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Spartan School News, April 12, 2021

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From the Principal

Spartan Families,

Spring is here, vaccines are becoming more available, students have returned, the weather is warmer and the Richfield boys’ basketball team participated in the MN State Tournament. Congratulations to them on their achievements in being crowned the Section 3AAA Champions and MN State Semi-Finalists. All of these things bring me joy and are filling me with positive energy. It’s important for each of us to find the things that bring us joy and stop to savor those moments. I hope you all find time to savor your joyful moments this spring. Thank you for all you are doing to support our students and Richfield High School through these transitions.

Announcing WIN: We are excited that part of our four-day instructional schedule includes a new program called What I Need (WIN). Beginning on April 9, Richfield High School will be introducing a new WIN period on Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 2:30-3:50. The purpose of WIN is to meet students’ needs by providing scheduled time within the school day for individualized academic enrichment, social emotional support and choice activities. Students may work with teachers in completing assignments or assessments, engage in enrichment activities including intramurals, high-interest clubs and college & career readiness offerings, or meet with counselors and affinity groups. The WIN concept is used in many schools as a way to provide opportunities during the school day for enrichment and supplemental instruction. We believe this is especially important as we transition back after a year of social isolation, and warmly welcome community members and guest speakers to share their time and expertise in choice offerings for RHS students.

In partnership,

Stacy Theien-Collins, Principal 

Special Announcements

Spring Bike Safety Refresher

As we welcome the warm weather, click here to view a video that will help you brush up on bike safety.

Senior Party

We have another opportunity to support the RHS Senior Party with some great food! Head to Raising Cane’s in Eagan on Thursday, April 15 and mention the fundraiser when ordering. Details:

Raising Cane's Fundraiser for RHS Senior Class Party
1525 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN
Thursday, April 15 from 4-8 p.m.
Mention the fundraiser or show the flyer when ordering and 15% of sales will be donated to the RHS Senior Class Party!

**No indoor dining, you are encouraged to walk in to order/carry out so the drive-thru is not too crowded**

Important AP Exam Information

Exam dates/times

  • Biology, May 27 at 11 a.m.   
  • Computer Science A, May 18 at 3 p.m.  
  • English, May 26 at 11 a.m.   
  • French, May 21 at noon
  • German, May 21 at noon 
  • Human Geography, May 28 at 11 a.m.
  • Psychology, May 20 at 3 p.m.    
  • Spanish Language, June 4 at 8 a.m.        
  • Spanish Literature, June 4 at noon
  • World History, May 20 at 11 a.m.

Exam Fee

The College Board charges a fee for each AP exam. The school district pays the exam fees for all AP Human Geography students and for DLI students taking AP Spanish Language.

  • If a student qualifies for free/reduced lunch (they must have a current application on file for this year), then there is no fee. 
  • If a student does not qualify for free/reduced lunch, the fee will be $51 per exam. 

All applicable exam fees must be paid by April 30 in order to be eligible for testing. Exam fees can be paid by logging in to SchoolPay.

From the Activities Office

Spring Athletic Schedule

Spring athletic schedules can change quickly due to weather. For the most up-to-date information, please go to the Tri-Metro Richfield schedule. You can also sign up for alerts on that page when we postpone or cancel games by clicking the “Notify Me” tab.

The Athletic Office Needs You!

Attention students, we are in need of workers for our upcoming track meets on Tuesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 22. They are paid student worker positions of $20. You can support your friends, help the athletic department and get paid for your work all in one night! You can even pick a friend to work a specific event with you. To apply, fill out the Student Worker Track Application.

Upcoming Events

Please check for the most up-to-date schedule and for any changes:

MCA Testing

At this time, the state of Minnesota is still requiring school districts to conduct the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) in math, reading and science this spring.

MCAs at Richfield High School will be done in the following weeks:

  • Reading MCA for 10th grade students: April 19-20 for in-person students (April 28 for distance students)

  • Math MCA for 11th grade students: April 26-27 for in-person students (May 5 for distance students)

  • Science MCA for Biology students: May 3-4 for in-person students (May 12 for distance students)

Parent Resources

Family Resources/COVID-19 Information FAQ

RHS frequently updates the family resource section of our website. Most recently, an FAQ section was added to present information about our evolved hybrid model and safety procedures.

Media Center News

March Book Madness: The winner of March Book Madness is: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! All American Boys by Jason Reynolds was a close second, followed by Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, and the Fault in our Stars by John Green. 

We also had three students win fabulous prizes. Thank you to all who participated! Again, the March Book Madness books and other great selections (including new print books like Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas) are available in the media center. Follow these directions to view and reserve both print and digital copies: RHS Media Center—Checking Out Books

Technology corner: Our first ever RHS podcast was recently recorded in our new sound production room. This room, as well as a video production room with a full green screen wall, are part of the media center updates. Both rooms contain equipment and software for audio and video projects to support student learning. Students can reserve these rooms by contacting Ms. Glavas in the media center.

CCR @ Air Pod

For students interested in a training path opportunity to learn bricklaying, masonry and tilework, check out this LINK to learn more about a 6-week program that allows students to shadow journey-level professionals and complete hands-on coursework to prepare to enter an apprenticeship program. Candidates who complete the program and pass their exams to enter the apprenticeship are credited 1,000 hours towards their 6,000 hour apprenticeship. They are then hired by signatory contractors. The APEX program also teaches professional and leadership skills. This program is targeted training for those with little or no experience in this trade and is a good way to try out a trade craft without committing to the whole apprenticeship. Journey-level craftspeople also usually receive free credits towards an associate's degree upon completion of their apprenticeship, as all apprenticeships in MN are registered with the Department of Labor. For more information, please reach out to RHS CTE Teacher CJ Mace, who is familiar with many opportunities in this and other related areas, and is happy to direct students to new avenues of success.

Parents of seniors, we are offering students the opportunity to participate in Text4College, a text-based program designed to support students through the college process from application to signing up for college classes. Research has shown that these texts are helpful in getting students to successfully complete the steps and enroll in college. Please click on the language of your choice to read the parent guide below, and reach out to CCR Coordinator Julie Magnuson if you have any questions or would like to opt out. Thank you!

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Contact Info 

Information for all Grades

  • Take part in TWO Virtual College Fairs!
    Common App is thrilled to support these virtual events, designed to help students connect with college admission officers and ask important questions about the application process. Each fair offers students the opportunity to watch college’s Zoom presentations, ask questions via chat, and demonstrate interest–all without leaving home. Sign up for free here!
    • Tuesday, April 20: 2-6 p.m.
    • Sunday, May 2: 12-6 p.m.
  • Summer Opportunities, Updated with NEW Options!
    RHS students in all grades are invited to check out this LINK to find out about summer events, pre-college offerings and volunteer opportunities. This chart is updated on an ongoing basis as opportunities continue to arise. Each entry contains a link for more detailed information, which can be especially pertinent for some of the more competitive pre-college programs. Taking advantage of opportunities like these enhance future scholarship and college admission applications!
  • You're invited to earn college scholarships with RaiseMe!
    Students at Richfield Senior High are earning micro-scholarships from schools all over the country, starting as early as the first semester of high school. Sign up free at!

Information for Freshmen

  • Hello, Freshpeople! It is so great to see many of you back in the building! For those of you in the building, how has the transition been? For those of you still learning from home, how is it seeing your classmates in school? It’s okay to have feelings about it! Remember, your teachers and myself are here for you! Make an appointment to chat with me about anything (being back in school, being stuck in the house, task management, mental health) at ​

Information for Sophomores

  • College Possible is still accepting applications from sophomores! Students join the College Possible program seeking support with ACT content and to receive guidance on the college application process. Read about Melanie's experience here. The application deadline is May 31, 2021. Questions? Reach out to

Information for Juniors

    Check out this article for seven tips on what juniors can be doing now. We will be covering many of these topics in our informational evening webinar (details below) next week as well, so feel free to read what the “experts” have to say.

    Please plan to join us for a webinar to highlight the transition from JUNIOR to SENIOR year—learn what you and your child can be doing this spring and summer as senior year approaches. We will talk about course planning, college/career search, college applications, financial aid, scholarships and volunteer opportunities, as well as provide time to answer questions. There are two sessions scheduled, one in English at 6 p.m. and one in Spanish at 7 p.m. Here is the LINK to register. We look forward to *seeing* you on April 12!

    Does your child want to learn more about being a college athlete? Join the NCAA Eligibility Center for their spring webinar for college-bound student athletes and families on Thursday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. This webinar will teach about the initial eligibility requirements students must meet in order to study and play sports at an NCAA Division I or II school. Click here to register.

    All Richfield High School juniors will have the opportunity to take the ACT+Writing for no cost during the school day on Wednesday, April 21. Students will be provided with registration details through their AIR Pods the week before spring break. For students outside the 2-mile bussing zone, transportation will be offered—details to be determined. All students will be provided with breakfast, a mid-morning snack, and lunch that day as well. Students will be provided with registration details through their AIR Pods before spring break. If you have questions, please contact Sara Linde at 612-798-6121 or

Information for Juniors & Seniors

  • Late Arrival/Early Release for Study Halls
    You MAY be eligible for a Late Arrival/Early Release pass for the remaining weeks of school. Eligibility is limited to those students who have a first or last period Study Hall. It is CRITICAL that you read, understand and follow the expectations and process as described on the permission form. 

    A completed form, which includes both your signature and your parent/guardian’s signature, must be submitted to the main office. At that time, your schedule will be reviewed. If your schedule meets the requirements to allow for late arrival/early release, you will be issued a pass which you will be expected to show upon entry and exit to school. 

    Failure to follow expectations or process and/or abuse of this pass will result in removal of this privilege. 

  • Abbott and Fenner Scholarship Program - Open to juniors and seniors. Submit an essay on the following topic: Describe your educational career and life goals. Explain your plan for achieving these goals. Include your degree/major, why you selected it, and how this degree/major will help you achieve your goals. They will be awarding up to $1,000 to the winner(s). Deadline is June 12, 2021. Additional information can be found on the A&F Business Consultants website. 

Information for Seniors

  • Plans for Next Year? 
    Every senior is expected to have a plan for what they will do following graduation. It is not too late to apply to additional education or to explore professional opportunities. Please make an appointment with Ms. Jastrow to discuss. 

  • Financial Aid
    Still need to do your FAFSA or Dream Act application? It’s not too late to get it submitted! See Ms. Jastrow if you need assistance. 

  • Community Service Hours
    • Still looking to complete service hours? Check out the Community Service Opportunities database!
    • What are you already doing?
      • The drastic changes to “normal” life and school have many seniors concerned about how to complete the 15 community service hours required for graduation. Fear not! As with everything else this year, we need to think about this in a new way.
    • Service is NOT limited to volunteering at the local community center; instead, the opportunities are all around us.
      • Many students have taken on more responsibilities in their homes and for their families. That COUNTS! If you are helping siblings with school, providing childcare, caring for a family member, cooking meals, shoveling, count it! Count it EVEN IF it’s something that you had already been doing! Complete the Community Service Hours Submission Form detailing the service you have completed. We will be sharing additional service opportunities as they become available. 
    • Are you looking for service projects? Check this out!
      You can make 3-5 minute, educational videos (in English or Spanish) to be shared with our Pre-K students and families. These educational videos can include:
      • Reading age-appropriate books (sharing the pictures as you read, etc.) 
      • Demonstrating a simple skill (dribbling a basket or soccer ball, for example) and prompting them to try along with you
      • Completing a simple art project with items found around the house
      • Be age-appropriate AND creative!
      • When making the videos, be sure to be engaging! Speak clearly. It's okay to ask questions and allow them time to respond. Imagine that they are in front of you. These videos do not need to be professionally edited. Be thoughtful about what you're going to say. Make sure that the room/area that you are filming in is appropriate. Completed videos can be uploaded to this Google DriveQuestions? Contact Ms. Norwick, Pre-K teacher, at or Ms. Jastrow, Class of 2021 Counselor, at


  • Scholarships are added to our database weekly. Be sure to check frequently!
  • Dr. Donald S. Cameron Scholarship (due April 29, 2021) - This scholarship is given in honor of Dr. Cameron, a long-time Richfield resident and a leader in both his community and the dentistry field. In an effort to provide a service to the community and advance the cause of medical science, this scholarship is being offered in his name. This scholarship is awarded to a senior student who has maintained at least a B average during their four years of high school. The student must have exhibited service to their community over and above that required for graduation. It recognizes students who will maintain high ethical standards and who intend to pursue a career in medical science, research or related health fields. This scholarship of $1,000 will be sent to the school the recipient attends as a credit towards tuition.

  • Diversity Scholarship (due April 30, 2021) - The Association of Legal Administrators MN Diversity and Inclusion Committee is offering a $2,000 scholarship for a student of a diverse background who is planning to pursue a career that can be utilized in a law firm, such as business administration, marketing, human resources, finance, accounting, paralegal or attorney. This one-time scholarship is paid directly to the college or university and may be used for tuition, books, or room and board. The applicant must be accepted at an accredited college and in good academic standing in high school. Submission directions can be found on this flyer. Application requirements:

    • A short (250-500 word) essay by the applicant which summarizes
      • the area of intended study or degree,
      • the applicant’s interest in legal administration or a related field, and
      • describes what diversity means to the applicant and why it is important.
      • The applicant’s name, telephone number, and email address are to be included in the essay.
    • One letter of recommendation
    • A copy of the applicant’s high school transcript
  • The Richfield Spartan Foundation Scholarship (deadline Thursday, April 15, 2021, by 3 p.m.) - The Richfield Spartan Foundation will be awarding twenty-three (23) $1,000 scholarships. Designed to provide financial support to a wide range of students, eligibility criteria include school spirit, athletics, leadership, first-generation college students and overcoming obstacles. Paper applications are available, although students are encouraged to complete the online applications. More information—including the applications—can be found by visiting the Counseling page of the RHS website.
  • Wallin Education Partners 2-Year Scholarship Program (priority deadline May 15, 2021) - The Wallin Education Partners 2-Year Scholarship Program is designed to serve students pursuing a two-year degree to enter the workforce. Aspire Scholars receive up to $8,000 over two years. Opportunity Scholars receive up to $6,000 over two years. In addition to the financial assistance, scholarship recipients also receive individualized advising to help students navigate through college as well as access to college-to-career programs, internships and opportunities through Walllin’s effective partnerships. Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Graduating senior from the class of 2021
    • Minimum unweighted 2.0 GPA
    • Demonstrated financial need
    • Plan to start college full-time in fall 2021 at Dunwoody College of Technology or one of the partner community colleges
  • Power of You (deadline August 6, 2021) - The Power of YOU, also referred to as POY, is an academic support and scholarship program that provides intensive student advising, community engagement and leadership opportunities to all participants. They offer tuition-free degree completion, an advisor assigned to you until you complete your degree and assistance mitigating barriers toward your academic goals. All are encouraged to apply; however, low income students are given preference for admission. The application for the scholarship is also used as your application to Minneapolis College, and there is no application fee.
  • Native American Scholarship Database - These scholarships are available specifically for Native American high school students. Students should be encouraged to apply to ALL other sources of financial aid for which they are eligible. Special thanks to Tami Johnson, School Counselor in St. Paul Public Schools, for her creation and continued updating of this resource!



College Application

Financial Aid

Social-Emotional Learning: At Home Connection


Hello Richfield Families!

This coming week is a big week full of changes for our students, as we start off with the first full week of the new learning model. It will also be the first full week of class time students have had in 2 weeks—whether they are distance learning or in person.

We know our students will feel exhausted at times and motivation might appear a bit lower. That is OK, and we want to stress that. When teenagers are exhausted, we are all familiar with how they might show it—crabby, grumpy, withdrawn and often taking their fatigue out on the people they feel safest to do so! It may be a good week to be prepared as caregivers to have a bit of extra patience packed away…

For our distance learners, our SEL lesson this week focuses on self-advocacy. We want our distance learners to feel JUST as seen and heard as the students coming in four days each week. We stress that asking for help IS a sign of strength. We know that once teenagers start feeling behind, they often shut down. While it is not true for everyone, we have seen some of that pattern here. If your teenager shows signs of school stress, encourage them to reach out to teachers and help them to do this. Whether it is through Go Guardian, Schoology, email, or phone, our teachers and staff are HERE for them. Everyone at RHS wants to help make their lives easier in this time—sometimes we know to reach out and unfortunately sometimes we do not. Self-advocacy is a lifelong skill, one that us adults are still working on. The more we encourage or model for them how to do it, the more they will learn. If your bandwidth as a caregiver is low, direct your student to their school counselor or a school social worker—we are HAPPY to help support self-advocacy.

Remember, deep breaths for all as we start this busy, full new week. We are here ready to take on whatever your students need.

Your RHS School Social Workers,

Marisa Zimmerman and Jill Carlton

Congratulations to our Section 3AAA Champions and State Semi-Finalists!


The Spartans ended their season with a 64-66 loss in the state semifinals against Alexandria. We are proud to walk away as Section 3AAA Champions and State Semi-Finalists knowing they played an incredible season! 

Great job, Spartans!


Staff Spotlight

Morgan Kelley, School Counselor

Hello Spartans! My name is Morgan Kelley, and I work with the 9th grade students at RHS. This is my first year at Richfield, and while it has been a wild ride, I am loving the RHS community and especially the 9th graders!
This is my 13th year as a high school counselor. After graduating with my Masters Degree from the U of MN, I moved to Chicago and worked in Chicago Public Schools for 6 years before moving back to Minneapolis. After stints in St. Paul and Chanhassen schools, I was elated to find that RHS had an opening for a counselor. I am quickly feeling at home here at Richfield, while also learning the ropes and navigating everything the pandemic has thrown at us. I love working with the diverse population in Spanish and in English!
I grew up in the Twin Cities area and attended UW-Madison as an undergraduate, majoring in Spanish. Currently I live in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis with my husband and 2 children, Marty (6), and Louise (4). Marty has lately been enjoying taking selfies with my phone :). In my free time I love to travel, exercise, explore nature with my family, and catch up with friends. I am really excited to be at RHS in-person after we get this COVID under control, so I can really get to know my students!

Danielle Jastrow, School Counselor

Hello! My name is Danielle Jastrow, and I am the counselor for students in the Class of 2021. I am in my second year at Richfield, which frankly feels like a minute compared to my colleagues! Coming from a huge school system, I have really enjoyed the small family feel of RPS. Before I started, everyone told me how great the students were here—and they are! I’m really happy to be here! 

I have been a school counselor since 2003 with 13 years spent working as a Career and College Center Coordinator at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. As a first generation college student myself, I didn’t know anything about how to think about life after high school. Not. A. Thing. I made my way through college by following friends (definitely NOT recommended) and kind of stumbled into the school counseling career. Here I found my passion! I love helping students to understand their options and make an informed plan about their next steps after high school. 
I grew up in a small farming community on the eastside of Wisconsin. Like Ms. Okey, I, too, am a Cheese Head. We are everywhere. :) I am a proud Badger and love watching football, basketball, volleyball, and softball with my family and friends. My husband Mike (he’s an import, too) and I live in Minneapolis with our two kids: Evelyn (14) and William (11). They are both really active in sports, and I look forward to spending some serious time on various ball diamonds this summer. When I’m not loudly cheering for my kids, my Badgers or Packers, or the Twins, I love to read and to create. I’m a serial crafter, and right now I’m really into quilling, a centuries-old paper craft.

Read More

Graduation Information for Seniors

We are so excited about this significant milestone and grateful for the opportunity to celebrate in person this year. As you prepare for the big day, here is some important information for you about the graduation ceremony.

Presenting Prom 2021: Hollywood Nights!

“Hollywood Nights” will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Saturday, May 15 from 8-11 p.m. All students need to complete a consent form to attend prom. You can find more information about prom, safety plans, and to print a consent form here. 

Come See the RHS Spring Musical!

This coming week! Join us at the RHS Auditorium to see our Theatre students perform Disney's Frozen: A 30-Minute adaptation!