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Spartan School News, Oct. 5, 2020

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From the Principal

Greetings Spartan Families, 

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." -Andrew Carnegie

Many of you know that the above quote is on my meeting agendas. This quote embodies the power of collaboration and provides a context of its importance in our school community. As the principal of Richfield High School, I have the distinct pleasure of joining a community where all members are willing to step up and support the efforts to make Richfield an even better place. Research shows that school improvement, or in our case going from good to great—requires us to continue and enhance strong parent, community and school ties. At RHS there are countless examples where this cadre of stakeholders are investing in and sharing the overall responsibility for the school’s success. There are many examples of ways in which individuals have stepped up to put students first.

Student and parent/guardian voice is vital in our work as a school community. We value input from our most important stakeholders—students and families. There are many formal and informal opportunities for you to provide input:

  • Student leadership development programs. Please reach out any time to share your stories, celebrations and provide input.
  • Committee membership and advisory groups provide input to advise practices and programming. The Parent Advisory Council is a monthly group that meets the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. (virtual meeting). Our next meeting is on November 5.
  • Booster clubs are the heart of creating support for our athletic and activity programs. More information can be provided by contacting our Activities Office. 
  • Community groups and local businesses provide support through donations, employee volunteerism and direct support to teachers. These businesses support our mission and vision as a school. And of course, our…
  • Educators. The members of the RHS staff are beyond compare. Our school is a place for inspired teaching, with dedicated staff who exceed all expectations, inspiring every student to strive for success and high achievement.

There are many ways for each of you to partner with us. We always invite you to volunteer as a part of our community and are still looking for members to support our work on the Parent Advisory Council. Please contact Stacy Theien-Collins at or 612-798-6101 with questions or if you are interested. You can learn more about getting involved on our website.

In partnership, 

Stacy Theien-Collins, Principal

Has Your Family Completed the Application for Educational Benefits Yet?

Parents and guardians in primary households are expected to complete the Application for Educational Benefits Form. This form will assess family eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch, as well as bring additional academic and education funding to Richfield Public Schools. Even if you believe you won’t qualify, this is an important form for ALL families to complete each year. You can apply online at or download a paper application on the Nutrition Services web page. 

Every Wednesday

Meal bundle pick up for distance and non-RPS students 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. 

Reminder: Hybrid Learning Now Closed Until Spring Semester (February 2021)

With student and staff health and safety foremost in our minds, the hybrid model learning option will be closed to new enrollment until the spring semester (beginning February 1, 2021). As outlined in the District’s hybrid learning model plan, finalizing hybrid enrollment early allows students to continue in-person learning with the same group of people to minimize contact and exposure.

As we approach the next grading period this winter, please keep checking this newsletter for further updates on openings and availability in our hybrid learning program. You can also refer to the district’s Hybrid & Distance Learning page for more information on learning plans and options. That information can be found here: RPS Hybrid & Distance Learning.

NOTE: While in-person school options are now closed for fall 2020, families can choose at any time to move their students from hybrid to distance learning. Please contact your student’s AIR Pod advisor or school counselor for more information if you are interested in switching to distance-only learning. Here is our RHS school counselor contact information:

  • Morgan Kelley (Gr. 9)
  • Jessica Okey (Gr. 10)
  • Sara Linde (Gr. 11)
  • Danielle Jastrow (Gr. 12) 

From the Activities Office

2020 Tri-Metro Conference Champions! 

Our undefeated boys soccer team (8-0) took on Holy Angels in the conference championship game and won the contest 1-0.  Congratulations to our student athletes!

The boys soccer team in uniform posing as a group after the game.

Attendance at Games

Students are encouraged to attend all home games to support their peers and show their school pride. In order to follow the guidelines from the Tri-Metro Conference, all students must present last year’s Student ID or their current schedule with their photo on an electronic device at the gate. Fans from other schools are not allowed to attend per Tri-Metro Conference rules. 

Please follow social distancing guidelines by wearing a mask and staying 6-feet apart. 

Spring Training Session, October 5-24 

Softball will have a spring training season on October 5-24. Boys tennis will have an abbreviated training session on October 12-24. The other spring sports have decided to postpone their training until spring. All students interested in participating must be registered before practice through SchoolPay. You can access this platform through the ParentVUE app or For detailed instructions, check out these SchoolPay Instructions. Coaches will be sharing information through their team Schoology pages. 

Schoology for Athletic Teams

For information about the season, practices, and coach updates, please join the team’s Schoology group. When a student joins the group, the parent/guardian will also have access to that group’s information. These codes are for our fall sports and our spring sports participating in the training session.

  • Cheerleading: KV2M-KXH4-GB7JP 
  • Swimming and Diving-Girls: SWKX-DMNQ-CJC2V 
  • Cross Country: NZW4-SQMP-XNTS7 
  • Tennis-Girls: TMZZ-VZX2-K9R9M 
  • Football: 5W6X-K53C-8WD9H 
  • Volleyball: K9BQ-CNKS-R6F4T
  • Soccer-Boys: B8SX-NN6T-3ZGJ3
  • Softball: XQMZ-32NC-2XKRM
  • Soccer-Girls: NXV6-R6TG-VT5T9
  • Tennis-Boys: RZW4-HBB9-W9582

Upcoming Events

Please check these two websites for the most up to date schedules and for any changes: RHS Athletics and TriMetro 

Monday-Friday, October 5-9

  • It's a great time of year to try walking or biking to school. All week long we're celebrating strolling and rolling. Did you know it's only about a 15-minute bike ride to RHS from most of Richfield's neighborhoods? Check out this map to find a safe route from your home to school.

Tuesday, October 6

  • 5 p.m. - Girls JV Soccer vs. De La Salle @ RHS Stadium
  • 7 p.m. - Girls Varsity Soccer vs. De La Salle @ RHS Stadium

Thursday, October 8

  • 4-8 p.m. Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences: Sign-up here.
  • 4:30 p.m. - Girls JV Soccer vs. St. Anthony Village @ RHS Stadium
  • 6:30 p.m. - Girls Varsity vs. St. Anthony Village @ RHS Stadium

Saturday, October 10

  • 10 a.m.-4p.m. Clothing Drive:  Sponsored by the RHS Green Team to benefit Oasis for Youth (A program to empower youth at risk for homelessness).
  • Noon - Boys JV Soccer vs. De La Salle @ RHS Stadium
  • 2 p.m. - Boys Varsity Soccer vs. De La Salle @ RHS Stadium

Parent Resources

Technology Resources

  • Please visit our Technology web page to get connected! If you have technology-related questions or concerns, please call 612-798-6050 or email
  • If you need access to wifi, please contact your counselor or grade level administrator.
  • Starting September 21, we will host synchronous learning spaces for students who need access to wifi. 
    • To sign up, use the registration links below or call your counselor at 612-798-6000.
    • Space is limited to 50 students.
    • Breakfast and lunch are provided.
    • You are expected to check-in by 8:45 a.m. and remain through the day's synchronous instructional schedule (unless other arrangements have been made in advance): 
    • Our hybrid model provides transportation on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. We are unable to provide transportation on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. If your child is signed up, you are responsible for transportation. 

MDH COVID Resources for Families

Richfield Health Resource Center

The Richfield Health Resource Center (RHRC) clinic is open again for in-person visits! The RHRC clinic provides free basic medical care for ALL youth who live in or go to school in Richfield, from birth through high school graduation. Appointments are walk-in only and first come, first served. 

  • The clinic will be open on Wednesday afternoons from 1-5 p.m. Patients should arrive by 4:30 p.m. to register. 
  • Currently, immunization visits are being prioritized. The clinic is unable to offer sports physicals at this time. 
  • Patients are required to wear a mask.
  • The clinic is unable to see patients with any cold symptoms, cough, or fever. COVID-19 testing is not available at the clinic. 
  • Students are asked to visit the clinic alone (not with friends), but parents may accompany their children. 
  • Students who are under 18 need either in-person parent consent or a signed consent form on file for any services other than sexual health care. 

The RHRC is located in room 186 of the high school. Patients can park in the lot next to the athletic field and enter through door 9. In addition to the clinic, the RHRC also offers health insurance application assistance and dental care. 

  • Portico Healthnet offers free health insurance application assistance and insurance navigation in multiple languages. Appointments can be made by calling 651-489-2273. 
  • Children's Dental Services offers low-cost dental care on the third Thursday of every month at the RHRC. Anyone under age 26 and pregnant women of any age are eligible. Appointments can be made by calling 612-746-1530.

High School Happenings

Homecoming 2020 was a success!

Thank you to everyone who supported our students by attending games or the parade, and thank you to all the staff and students who worked hard to make this event possible. You can view photos on our events web page

Beacons Has Started!

Beacons hybrid (in-person) opportunities started on September 29! Here is a direct link to the registration form. Hybrid AIR Pod leaders have physical copies of the registration form as well. Beacons is also happy to offer space with wifi at the Southdale YMCA. Please take a moment to look at the flyer. If it is helpful, Beacons is able to support bus fare.

City of Richfield Youth Commission Opportunities 

  • Do you want to create positive change? 
  • Are you frustrated when people make decisions about issues that affect you without asking what you think? 
  • Do you want to influence policies, programs, and public decisions that impact youth?

Richfield youth can make a huge impact by getting involved in government as a city youth commissioner. The purpose of the city’s commissions is to plan for the future. Richfield’s youth are the future, so their opinions on what Richfield should look like in 10, 15, and even 20 years is important because that is the Richfield they are going to inherit.

The city is currently looking for students interested in joining one of these six commissions. Applicants must be at least 15 years of age and currently enrolled in a high school or equivalent (e.g. home-schooled) in Richfield. 

  • Advisory Board of Health 
  • Arts Commission
  • Community Service Commission
  • Friendship City Commission
  • Human Rights Commission 
  • Sustainability Commission 
  • Transportation Commission

Youth commissioners have the same rights and responsibilities as their adult counterparts and play an important role in shaping the future of our community. Participating in city commissions also helps students develop important skills for the future.

To learn more about the responsibilities of a youth commissioner or to apply, visit: City of Richfield

Youth interested in an appointment to a city commission should submit a completed application by October 30, 2020.

Counselor's Corner

Counselor Contact Info 

College & Career Readiness for All Students

College & Career Readiness (CCR) lessons will be incorporated into AIR Pods this year, both for in-person and distance learners. The purpose of CCR is to equip students with the knowledge, insight and skills for postsecondary success. Postsecondary success is defined as students being ready, upon graduation from high school, for more education and/or training that will lead to successful careers in adulthood. CCR recognizes that there are multiple pathways for post-secondary success, and will help guide students toward discovering their best fit. Many CCR lessons will be delivered through Naviance, which is an online platform that our District has invested in for grades 6-12, with the aim of guiding students through college and career exploration, as well as creating personal portfolios to assist in the college admission process. Other college and career resources and activities will also be incorporated into AIR Pod lessons throughout the year. 

CCR is directly tied to our District’s strategic plan, aligned with our commitment to provide multiple, supported college and career pathways for high school students. Many incoming freshmen are already familiar with CCR, as this year we are taking our first steps in aligning RMS CCR with RHS, ensuring our students will be well prepared for future success.  

If you would like a sneak peek at a CCR lesson, click here—and please feel free to reach out to CCR Coordinator Julie Magnuson at any time. Looking forward to a great launch together at RHS!

Information for Freshmen

Keep an eye out in your AIR Pods next week for information about me and my role, and you and yours. Also! We are organizing a fun virtual even to help you all get connected. Stay tuned for the Virtual Activity Fair coming straight to your AIR Pods on October 13. You will have the opportunity to meet with coaches, sponsors and members of all the teams and clubs you’ve been wanting to join!

Don’t forget, you can reach me at, (612) 798-6113, or

Let’s make the most of your first fall as a high school student!

Information for Sophomores

Qualifying sophomores should consider applying for Upward Bound. 

Who qualifies? Students who come from families that meet federal low-income guidelines and/or families in which neither parent has a 4-year degree and who are motivated to do well in high school and go on to college are eligible.

What services does Upward Bound provide?

  • ACT Preparation
  • Financial Aid Events
  • Career Visits
  • Homework Help/Tutoring
  • College Visits
  • Summer Programs
  • Saturday Academies

More information and application can be found at

Information for Juniors

Apply to College Possible

  • College Possible is currently recruiting juniors for their program, which provides personalized support and mentorship through every step of the college process and into college. College Possible is a national college access and success organization with over 20 years of experience supporting students as they earn their college degrees. If you would like to hear more about our program, please watch this video or contact Liz Weiers by email at or by calling 612-888-1641.

  • The program requirements are as follows:

    • Academics: Unweighted GPA of at least 2.0
    • Income: Free and reduced lunch (FRL)
    • Aspiration: Desire to attend a 4-year college or university
    • Commitment: Willing to attend virtual sessions and have consistent communication with the coach
    • There is NO citizenship requirement

Have your student apply today! Go to or click here.

 **Applications close October 30, 2020** 

Information for Juniors & Seniors

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC): Virtual College Fairs

Log in on any of these dates to meet with 600+ colleges and universities nationwide. Representatives will be available online to talk live with high school juniors and seniors. You can find out when they're having Zoom sessions and then drop in to attend!

  • Monday, October 12, noon-8 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 18, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 8, 1-9 p.m. 

Each virtual fair is free! Visit to register and attend as often as you like! On the event date, you may use your phone or computer to log in. Learn, connect and discover your best college fit!  

Information for Seniors

Financial Aid Information Night was held on Monday, September 28. If you missed it, you can find the recording, slides and other financial aid resources on our post-secondary web page.

College Representative Visits—The Time is NOW!

Every year, college representatives from institutions around the country make appointments to meet with students at RHS. This year, even more colleges from all over are visiting because all visits are virtual! Students should log into their Naviance accounts, click “Colleges” → “Colleges Home”→ scroll down, and visits are listed on the left. Click to register.
These visits are important for numerous reasons:

  • The rep you meet is usually the one who will read your application & advocate for you.
  • It’s cheaper & easier to meet with reps here than visiting each of the campuses in person.
  • Meeting with reps shows them that you’re interested. Some colleges track that—it’s called “demonstrated interest.”

A couple of important things about these visits that you should be aware of:

  • Due to the timeline of the college application process and the priorities of college admission offices, visits are targeted for juniors and seniors. 
  • Visits are not open to parents/guardians who wish to attend. Adult participation changes the dynamic of the visit. Instead, take advantage of the community meetings hosted by many colleges and plan to attend the National College Fair.

Tips for a good visit and for making a great impression!

  • Be ready to introduce yourself and answer questions about your intended area of study or what interests you about the institution.
  • Be a great audience, no phones or side chatting. Be aware of your surroundings; opt for a more formal space like a table rather than your bedroom.
  • Take notes—after a while, colleges begin to sound alike.
  • Be prepared with Tier 2 questions. These are questions to which answers go beyond just a simple fact and are framed to prompt more discussion from the rep.
    • Tier 1questions are those for which the answers can be easily found on the website. 
      • Examples: Where are you located? Do you have___major? How many students are enrolled? 
    • Tier 2 questions demonstrate actual interest and knowledge about the institution.
      • Examples: Please describe the internship or research possibilities available for freshmen. Where do students interested in advanced degrees typically enroll? Can you describe your career services and job placement services? Can you describe the ___ vibe on campus? (i.e., sports, fine arts, theater, intramurals, political activism, social justice, etc). 

Post-Secondary Planning

It is the expectation of the Richfield School Board that ALL seniors graduate with a plan for life after RHS. We are here to support you in making that happen, whether it’s military, 2-year college, 4-year college, trades, or full-time employment. Information will be shared through Schoology advisories and it’s important to stay on top of your school email! Information will be shared early next week about the college application process at Richfield. Things like “how do I get my transcript?” and “do I need a letter of recommendation?” will be addressed.

Scholarships: Tips & Suggestions

  • Your time and money are best spent doing research on colleges that are a great fit! It will be VERY DIFFICULT to make up thousands of dollars of financial aid “gap” through scholarships.
  • Some colleges will distribute more merit aid than others. 
  • Though more expensive, private colleges also have more money to give! AND, they aren’t restricted in distributing it to only students with social security numbers. 
  • Determine if your college/university has a scholarship application that is separate from the admission application.
  • Check out our online scholarship database. This database will replace the scholarship bulletins sent out and will be updated as scholarships come in. Be sure to bookmark the link!

What You Should be Doing Now

  • Now is the time for creating and refining the list of colleges you plan to apply to. You can use this application tracker to get organized.
  • Complete your community service hours for graduation. Each student is required to complete 15 service hours between the summer before their senior year and mid-May. 
    • Complete this form if you are interested in being a virtual Teacher Assistant. 
    • When you have finished hours, you may submit them via this link. Be sure to complete the form fully.

Social-Emotional Learning: At Home Connection

Greetings Richfield Families!

Many families wondered all summer what September would bring… and here we are! We made it through the month together and we are ready for October, as your students have been engaged, have been showing up online, in person, and are ready to learn! We are grateful for your support as we made this transition.

As we head into October, we are feeling more ready to get down to business. Students know their routine, understand their hybrid and distance learning schedules, and are figuring out ways that work best for them. This week, there will be a focus on goal-setting in AIR Pod classes. Teachers will be checking in with students about creating specific academic goals and helping students create a plan to achieve these goals.

As caregivers, many of us have our own goals right now. We want our students to do well, engage in classes and get passing grades. We also know 2020 has been a HARD year—and families are feeling like they are just getting through each week. This brings a variety of emotions and many are feeling anxious.

So in all this, with all the hats we wear, what are some family goals we can have right now? How can we feel some joy in the midst of our stress? Yes, talk to your child about their academic goals. But, it’s ok to have goals that include respite, breaks, and joy as a family unit. A few “goals” we recommend, that let you take a break from the school conversations…

  • Create a weekly goal. Try to get out of the house for a walk as a family once a week, if time allows. The trees are beautiful. It’s hard to remember the joys of fall when we are stressed, but the beauty is there. Have each family member pick one tree that is changing colors as a favorite.
  • Attend a Richfield sporting event with your student as a way to get outside. They are safe and socially distanced, a fun and easy family outing.
  • Create a “Joys of 2020 Jar.” Yes, this year has been full of stress. Make a jar and then anytime something good happens, even if it’s a fun family walk., write it down and put it in the jar. Later in the year, read through them as a reminder of the good that occurred in this hard year.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Now, more than ever, we need community. Whether it’s financial or emotional stress, remember at RHS you have a village!

And a quote that rings true for us, as social workers and as parents, even though we know the challenges:

“At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to be able to see that I contributed more than I criticized.”  -Brené Brown

Always reach out,

Your School Social Workers:

Marisa Zimmerman:

Jill Carlton:

Student Spotlight

Each week, our staff will nominate students who go above and beyond in our community through contributions to academics, supporting peers, community service, participation in school leadership, kindness, etc.

Photo of Kenbrick at night with city skyline in background

About Kenbrick (from his nominee):

Kenbrick has ALL of his assignments in and has As and Bs in all of his classes. When I asked what he would like to do as a "reward,”  he responded with wanting to be in my room, so he could get this week's work finished. Not only that but when he sees me doing something, he always asks how he can help. Today during study time, I watched him go and help his friends with their work when asked which shows that his friends look to him as a leader.

Spartan of the Week

Graphic with a photo of Annika and details about her

Staff Spotlight

Kayla Vo, English Teacher

Hi, I'm Kayla Vo! I teach English Language Arts and am the advisor of RHS's yearbook publication: Aurean. If you have a question about the yearbook or senior photos, I'm a great person to contact!
This will be my third year teaching, but education has been my passion since childhood. From teaching imaginary students in the first grade all the way to teaching real live students at Richfield, I've found so much truth in Mark Twain's words "find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life." 
My husband, Andy, and I share a home with our (very spoiled) dog, Daisy. When I'm not teaching, I can be found reading, crocheting, nurturing my numerous plants and spending weekends with my parents.
I chose to start my career in Richfield because of the vibrant and diverse community, but I stayed because of the strong leadership, supportive staff and incredible students that I have had the opportunity to work with. I am proud to be a part of the Richfield family because I get to brag to my friends and family about the wonderful community I have the privilege to be a part of.

Laurie Seibert, Math Teacher

Hi, everyone! My name is Laurie Seibert, and I am starting my 18th year as a math teacher at RHS! 

I grew up in Richfield and graduated from RHS. My husband did, too! We live here in the community, and our three children attend RPS. I am so invested in the Richfield community and appreciate and value my students so much. They inspire me every day. I am grateful to work and live in a community that I absolutely love. RHS is the only school I have ever worked at, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
I am also the Homecoming Coordinator, and I have had the best time making this year's Homecoming a memorable and happy event for students and for the community. 
I am a teacher representative on the Parent Advisory Council, and I look forward to the partnership that will develop with that team.
I absolutely adore our students and I am so excited to work with them each day. They make my heart happy.​​​​​​

Mike Harris, Social Studies Teacher

Greetings Spartans! My name is Mike Harris. I have been a proud teacher, coach and union leader at Richfield High School for 21 years. I have the wonderful opportunity to meet our seniors at the end of their journey through Richfield Public School.  

My primary job is to teach University of Minnesota College in the Schools Political Science and Macroeconomics. I am also the proud coach of the Tri-Metro Champion boys soccer program and have served as the president of Education Richfield for five years.

I met my wife Laura while teaching at RHS and we have two boys Will (10) and Lou (8). I am active in coaching their youth hockey and baseball in Rosemount. When we have spare time we are on the St Croix River or Mink Lake chasing fish.

Read More

Student Spotlight: Ribka

Each week, our staff will nominate students who go above and beyond in our community through contributions to academics, supporting peers, community service, participation in school leadership, kindness, etc.

A photo of a backdrop and lights for taking a portrait

Check out the schedule for school pictures for our students in distance learning and the hybrid program.