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Spartan School News, Feb. 8, 2021

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From the Principal

Greetings Spartan Families,
Thank you for helping to make this first half of the year a great start for our students and staff. It has been so exciting to see the eagerness in our students and great learning habits that have developed in spite of this unusual model we are finding ourselves in. I have been in many classrooms observing learning. Our teachers are planning intentional, authentic, and meaningful lessons for ALL learners. I can also confidently say they are modeling what it means to be learners as they master techniques in teaching digitally. I want to thank you for your support and participation in your child’s education thus far. There are many ways to support and they all are needed and important!

Stay up to date on your child’s progress

With the conclusion of the first semester, I want to remind parents of the tools for staying engaged with your child’s academic progress. Two great tools are Parent Vue and Schoology. These are tools to instantly access timely and secure student information online. Information includes grades, assignment completion by class, attendance, etc. This is as important now as ever. All students start fresh with the new semester. Together we can support students in staying caught up in their expectations and learning. If you need support in accessing these tools, please call 612-798-6100.

Staying in direct communication with your child’s AIR Pod teacher is also recommended. Please utilize email to ask any direct questions that may arise about a particular class. Working together for the success of our learners makes a huge difference. 

Lastly, ask your child! Please support your children in becoming advocates for their own educational and academic success. Check their assignment submissions, discuss the information from the parent portal and have them utilize the student portal, which provides the same information. As they progress through school, they will provide you the information you need in engaging them in their own academic success.

In partnership,

Stacy Theien-Collins

Special Announcements

Semester I Final Grades

Teachers have posted grades for the first semester. Students continuing in year-long courses that received an NG for first semester have the opportunity to recoup the credit based on their work in semester 2. If a student earns a passing grade in semester 2, teachers will revise the first semester grade to reflect their re-engagement in learning. Please speak with any teacher or your child’s grade-level counselor regarding this policy for further clarification.

Return to Hybrid Programming

Thank you for everything you have been doing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Because of the efforts of Richfield residents, the local case rate for COVID-19 infections is currently 26.1 in Richfield and 23.9 in Hennepin County. According to state guidelines, when the case rate falls between 20-30 per 10,000 residents, we can bring secondary students back to the hybrid program! 

  • Secondary students who were previously enrolled in the hybrid program this fall can return to buildings the week of February 22. The secondary hybrid program is a one-day per week advisory program.
  • Students are not required to return. If your child was in the hybrid program in the fall, but you would prefer they remain in distance learning, please contact your school office.
  • If your child was previously in the distance learning program, but you would like them enrolled in the hybrid program, please contact your school office to determine availability. 
  • If your child received school bus transportation this fall, look for additional communication in the next week with bus stop information. 
  • Please note that all safety protocols from this fall remain in place. Face coverings are required on school busses and in buildings at all times, social distancing will be enforced, etc. In addition, before sending your child to school, we ask that you take your child’s temperature and confirm that they do not have any of the more common symptoms of COVID-19. You can learn more on our COVID-19 web page.

In-Building WiFi Access

This week only, due to our altered Finals Schedule, we will host wifi on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Please sign up below.

Mondays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.   Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.   Fridays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 

Purchasing a Yearbook

It’s not too late to purchase a yearbook for this unforgettable school year, and for a limited time, we still have a sweet deal for you! Purchase a yearbook by Thursday, Feb. 18 and save $10*, no coupon code necessary!* Use this link to purchase online with a debit/credit card. Last year we sold out, so don’t delay! For questions, contact Kayla Vo, Yearbook Adviser, at
*Prices will increase by $10 starting 2/19
*Excludes Tax
*Payment installments available

From the Activities Office

  • What elementary school did you attend? Centennial Elementary

  • What do you like most about your sport? Wrestling has taught me I can do hard things. I am challenged every day in practice and in competitions. 

  • What motivates you to do your best? My teammates.

  • Who is your role model? Coach Maiers. He is always positive and encourages me to do my best. It's also cool that he works out with us.

  • What advice would you give to middle school students? Never give up! Set goals and stick with them. 

  • Are you involved in other activities? Spartan Football and baseball.

  • What do you plan to do after high school? Attend college and get a degree in Business Administration.

Live Streamed Athletic and Activities Events

Did you know you can watch many of our home events on YouTube Richfield High School? Check it out here.

Upcoming Events

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

  February 7

  • 7 p.m. Senior Party Planning Meeting

February 17

  • Picture Retake Day. More information will be provided.

February 22

  • Return to Hybrid Model
  • Beacons is back! Watch next week's newsletter for more details and specific opportunities.

Parent Resources

Technology Resources

MDH COVID Resources for Families

Asociación de Familias Latinas: 

Por favor únase a nosotros para una reunión de la Asociación de Familias Latinas el 9 de febrero.
Please join us for a meeting of the Association of Latin American Families on Feb. 9. 

Free Online Course: Connected: How to Show Up For Your Kids in the Digital Age 

This course is through the Spark & Stitch Institute and is free for RPS families. Over the next few months, some of our student support services staff will be hosting online discussion groups to talk about the course content, share resources and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. If you would like to participate, you can register online and we will add you to the online course within 1-2 business days. 

Virtual RHS Media Center

Spartans, did you know you can request books from the media center? 

  • In the portal, look for the Destiny image 
  • Click on the Destiny link > Select Richfield High School > Click "Log in" (upper right corner) 
  • Enter your Chromebook username and password (the Google login option is not working yet)
  • Use the search bar at the top of the screen to look for books, including e and audio formats. Selections can be placed on hold, marked as favorites, etc.
  • Click on the triple line (hamburger) menu in the upper left corner to view your checkouts, books on hold, favorites, and more 
  • Mrs. Anderson and Ms. Glavas will work with you to arrange a pick up for any holds you request. Email us or call 612-798-6319.

CCR @ Air Pod

Focus on the Future in February! This month, we will be holding a friendly competition between AIR Pods focusing on Naviance Lesson completion. EVERY STUDENT in the AIR Pod that has the highest Naviance lesson completion rate in February will receive a $10 Target gift card from Principal Theien-Collin. Mrs. Magnuson will be tracking each AIR Pod’s Naviance Lesson completion rate throughout the month of February. Winner will be announced in early March. Please encourage your teen to focus on the future this February!

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Contact Info 

Information for all Grades

  • United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) Virtual National College Fair - Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021
    USHLI is excited to announce a variety of events that are planned for students and parents. Beginning at 9 a.m., students will have the opportunity to participate in leadership seminar activities. There is a financial aid workshop scheduled from 10:30-11 a.m. Beginning at 12 p.m., more than 120 schools from all over the country will be available to answer questions during USHLI’s renowned National College Recruitment Fair. For more information and to register, please visit this link.
  • Stanford University AI (Artificial Intelligence) Summer Program - Deadline to apply is March 1, 2021
    Students are invited to apply for this pre-college enrichment program developed and taught by a team of Stanford PhD students. Through the AI Scholars Live Online program, high school students are taught fundamental AI concepts and work toward building a socially impactful AI project in a domain of their interest such as healthcare, robotics, finance or sustainability. Students attend live online classes. Click on this link for more information.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Programs - Deadline to apply is April 30, 2021
    Applications for these pre-college high school programs, Badger Summer Scholars and the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), are now open. Financial aid is available for both programs.  

Information for 9th-11th Grade Students

  • Girls Who Code—Virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP)
    Apply to Girls Who Code’s Virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) for an unforgettable summer experience! During this FREE 2-week virtual program, you'll learn the computer science skills you need to make an impact, get an inside look into the tech field, and join a supportive lifelong sisterhood—all while being virtually hosted by influential companies like Twitter, AT&T, Bank of America, Walmart and more.

    Current 9th-11th grade girls and non-binary students are eligible to apply. SIP is 100% free and need-based stipends of up to $300 are available for those who qualify. Low tech? No tech? No problem! Girls Who Code is there to support you!
    Apply today or learn more in a webinar
    We are halfway through the 2020-2021 school year and it is already time to begin planning for the 2021-22 school year. This is an exciting time for students as they begin to think about and plan for the next steps in their education. This week in AIR Pod, students will receive information and tools for academic planning. Counselors will be available for follow up questions. Registration resources are also available on our website. Please talk to your child about their course requests for the 2021-22 school year. A course request form will be available on the website starting Feb. 9 and course requests are due Feb. 23.

Information for Juniors

  • Genesys Works - Learn more about how junior students can apply for a paid internship in 2021-22! 

    New for this year: Students will earn college credit for participating in summer training!

    • Last week our juniors had the opportunity to participate in a live webinar to learn more about Genesys Works and get their questions answered. Here is the link to the recorded webinar. Through the free summer training program, students gain real-world skills like public speaking, accountability, time management, Microsoft Office, networking and business technology. Upon completion of this training, students will have the opportunity to obtain a paid corporate internship during their senior year at a top Twin Cities company like Toro, Target Corporation, Optum, Best Buy, or Ameriprise Financial. GW interns also receive college and career support—in fact, 100% of GW students are accepted to college!
    • The GW MISSION is to provide pathways to career and college success for high school students in these categories:
      • on track to graduate
      • eligible for free/reduced lunch status
      • first-generation college applicants
      • able to adjust their school day to allow for early release (1-5 p.m. work schedule)
  • ACT at Richfield High School—Tuesday, April 20, 2021
    Originally scheduled for early March, the district-sponsored ACT for all juniors has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 20. This ACT is intended to take place in-person during the school day—specific details are yet to be determined, depending on the status of how school attendance may resume according to state and district guidelines. Please stay tuned for more information. Any ACT questions may be directed to Sara Linde, counselor for students in the class of 2022. 

Information for Juniors & Seniors

  • 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. 
  • Distinguished Young Women: Scholarship, Leadership, Talent - DYW is the nation’s largest and oldest scholarship program for high school women. It offers the opportunity to earn cash and college-granted scholarships in a non-competitive atmosphere. The competition is free to participants, and no fees nor expenses are expected of any participant. More information is available here.

Information for Seniors

  • Midyear Transcript Requests
    If you have been notified that your college/university would like to see a midyear transcript, please complete the transcript request form as soon as possible and no later than Feb. 12. 

  • 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. 

  • School Information Night @ Minneapolis College (MCTC)

    • Business and Economics

      • Business, Economics, and Accounting | Tuesday, Feb. 16, 5 p.m.
        Explore career pathways & connect with Business, Economics and Accounting program faculty | RSVP HERE

      • Alumni Panel Discussion | Wednesday, Feb. 17, 5 p.m.
        Listen to an alumni panel to learn about future career opportunities and their experiences | RSVP HERE

    • Design and the Arts

      • School and Program Overview | Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m.
        Learn about our unique Design and the Arts program offerings | RSVP HERE

      • Information Night | Wednesday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m. 
        Explore career pathway and connect with Design and the Arts program faculty | RSVP HERE

      • Panel Discussion |Thursday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m. 
        Listen to an industry/alumni panel to learn about future Design & the Arts career opportunities | RSVP HERE

  • Schedule Changes & College Applications
    Nearly all college applications will ask you to list your senior year courses. Colleges will then factor that information when evaluating your admission application. If you want to change a CORE COURSE (math, social studies, English, science) at semester, you need to reach out to your colleges to ask if/how that change may impact your admission decision. 

  • Alex R. Smith Memorial College Scholarship
    This scholarship was created to honor the efforts of Nicole Smith-Holt and the rest of Alec Smith’s family in memory of their son, who have fought for years to keep insulin costs low and helped create the emergency insulin law for pharmacists in MN and other states. “Be A Part Of It” and the CampTime Kids program would like to announce a yearly scholarship to a student residing in Alec’s home state of Minnesota entering college his/her freshman year in the fall of 2021 in the amount of $5,000 in memory of Alec R. Smith and his family’s dedication to protecting our children’s future. Email to get your application.

  • Vernetta Wilson Memorial Scholarship (deadline Feb. 26, 2021) - The Minneapolis St. Paul Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is committed to the education of young women in the Black community. Visit this website for more information about this scholarship offered by RMS Principal Dr. Hines’ sorority.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar Program - The HSF Scholar Program is designed to empower courageous young leaders of Hispanic heritage. The program helps ensure students achieve their higher education and career goals. To be eligible, applicants:
    • Must be of Hispanic heritage
    • Minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for high school students
    • Plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, public or not-for-profit, four-year university, or graduate school, in the U.S., for the 2020-2021 academic year
    • U.S. Citizen, Permanent Legal Resident, DACA or Eligible Non-Citizen (as defined by FAFSA)
    • Submit the FAFSA or state-based financial aid forms (if applicable)
  • 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!
  • MnACC Student of Color Scholarship - MnACC is excited to provide scholarships for students of color who are in pursuit of higher education. Students who are awarded this scholarship will receive a one-time award ranging between $500 to $2,500 to be used towards their education during the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Page Grant (deadline April 1, 2021) - The Page Grant is a scholarship program awarded to students of color and/or American Indian students who graduate from a Minnesota high school and attend a Minnesota post-secondary institution. Students at all levels of academic achievement seeking to pursue a 2- or 4-year degree at an accredited Minnesota college or university and agree to complete annual service projects with children can qualify for a grant. Grants range in value from $1,500 to $2,500 annually, and subsequent grants are based on students’ academic progress and mentoring performance. Students must be registered and maintain full-time status throughout the academic year they are awarded the grant to remain eligible.
  • 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. We 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.

  • Community Service HoursYou’re already doing them!
    • 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 Drive.
    • Questions? Contact Ms. Norwick, Pre-K teacher, at or Ms. Jastrow, Class of 2021 Counselor, at



College Application

Financial Aid

Social-Emotional Learning: At Home Connection

Greeting Richfield Families,

We are in the midst of a new month and a new semester! We are grateful for all of you as we keep on chugging along together in all of this. We know we are not in the homes physically when students struggle with distance learning, but we are ALWAYS available and truly in it virtually with them. As a student support team, we are always talking to families and finding things that seem to work best. Here are a few patterns we have heard recently and some good things to keep in mind as we are at the beginning of a new semester.

  • Celebrating ALL successes: this bears repeating, because as parents and caregivers this is the easiest thing to forget! Remember, celebrate things that may have felt “small” in the past. If your student made it to all their google meets—celebrate! If they turned in an assignment—celebrate! You may always want to know if they will do more—but just try to find the successes and keep the positive energy. Maybe praise them with fun sticky notes in their room—or bring them a hot chocolate while in a new Google Meet for the first time. Anything that will show them you acknowledge the success.
  • If a student sleeps through a class, help them shake it off and plan to jump on the next class. Many of our students feel so ashamed when they sleep through their first class, they just seem to freeze for the rest of the day. Remind them it’s OK! Each class and google meet is a fresh start. If you miss one, jump on the next. And if you wonder what you missed, email your child’s teachers—they TRULY want to help!

As always we continue to offer the following:

Mindful Moment: Mondays at 8:50 a.m.

We will continue to offer a guided breathing exercise each Monday morning to help students enter their week feeling calm and focused.

Managing Stress During Distance Learning: Thursdays at 1 p.m.

Students will learn new strategies to manage stress as well as have the opportunity to talk about their stress in a safe and supportive group setting. 

Your RHS School Social Workers,

Marisa Zimmerman:
Jill Carlton:

Supporting the Wellbeing of our Community

The Richfield Health Resource Center is a community resource developed through a partnership between the Richfield School District, Park Nicollet Health Services, Children's Dental Services, Portico Healthnet and the Park Nicollet Foundation. At the Richfield Health Resource Center, we serve children and youth who live in or attend school in Richfield (from birth through high school graduation).

Care at the Richfield Health Resource Center is confidential and free, regardless of health insurance coverage.

Clinic hours are every Wednesday from 1-5p.m.


From the Richfield Health Resource Center Parking:

  • The parking lot is located on 70th Street and Pleasant Avenue, next to the railroad tracks and the athletics field. There is a red sign at the entrance to the parking lot that says "Richfield Health Resource Center." The entrance is located at door 13A at the far end of the parking lot.

Walking from the Central Education Center / Community Education: 

  • As you walk toward the high school from the Central Education Center, head toward the right side of the building next to the football field and railroad tracks. The entrance is located at door 13A.

Click Here For More Information

Student Pride Award

"Quinn is a critical thinker who is always trying to see the positive and negative in things. Quinn is caring and wants everyone to be included in AIR Pod. He's courageous enough to ask questions and share this thoughts in classes. There's so much I could say, but I'm really just proud of how much he has accomplished in his short time at Richfield High School, especially given the circumstances with distance learning."

Scenes from Fire and Ice

Congratulations to our Crowned Royalty, Joe Carr and Riley Herling!

Staff Spotlight

Char Anderson, Media Center Paraprofessional

My name is Char Anderson and I am a paraprofessional in the media center at RHS. I grew up in St. Cloud, MN and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Marketing. I have worked in a bank and a label making business and been a stay at home mom before coming to RHS. I am married to my high school sweetheart and have 2 grown daughters (both Richfield grads) and 3 grandchildren.

I have been working in the media center for the past 20 years. I started when my 2 daughters were in the Richfield schools and enjoyed it so much that I never quit. The job has changed tremendously over time, but I like that. Students used to ask teachers for internet passes and the media staff logged them onto the internet one at a time! Now students have their own devices and I help with hotspots, Chromebooks and, of course, finding books they’d enjoy reading.

Richfield really is a small town in the middle of a big city. It’s a great place to work and live. I’m very happy to be part of this school and community. When I’m not at school, you will find me playing with the grandkids, reading, gardening, walking, camping, doing puzzles and playing games (my current favorite is Code Names). You may also find me in a boat, fishing and struggling to pull in a salmon. My biggest catch was about 23 pounds! The one that got away was MUCH bigger. After 30 minutes and almost 900 ft of line I lost it. There’s always tomorrow.

Lucy Zubah, Special Education Paraprofessional

Greetings Spartan Families,
My name is Lucy Zubah and I have been a para in the high school for 17 years and I absolutely love it here.
I grew up in Roseville, Minnesota and I attended Roseville Area High School and while I was there I ran track and sang choir. After I graduated from Roseville I attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College for 2 years and a year and a half at Metro State University.
When I am not helping out students at work I love doing activities with my two girls, spending time with my family and friends and going on walks. Overall I love helping others and surrounding myself with the people I love!!

Read More

CCR @ AIR Pod: Jesus Garcia Garcia

Many thanks to CCR @ AIR Pod guest speaker Jesus Garcia Garcia, who shared his inspirational education and career pathway with us this week. Jesus shared that his goal in life is to help, “I want to use my time for good.” You can watch the video here.

Spring Sports: Spectators

The spring competitive season is here and we are excited to open our stands to fans! Here you can find information about attending spring sports.

MCA Testing Schedule

Here you will find the MCA testing schedule at RHS.