Friday, December 13, 2019

A Later Start to School?

A Later Start to School?

The District is considering a later start time for our students as early as Fall 2020, but it is important to hear from our students, parents, staff, and community members before we make any decision. Initially, the District studied the cost of one start time for elementary and secondary students. This would require changes to our busing schedule which would cost us an additional six-million dollars per year. This was too cost-prohibitive.

So, a committee of approximately 15 individuals throughout the District studied the pros and cons of two different start time options. We presented these options to the school board on November 12th.

We’re exploring both options for a variety of reasons, but also because we have an increased emphasis on social and emotional health, and sleep is a major contributor to our students’ wellness.

We will be hosting a Thoughtexchange December 9 - 20 (a link will be emailed to all staff from the communications office), as well as an information session on December 11 from 6 - 7 PM in the Edison Board Room.

Monday, December 2, 2019

An exciting opportunity for students from Ms. Light-Diede

The Honors Choirs of SE Minnesota have some openings coming up soon if your child would be interested.  They can join as 1 - 12 graders, some with little or no singing experience. Students who wish to audition need to register for an audition date and time by going to their website at or calling the office at 507-252-0505. Auditions will be held in mid December for the session starting in January. 

They have the following openings:
Children's Chorus (gr. 3-4) 
Treble Choirs (gr. 5-6)

They also have a non-auditioned group called the Half Notes for children in grades 1-2.  The next session begins in February and registration is always available on the website.

Scholarship programs are also available for those with financial need.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Folwell Playground Plan Update

Folwell Playground Plan Update
November 2019


Spring/Summer 2018: The district approached the PTSA to let us know that
Playground Equipment on play area “A” was failing and no longer a candidate for repair due to age and parts. Ultimately the equipment would be removed. At the start of the 2018-19 school year the PTSA, District and School started the process to plan for new equipment.

Fall 2018/Winter 2019: The PTSA met with 4 district approved vendors to draft quotes for a playground plan during the 2018-2019 school year. As a PTSA, we did not have all of the information needed (actual costs, information and timeline) to properly account for the impact of
the playground on the 2018-2019 budget. We listed an estimated cost at $40,000. After meetings with vendors it was clear that the budget of $40,000 was unrealistic and we were notable to get any quotes at or near that amount. The actual cost to parents is estimated at closer
to $65,000, that being the lower end of quotes. After many PTSA meetings with parents,
Principal Moritz, RPS partners and vendors the PTSA had selected a plan. We felt the plan fit
the needs of Folwell students and fit in best with our financial capabilities. Unfortunately, we
were unable to raise the funds needed in such a short time span but presented the plan during
Spring PTSA meetings to parents anticipating a 2020 Summer install.

Summer 2019: Play equipment from play area A was removed due to a fallen tree! Damage
was accessed and the insurance amount for the damaged equipment would be $26,000. The
PTSA Committee met with Principal Moritz and District officials and it was determined by all
parties that a Fall 2019 install would not be possible due to the short window of opportunity to
deliver and install equipment prior to the temperature dropping below the benchmark needed for
the fall protection. As a result, we are still looking at a 2020 Summer install. Additional play
equipment remains on play area A, however that equipment will also be replaced as part of the
new plan.

Financial Overview
Playground plans are typically paid for with a combination of District Funds (limited cap), PTSA
funds and site funds when available. Below is a breakdown of how the Folwell Playground will
be funded.

  • District Funds: $20,000 towards equipment
  • District Funds: $12 per square foot of fall protection ( fall protection typically costs $18-$20 per square foot)
  • Insurance Reimbursement: $26,000

*PTSA Funds: $30,000 for both equipment and the remainder of the fall protection cost.

2019 Update

The PTSA and playground committee has learned that the vendor selected is no longer on the
approved list of vendors for the RPS district. We will reach out to vendors we worked with last
year, as well as any new vendors added to the list to solidify a new plan. Our goal is to have a
quote locked in by January 2020. This would give us enough time to order the equipment and
still look towards a Summer 2020 install.

*This number reflects PTSA funds already raised for the playground. If additional funds, over
our budget needs, can be raised then the PTSA will be able to cover any additional funds that
may be needed depending on new quotes or add additional equipment to our existing plan.
Additional funds may be needed depending on a new quote.

Other Key Notes
The new equipment will be great for all students, including our younger students! We realize the
equipment removed was most used by our youngest students. Additionally, the existing
equipment left on that Play Area A will also be replaced. The new equipment will provide all
students a fun and safe space to play.

The new equipment will be installed adjacent to the blacktop area and connecting to Play Area
B (tiled playground area), making the Folwell playground handicap accessible and ADA
Estimated Timeline
● November 2019 – PTSA Playground Committee will meet with vendors to establish new
● December 2019 – Update will be provided to the PTSA board, possible info presented
at any December PTSA meeting.
● January 2020 – Narrowed down plans can be presented to the PTSA at the January
meeting, with voting done to approve a final plan at either a January or February PTSA
● March 2020 – Equipment will be ordered for a Summer install.

If you are interested in hearing more about the project, want to join the playground committee or would simply like to ask a question, please email us at

Monday, November 25, 2019

HyVee Receipts and Box Tops!

Hello Families! 

There are two ways to help out our school and classrooms!

If you shop at HyVee, please save your receipts and bring them to school!  HyVee donates a portion of money from the receipts collected back to our school! Last year we were awarded $300!  

Also, please save Box Tops from purchased products—we collect these in our classroom each month and the PTSA counts these and awards the class with the most Box Tops with a popcorn party—the kids LOVE it!
Thank you for your help with these items this year!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Picture Retakes 11/15

Just a reminder 
Picture Retakes are
Friday, Nov 15th 
from 9:30-11:00.

Forms are available in the office 
or online at 

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Please remind your child(ren) to check the lost and found.
The end of the first trimester is November 26th.

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Volunteer Request

A new volunteer opportunity has come up, please let us know if you are willing to help our Folwell students and staff with this event! 


BINGO Volunteers
Thursday 7th November 2019

BINGO is tonight!

Join us 5:30 - 7:15 for some fun, prizes and pizza.

 We need some volunteers to help with serving pizza and helping with set up and clean up. Please email if you are able to help out.
WE NEED PRIZES. It’s not too late to donate a prize, just bring it with you to Bingo.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

SACC - Operation Hometown Gratitude

Do you have an overabundance of Halloween candy that you don’t need sitting around your house? If you SACC would love to take it off your hands, as we are collecting candy for Operation Hometown Gratitude. We will be collecting it until Monday, November 4th. If you’re interested in making a donation please have your donation in the hands of a SACC staff no later than 9:00am on Monday morning at which time we will be delivering the candy to Operation Hometown Gratitude. If you have any questions please let me know.

Thank You,
Michelle Braem
School Age Child Care
Program Lead

Monday, October 28, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

FO Student Council


Folwell Student Council 

Halloween Costume 


Winter Outerwear Drive 

Throughout the month of October, we will be collecting new and gently used costumes and winter gear to be made available to RPS students and distributed to local nonprofit organizations in the community.

Items needed include:
ü Halloween costumes
ü Winter coats (children’s sizes small – adult medium)
ü Snow pants (children’s sizes small – adult medium)
ü Winter boots and gloves

Donations can be dropped off in the bins outside of the office from
Tuesday, October 8 – Friday, October 25.
If your child is in need of a costume or winter gear, please notify the office.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

We want you! Would you volunteer?

Volunteer Request

A new volunteer opportunity has come up, please let us know if you are willing to help our Folwell students and staff with this event! 


Movie Night Volunteers
Wednesday 16th October 2019

Movie Night - Wednesday October 16th 

The PTSA would appreciate volunteers to help out at the concession stand.
If you are willing to help or have any questions you can email us at or signup online at and “Click to Volunteer” or at

Feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Jessica Draper, with any questions!

— Folwell PTSA

Monday, October 14, 2019

Tuesday: Positive T-Shirt day!


Positive T-Shirt day!

Wear a shirt with a kind message
one that makes you feel good about you!


This newsletter contains
  • Free Movie Night and October PTSA Meeting
  • Conferences
  • Volunteer Needs
  • Upcoming Events
  • Playground Fundraising
  • Open positions 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Folwell Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Has your child lost a glove? A hat? A lunchbox? Their coat, boots or shoes? This is but a sample of what is currently in the school's Lost and Found.
Items that are left and found on campus are placed in the lost and found located near the music/art room.
The school receptionist keeps smaller items, such as money or jewelry.
If a lost item has a name on it, it will be returned to the child's classroom.
Please label your child's belongings -- it's the best way to be sure it gets returned quickly.
If your child has lost something this year, please have them check the bin soon.
Lost and Found items are removed and donated to local organizations at the end of each trimester.

**Here is a photo of our Lost and Found that you can present to your children so they know what it looks like**

Monday, October 7, 2019

Folwell Student Council

Folwell Student Council 

Halloween Costume 


Winter Outerwear Drive 

Throughout the month of October, we will be collecting new and gently used costumes and winter gear to be made available to RPS students and distributed to local nonprofit organizations in the community.

Items needed include:
ü Halloween costumes
ü Winter coats (children’s sizes small – adult medium)
ü Snow pants (children’s sizes small – adult medium)
ü Winter boots and gloves

Donations can be dropped off in the bins outside of the office from
Tuesday, October 8 – Friday, October 25.
If your child is in need of a costume or winter gear, please notify the office.

PTSA Update 10.7.19

Here is this week's update from PTSA:

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Picture Day Volunteers Needed!

Picture Day is Thursday, 10/3, at Folwell.

Volunteers are needed to assist the photographers with checking students in and may walk students back and forth to class.  

Folwell is a positive environment and this experience could be fun as you greet children and help out the school!  

Register here: 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Notes from the Folwell Falcon Morning Announcements today, 9.27.19!

Falcons S.O.A.R.!! 

Here at Folwell we want everyone to feel welcome and that they belong.  We know we're welcome when people smile at us and greet us with friendly words!  We know we belong when we're included and invited to play at recess!  We know we belong when we notice the ways we're all the same and accept the ways we're different! This week, take time to greet others with a smile and invite them to play!

S - Safety
Safe actions keep everyone's bodies from being hurt.  When we act in safe ways, we keep our hands to ourselves and don't use them to touch others in hurtful ways.  When we use safe words, we make sure nobody's feelings are hurt.  Safe words are kind and respectful! 

O - Own Your Behavior
One way is to be responsible.  This helps make our school a place where everyone can learn.  When we're responsible, we can be trusted to do the right thing.  We help others.  We clean up our messes  We admit when we make mistakes or do the wrong thing. 

A - Always Learning
Another way to be responsible is when we focus on our school work.

R - Respectful
Being respectful helps everyone feel welcome and safe.  When we act respectfully, we listen carefully to each other, help each other, and try to understand how someone feels.  When we speak respectfully, we use friendly words and say please and thank you.  We don't call other people names. 

Thanks for your hard work, Falcons!  
You matter and YOU make a difference! 

Modified from 2015 Committee for Children, Second Step Principal Toolkit 

Second Step Program - Social Emotional Learning

Dear Family, 
We want your child to be as successful as possible at school. Success in school is not just about reading and math. It is also about knowing how to learn and how to get along with others. We will be using the Second Step program in your child’s classroom to teach these critical skills. 

The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:
1. Skills for Learning: Students gain skills to help themselves learn, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task, and be assertive when asking for help with schoolwork.
2. Empathy: Students learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Students also 
learn how to take another’s perspective and how to show compassion.
3. Emotion Management: Students learn specific skills for calming down when experiencing strong 
feelings, such as anxiety or anger.
4. Problem Solving: Students learn a process for solving problems with others in a positive way. 

Your child will be learning a lot this year—and he or she will need your help! Throughout the year, your child will be bringing home Home Links that go with several of the Second Step lessons. Home Links are simple, fun activities for you and your child to complete together. They are a great way for you to understand what your child is learning and for your child to show you what he or she knows. 

If you have any questions about the Second Step program, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills that lead to success in school and in life. 

Second Step: Skills for Social and Academic Success © 2011 Committee for Children

Monday, September 16, 2019

PTSA Weekly Updates

Click here for the PTSA Weekly Updates:

Monday, September 9, 2019

News from your Folwell Elementary PTSA!

Click here for the PTSA Weekly Updates:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

School Safety

Minnesota State Statutes and Rochester Public School District policies guide our crisis preparedness and response.  Each site develops a crisis plan each year.  We will have fire drills, lock down and active threat safety drills, as well as a tornado drill throughout the year.

When staff talk with students about the safety drills, we talk about how the emergencies almost never happen in school, but, just in case, we practice what to do if there is an emergency.  We remind students that this keeps us safe!

We will have safety drills and practice for emergencies over the next few weeks.  We wanted to inform you of the conversations that we have at school in case children are talking about these drills at home.  Please let us know if you or your children have questions or concerns about these safety drills.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Welcome to Step Into Learning, 2019-2020

 Dear Folwell Families:

Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year! We are so excited to see our returning students and families and eager to meet our new students and families. This mantra, “Together We Will” points us towards our mission, vision and collective commitments so that all children at Folwell learn at the highest levels! Our talented and innovative staff work together in Professional Learning Communities and serve on committees to directly impact the direction of our school to support our students! When families and educators are communicating and working together in a partnership for our students, they will achieve success at high levels. “Together we will!”

Thank you for signing up for the Folwell STEP INTO LEARNING event on Tuesday, 9/3, or Wednesday, 9/4, at Folwell Elementary School. STEP INTO LEARNING provides each family an individualized 30 minute meeting and conference time with your student’s teacher prior to the first day of school. Bring your school supplies with you, too! The first day of school will be Thursday, September 5.

For the STEP INTO LEARNING event, you are invited to enter the building through any of the entrances, and as a family you can determine the order in which you’d like to complete the passport to get your student set up for the school year at Folwell. Please plan on arriving early for your appointment or staying after your appointment to take care of additional school business. A passport for the event will be provided to guide you through the process to set up other school related supports such as:
*Meet the Principal, Folwell Special Area and Support Staff – we can’t wait to see you!
*Set up lunch accounts and apply for free and reduced price lunch benefits with Student Nutrition Services staff
*Find out about RPS School Aged Child Care and talk with staff
*Register for PTSA and learn events, playground fundraising and volunteer opportunities
*Register to volunteer in classrooms and fieldtrips by completing Raptor registration
*Visit with the nursing staff, drop off medication and emergency health care plan information. All Health forms are available on the District website at:
*Please also make sure your Skyward profile is up to date with accurate emails, cell phones and emergency contacts. You can do that online before you come!

Families are asked to bring school supplies, your signed copy of the student handbook acknowledgement, medications if necessary, an ID to register as a visitor and volunteer, and money for PTSA donations and spirit wear!

If you have not, yet, signed up, there are times still available through Skyward Family Access for a 30 minute meeting and conference time on either Tuesday, September 3rd, between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or Wednesday, September 4th, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you need assistance, please contact the office at 328-3220.

Folwell is a wonderful learning community! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help and support you!

WELCOME - we are so glad you are here!

Wendy J. Moritz
Folwell Elementary School


Our mission is to INSPIRE, CHALLENGE, and EMPOWER all students with the knowledge and skills required to reach their full potential, to contribute to future generations, and to become involved members of a global community.