trace down each finger.