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Spartan School News, Mar. 15, 2021

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From the Principal

Spartan Families,

As announced last week, we have been given the go-ahead for an April 8 start date for our evolved hybrid, in-person learning model. We are VERY excited for this opportunity, as it will allow us to FINALLY instruct students in person and also provide an additional layer of support for engaging students in their learning. 

While I believe this new opportunity will strengthen our community socially and academically, I also want to acknowledge that changes like this can be extremely stressful for students and families. One of the biggest triggers for stress and anxiety is the schedule. Because we are having to shift resources (staff and time) to make our new model possible, we were required to make a change in what the day-to-day distance learning schedule looked like. Our goal with creating this schedule was to make it as easy as possible for students and families to understand, and still provide as much student to teacher contact time that the day would allow for both our hybrid students and our students opting to stay in our distance model. Our #1 priority will be to support families in preparing for this transition. 

The information about our new schedule can be found here. Our RHS team is here and available for questions. Our goal is to be available to talk through the components of the new schedule and answer any questions you may have about the transition. Your first point of contact should be your child’s AIR Pod teacher or counselor. They are ready to support in any way they can as we work to minimize the transitional stress to the new model.

After 3 days of teacher preparation time from Monday, April 5 through Wednesday, April 7, our NEW schedule starts on Thursday, April 8. As you begin to talk with your child about the transition, please let them know that it is natural to have anxiety about changes like this. Let them know that our RHS staff are here to support and we will be providing grace with our students as we work to settle into the new model. 

The key to success is communication. If they encounter a problem or have questions, it is absolutely critical that they reach out for help. Again, the first point of contact should be the AIR Pod teacher. If families have questions, you can reach out to the AIR Pod teacher, your assigned counselor or your grade level assistant principal. I am of course always available for any questions. Please email me at or call 612-798-6101.

In partnership,

Stacy Theien-Collins

Special Announcements

Distance Learning Expectations in our Evolved Hybrid Model

  • Students must log in to the class Google Meet at the beginning of each hour following the bell schedule: Attendance is taken at the beginning of the period.
  • Students receive direct instruction facilitated by the classroom teacher. This can occur at any point during the block.
  • Students will be dismissed from the meet by the teacher to complete independent work to be submitted by the assigned due date.
  • Student support is aligned to department-specific office hours on Wednesdays:
    • 9:30-10: Math and English Language Arts
    • 10-10:30: Science and Social Studies
    • 10:30-11: Electives, Special Education and ELL

Senior Party

The 2021 Senior Party will be a night of fun and games, food and prizes (everyone gets a prize!!!), hypnotists and inflatable activities, arts and crafts. Every senior class student is invited to come celebrate in a safe and controlled environment. It is an outdoor event and masks/face covering will be required at all times. A symptom screening and temperature check will be administered prior to entering the party area. Social distancing will be encouraged.

Two-Step Registration

  1. Complete this form 
  2. Online payment via PayPal or Venmo. Cash and Checks will be accepted at Paying and Receiving at RHS.


  • Where: RHS Spartan Football Field Turf                     
  • When: Thursday, June 10 (Rain date: June 14)
  • Time: 6-11 p.m.
  • Cost: 
    • $40 EARLY BIRD RATE—Get a ticket at a reduced fee if purchased by April 4                       
    • $50 Full Price—Tickets must be purchased by June 9
    • $25 if student qualifies for free or reduced lunch

*We have some need-based scholarships available to cover the ticket cost of students who can not afford the fee. For more information, please contact Carrie Vala at

Please contact the volunteer group of organizers at if you have any questions or would like to donate additional money to the party games and prizes.

In-Building WiFi Access

We are happy to host in-building wifi access, along with breakfast and lunch courtesy of Nutrition Services, at RHS this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 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. 

From the Activities Office

Spring Musical Auditions

The Theatre Department is performing Disney’s Frozen (a 30-minute adaptation). Auditions are April 5 & 6 in the RHS auditorium. Video auditions are available. Please contact the director with questions, We are excited to have live performances, May 13-16. Students of all races, abilities and genders are encouraged to participate. 

Registration for Spring Sports are LIVE!

All students are encouraged to participate and all ability levels are welcome to try out. Before the first day of practice, students need to be registered through SchoolPay. You can access this platform through the ParentVUE app or For detailed instructions, check out these SchoolPay Instructions

Each activity has a registration fee. If you are unable to pay the full amount based on your Educational Benefits (Free/Reduced Lunch Status), please contact the Activities Office for payment plan options at We never want finances to be a reason for a student not to participate. 

  • Returning athletes, you only need to complete the sport-specific registration, you have already completed the required MSHSL forms with your fall/winter registration. 
  • Spring sport athletes only, you need to complete the required MSHSL forms AND the sport-specific registration. 

All students need to complete their registration before the first day of practice. The first practice dates are as follows, we will send detailed practice information to registered participants. 

March 15 
Synchronized Swimming: March 15-19, 4-6:25 p.m.

March 22
Baseball: March 22-25, 4-6 p.m.

March 29 
Golf, Boys & Girls: March 29-April 1, 3:45-5 p.m. (waiting on confirmation from the golf course)
Track & Field, Boys & Girls: March 29-April 1, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
Softball, Girls: March 29-April 1, 4-6 p.m.
Tennis, Boys: March 29-April 1, 10-11:30 a.m.

April 5
Lacrosse, Boys (Co-op with Holy Angels): April 5-9, 4-6 p.m. 

Lifetouch Wrestling Photos

Lifetouch will be photographing the wrestling team Tuesday, March 16. If you would like to order individual or team photos, please go to Lifetouch Wrestling Online Order Form.

Spartan of the Week

What elementary school did you attend? Sheridan Hills Elementary
What do you like most about being in the Theatre Department? I enjoy performing on stage and getting to share such a fun experience with my friends.
What motivates you to do your best? Thinking about the future and knowing that I have to work hard to make sure I enjoy what I’m doing. 
Who is your role model? My parents. 
What advice would you give to middle school students? Don’t be afraid to do what you love.
What is your favorite subject? Art, because there are many different ways I can bring what I imagine to life.
What do you plan to do after high school? I’m not sure. I want to do something in the performing arts area or work with animals. 

Upcoming Events

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

March 29-April 2

  • Spring Recess

April 5-7

  • No classes, teacher prep for return to 4-day in-person schedule (asynchronous work)

April 8

  • Evolved Hybrid/In-Person Instruction (Day 1)

Parent Resources

Technology Resources

MDH COVID Resources for Families

Media Center News

March Book Madness: RHS and RCEP students can participate in March Book Madness this month! Students vote for their favorite books all month. Based on media center stats, the RHS Media Advisory students have determined our Sweet 16 entries! Now it's time to vote to decide which books make it to the Elite 8. Student email addresses will be collected so individuals can be entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes. Students must attend either RHS or RCEP to participate. Voting for this round will remain open until Monday, March 15 at 4 p.m. Learn more and find the link to vote here: March Book Madness information

Checkout books: Remember that the March Book Madness books and many other great books can be checked out from the media center. Follow these directions to view and reserve both print and digital copies: RHS Media Center—Checking Out Books

Technology corner: The RHS Media Center has a drone thanks to collaborative work with our awesome Business teacher Mr. Caruso. Students will eventually be able to use the drone for projects. Right now, we’re learning the basics through the drone app and test flights. Students have also been trying out Merge Cubes which are based on Augmented Reality technology. 

CCR @ Air Pod

A recent Star Tribune article, which can be read here, announced that the University of Minnesota is considering creating a tuition-free program for state residents whose families make $50,000 or less a year. It would apply to all U of MN campuses, and, if approved, could start as early as next year. The program would pay for tuition only, so other expenses such as housing and books would still need to be covered, but this has the potential to be a wonderful opportunity for students with strong academics whose family qualifies. The U of MN is also considering proposals to lower student debt and expand distance learning opportunities. Stay tuned as these proposals are under consideration, and let's hope for more good news trending toward increased access and affordability for all college-bound students. 

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Contact Info 

Information for all Grades

  • Summer Opportunities!
    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

  • Is your child struggling to stay on task and keep motivated while at home? If so, we strongly recommend they come in for our extended hybrid program, starting April 8. Many 9th grade students have expressed their frustration with distance learning, so we are welcoming them back to school after spring break for 4 days/week of in-person learning. YAY! I personally hope to see as many freshmen in the building as possible! This is our chance to have some semblance of normalcy this school year. Remember, you can make an appointment to chat with me about anything (registration, time management, academics, mental health) at ​

Information for Sophomores

  • College Possible is now accepting applications from Sophomores! College Possible is a FREE college access and success program that supports low-income students as they start to navigate the college process. Check out the flyer to learn more about program requirements and how to apply! 

Information for Juniors

    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. For questions, please contact Sara Linde at 612-798-6121 or

Information for Juniors & Seniors

  • Community Service Hours Opportunity
    Hey 11th and 12th-grade students! Are you interested in earning 40 volunteer hours virtually?
    We are working with Luv Michael, a non-profit that advocates for adults with autism and autism acceptance. Luv Michael has created virtual volunteer opportunities for students.
    How does the volunteer experience work? 
    Luv Michael has developed a 100% virtual volunteer program, where students can earn 40 hours of community service for virtually completing 2 weeks of service advocating for adults with autism using digital platforms. At the conclusion of the virtual volunteer experience, students will be awarded a certificate of completion for their service. Students have the option to continue volunteering with Luv Michael where they can earn the President's National Service Award, a national recognized award for outstanding volunteerism. 
    How do I sign up? 
    If you are interested in earning 40 hours of volunteerism and certificate, be on time to advisory on March 11 at 9 a.m.
  • Virtual College Rep Visits - Seniors, are you still looking for the right fit for college? Juniors, are you ready to start exploring? Take advantage of VIRTUAL COLLEGE REP VISITS. These visits, hosted by the admission officer who works with RHS students, are a great way to learn more about the college, ask specific program or application questions, and get to know the person who will be reviewing your application! You can find the list of upcoming visits through your Naviance account (Student portal > Clever icon > colleges home > scroll down). Parents/guardians, you can see the upcoming list by logging in as a guest and clicking on colleges home. Sign up to attend, and you’ll get a reminder the day before the visit. The link will be made available at the time of the visit. Here’s a list of who has signed up as of Feb. 25:
Date College Name Virtual Visit Time
Thursday, March 18, 2021 Johnson & Wales University, Providence 12 p.m.
Thursday, March 25, 2021 University of St. Thomas 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 Adelphi University 2 p.m.
  • 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. 

  • The Richfield Spartan Foundation Scholarship will be launching soon. Keep an eye out for an email!

  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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

Hello Richfield Families!

It is hard to believe that this week marks the one-year mark that all the schools in our state had to close their doors and shut down buildings. It was such a strange time of unknowns and it feels emotional to think back to the beginning of it all. The losses that we had came in so many forms—we had a year of grieving the loss of events, in-person celebrations, holidays with those we love. Our students missed important sporting events, drama and music productions, milestone birthday celebrations, time at school with their friends, and the normalcy of a carefree summer. And that is just to name a few.

This week’s SEL lesson will focus on grief and loss, validating for students that we all did experience it at some level over the past year. We know that the loss of “regular life” and the idea that it can be taken away so quickly hit all of us in ways we could not imagine.

We also saw our Richfield students show strength in ways we could not have seen coming. We knew the school was full of resilient teenagers, and we were fortunate to see that in action. So many of our students strongly stepped it up at home—babysitting siblings in distance learning, helping younger household members navigate school from home, participating in family chores, and even taking on employment to help in these stressful financial times. Students showed up online, navigating a new world of school, and asked for help when they needed it. 

In our lesson, we ask for students to look back and think of what they have learned in all this. What they have learned about themselves—specifically the strengths that they have learned. We also ask them to look at what is giving them hope for the upcoming year, something we are all clinging onto right now as we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

We encourage you all as caregivers to take time and space to think of those this week as well. We have been so grateful for your dedication and support from home—the place where we needed it most!

Take Care, 

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 1-5 p.m.

*Please note: We are NOT seeing patients for cold or flu-like symptoms at this time*


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.

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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.