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Spartan School News, Mar. 22, 2021

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From the Principal

Spartan Families,

Transition time is upon us! Soon, we will have yet another change in our model as we transition to our four-day per week evolved hybrid model. Our students will transition to the new four-day evolved hybrid model or the new four-day distance learning schedule. Besides great excitement, many are worried. The reality is many will transition without a single issue. Others will need more support academically, socially and emotionally. As a school community, using this opportunity to re-engage students in school academically as well as socially is important to our team. We are committed to partnering with families and are available for any questions. Please contact us early with any questions, concerns or needed support.

A way to support your child is making sure that they are in good physical and mental health. A great place to start is making any needed adjustments to sleep schedules. The CDC indicates that approximately 73% of high school-age students do not get enough sleep on a school night. The recommendation for children ages 13-18 years of age is 8-10 hours of sleep per night (Center for Disease Control, 2020). The CDC has put out guidance for families in supporting healthy sleep habits. See “Sleep in Middle and High School Students.”

If you have concerns about your child's health, talk to your pediatrician; they can help determine if your concerns are normal, age-appropriate issues. You may also reach out to our school counselors Morgan Kelley (Grade 9), Jessica Okey (Grade 10), Saarah Linde (Grade 11) and Danielle Jastrow (Grade 12) or our school nurse, Libby Nelson. These professionals can assist in navigating school supports and services as well as assisting with any needed community resources.

In partnership,

Stacy Theien-Collins

Special Announcements

Graduation Information

Graduation is June 9 at 7 p.m. Please see an update about graduation here.

Tours Available for 9th-Grade Students Transitioning to In-Person Learning

These tours are optional and available for students to learn the building, see their classroom spaces and meet school staff and student leaders.  

  • Who: Current 9th-grade students transitioning from distance to in-person learning 

  • What: Building Tours

  • When: March 24 from 1-3:30 p.m.

  • Where: HS main entrance where student leaders and school staff greet you and provide tours

For more information call 612-798-6100.

Student Wellness Council

We are excited to announce that we are starting our recruitment for the Student Wellness Council. The Student Wellness Council is a student-led program focusing on overall health and wellness within RHS. Teachers will be completing nomination forms for students. If your child is interested in joining, please have them discuss it further with their advisory teacher. More information to come!

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

PE Students (in-person learning)     

Students in a Physical Education class should come prepared for activity on the days they are scheduled in PE. This includes activity-appropriate clothing; sweatpants, shorts, t-shirt, sweatshirts and tennis shoes. PE students will not have access to a locker room.

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.

Another great way to support a local business and the Richfield High School Senior Class Party!                                  
When: Wednesday, March 24                                                                                                                                 
Time: All day, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.                                                                                                                                    
Where: Chevys Fresh Mex, 2251 Killebrew Ave, Bloomington — 952-876-0222

Details: Chevys will donate 20% of all sales from dine-in, curbside carry out or pickup orders to RHS Senior Class Party by either showing this flyer or mentioning it when ordering.                                                  
Thank you for supporting the RHS Senior Class Party and Chevys Fresh Mex!

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. 

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.

Required form to indicate testing location

  • World Language (French, German, Spanish) exams will be given in a paper/pencil format in person.
  • All other exams will be given in a digital format. Students must complete this form to indicate if they will be completing the exam from home on their school Chromebook or if they will be testing in an assigned exam room at the high school (also on their school Chromebook). The form is due March 26.

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 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. 




Baseball (Gr. 8-12)

Chris Peterson,

March 22-25
4-6 p.m.

Golf (Gr. 7-12)

Holly Noble,

March 29-April 1
3:45-5 p.m. (waiting on confirmation from the golf course)

Lacrosse - Boys (Gr. 7-12)

Mike Cunningham,

April 5-9
4-6 p.m.

Softball (Gr. 7-12)

Bryan Skof,

March 29-April 1
4-6 p.m.

Synchro. Swim (Gr. 7-12)

Lauren Kranig,

March 15-19
4-6:25 p.m.

Tennis - Boys (Gr. 7-12)

Lee Herman,

March 29-April 1
10-11:30 a.m.

Track & Field (Gr. 9-12)

Boys Coach, Teresa Stadem,

Girls Coach, Pat Burns, 

March 29-April 1
4:15-6:15 p.m.

Upcoming Events

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

March 24

  • 1-3:30 p.m. Transition tours for 9th-grade students

March 29-April 2

  • Spring Break

April 5-7

  • No classes, teacher prep for return to 4-day in-person schedule (asynchronous work)
  • Students should check in to AIR Pod for attendance purposes

April 8

  • Day 1 of evolved hybrid instruction

Parent Resources

Technology Resources

MDH COVID Resources for Families

Media Center News

March Book Madness: Round two of voting is now open for the March Book Madness competition! It's time to vote to decide which books make it to the Final 4. 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 22 at 4 p.m. Learn more and find the link to vote here: March Book Madness Information - Round 2

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

Many thanks to CCR @ AIR Pod Guest Speaker Ainsley Yee, Bachman’s Human Resources Generalist and Recruiter, who shared her education and career pathway. Ainsley advised students to adopt strong time management skills because they become vital to success in the workplace. There will be “lots of balls in the air” and learning which ones to prioritize is important. She considered becoming a teacher, but took some classes and worked directly with a mentor and, realizing that teaching wasn’t for her, she followed her interests and instincts. She spoke of stepping stones, and doing the research before committing to a certain college or job. She provided interview tips, advising students to “wear what your boss would wear,” and to take the time to create a resume, even if it’s short and limited. Bachman’s is currently hiring part-time seasonal workers, and jobs can be found online HERE for their Richfield location. It was a pleasure chatting with Ainsley and we appreciate all of our speakers for sharing their time and expertise. You can watch a recording of the CCR session here

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Contact Info 

Information for all Grades

  • 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

  • Can you believe we are already almost at Spring Break?! I can’t! Spring Break is a great time to relax, re-charge and get some fresh air. Think about what you can do that will help you the most to come back to school and finish strong. Would it help to make an action plan? If so, make a list of things you can work on during the extended break. If you can check off just one thing for each class, you will be doing your future self a big favor! 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

    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!

    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.

    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 developed a 100% virtual volunteer program, where students can earn 40 hours of community service for virtually completing two weeks of service advocating for adults with autism using digital platforms. Links to sign up were posted in your Schoology updates.
  • 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 25, 2021 University of St. Thomas 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 1 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

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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
  • 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!

As we mentioned last week, our SEL lesson focused on loss amidst the pandemic. This week, as we head towards Spring Break, we are focusing on Gratitude. It seems ironic to go from Grief and Loss to Gratitude all in a week—but in many ways that has been a big part of the pandemic. Through all of our stress amongst changes, there have been constant messages of feeling gratitude—whether it’s for frontline medical professionals, the creator of Zoom, or all the teachers who have stayed flexible and dedicated—there has been good seen in all of these challenging times.

We know as students head into Spring Break it may again look different for some than years past. The exhaustion of the pandemic is wearing on many of us of all ages. As we start to feel hopeful for the return of signs of “pre-pandemic” life, learning how to experience gratitude can help us cross through this “pandemic finish line.” Gratitude is proven to decrease anxiety, increase relationships and even help us stay generally healthier. It can be one of the hardest skills to have, but when we allow ourselves to feel it, can be one of the most satisfying.

Our students will watch a video about reaching out and thanking someone from their past. Ask them if that resonated with him and who they would thank. Over Spring Break, when your students may have some more time on their hands, help them think of some ways they can feel and show gratitude. This can come in small forms—maybe a handwritten note of thanks to someone who has shown your family support. It can also mean doing an act of kindness in return—baking some cookies and dropping off to neighbors. As a family, just taking a moment at the end of the day to say out loud one thing each person was grateful for that day can have lasting benefits.

As always, we are so grateful for our RHS families and students. We are looking forward to seeing more students in person and growing even more connected to our distance learners.

Please reach out anytime,

Your RHS School Social Workers

Marisa Zimmerman and Jill Carlton

Student Pride Award

Here's what Lamar's nominators had to say about him: 

"Lamar is normally recognized for his basketball ability, but what people don't always get to see is this kindness this student has. He wants to do right by those around him and I would love for it to be recognized. I'm so proud of how humble he is and his ability to have compassion." -Ms. Rhoden

"Lamar has started this semester off with incredible self motivation, attendance and work completion!! I am so proud of him and his efforts this semester! Keep up your driven attitude and hard work ethic, Lamar!!" -Ms. Lewis

"Lamar is one of the kindest, most respectful students I have had the opportunity to meet at RHS. He goes out of his way to include others and make all students feel welcome in the school community." -Ms. Collins

"I am so proud of the young man Lamar has become. His growth from freshman year to now is impressive and his willingness to mentor younger peers will be part of his lasting legacy at Richfield High School." -Mr. Mullenbach 

Staff Spotlight

Jill Carlton, Social Worker

Hi RHS families! My name is Jill Carlton, and I'm one of the school social workers at Richfield High School. I am fortunate enough to get to work at two Richfield schools—RHS as well as RCEP, one of Richfield's alternative high school options. I work part-time at both to fill up my week, and I love being a part of two school communities.

This is my second year as a School Social Worker. I spent the last 13 years as a social worker at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, where I worked extensively with families and patients in a variety of ways. While I loved that work, I had always been drawn to the school setting, and particularly teenagers. A stressful school environment creates so many challenges for teenagers. I love being a part of making school more supportive and positive. I am grateful at RHS to be surrounded by staff also wanting to do the same! I work extensively with my colleague Marisa Zimmerman, who has been part of the RHS family as a social worker for 13 years. Always grateful to see her work in action and learn from her!

I grew up in Philadelphia, so I do consider the East Coast my home. I have had the opportunities to live in D.C., Chapel Hill, N.C., and then Chicago. I am grateful to have landed in Minneapolis, which was a new city to me about 14 years ago. I live in South Minneapolis by Lake Nokomis, and now could not imagine living anywhere else! I have 2 kids—ages 6 and 11—and we enjoy the trails, parks and lake beaches. We recently adopted a dog Mabel, and we are all currently obsessed with her! She gets us out walking everyday. As a parent, I also have experienced the parental stress of distance learning and the challenges for all of this year.

I am grateful to have chosen a career where I get to advocate for families and students, and help support teenagers through these important years. I also enjoy creating social-emotional lessons knowing school can teach beyond the traditional academics. I am amazed everyday by our Richfield students’ strength, resiliency and compassion for others.

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.