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Weekly Wednesday Update April 1

Hello SES Families,

Hopefully the first few days of distance learning have been going smoothly for your student (and for you). How is it going with EVERYONE home working and learning in the same space?! If you haven’t already, you will be receiving a phone call from an SES staff member this week just to make sure things are going smoothly, internet, and access are working, and everyone understands the key logistical components of the SES Distance Learning plan that was messaged in the Weekly Wednesday… on Friday! last week. 

Since then, we have also added a page to our school website called SES Distance Learning that summarizes this information and has a link to staff office hours. Reminder that these are typical hours and may change. If there is a change, this information will be communicated by individual teachers through Updates in Schoology. 

Additionally, here are a couple of items to know about moving forward:

  • To ensure things are indeed running smoothly, please ask your student to walk you through what each of their classes look like in this new way of learning. They should be able to show you the Schoology page for each class, what each teacher’s distance office hours are (so they can be contacted for support), and any other things teachers are offering for support (for example, some teachers have optional Zoom calls where students can get live help, etc...) 

  • If your student is bored or lonely, please encourage them to join the SES Social hour, via Zoom, from 1:00p - 2:00p, Monday through Friday. Our School Nurse and School Psychologist will be taking turns facilitating these gatherings and the links to join are available to students via the Schoology Group “SES Seniors 19-20” or “SES Juniors 19-20”

  • Friday 4/24 was and still is scheduled to be a non-school day for students and a data analysis day for all staff K-12. Thus, no new assignments will be posted for students that day.

  • The community and school district have all been banding together to insure all students and families are taken care of at this time. If you need resources for food or anything else, please reach out to Principal Trainer who will connect you with the appropriate resources.

Be well and stay tuned for more information as we learn it!

Lauren Trainer


A note on Tech Issues and Support:

As distance learning gets under way across Minnesota, we are relying on our digital systems like never before.

Our Schoology learning management system continues to experience outages and intermittent loading errors due to the significant increase in use of the platforms. The national Schoology support teams are monitoring the situation and working hard to minimize any disruptions to service to member districts.

 We will be flexible with students during this time regarding assignments or attendance.

We will inform you if we experience a significant disruption in service, and ask for your patience and understanding for any disruptions that may occur. We have the following support structures in place for distance learning:

Note that Schoology has been working on adjusting to the volume of users and access has been inconsistent. As Schoology continues to work through this hiccup, here is a little advice:

  1. Schoology has been working better in a browser {} than on the App.

  2. The major high-volume time has been 9:30-11:00 am. Please don’t give up, try another time.

  3. While working with the district tech people, we have found out that if you have Charter/ Spectrum internet there is an issue with the two programs working together. Please use the Home Internet Browsing Issue Workaround directions document to help alleviate this issue. 


Notes from Counselor Nelson

Between distance learning assignments seniors may want to spend some time applying for the SES Senior Scholarships.  There are eight scholarships available and the application deadline is Friday, May 1.

  • SES Foundation:  Five - $1000 scholarships for SES seniors.
  • Flint Hills Discovery: Two - $2500 scholarships for SES seniors.
  • Fairview Ridges:  One $1500 scholarship for a SES senior.


Each applicant will be evaluated on: academics, activities, community service, and leadership. To be eligible for the Flint Hills scholarship, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.6 and have plans to pursue a career in a math or science related field.  Applicants should also have experience in leadership and entrepreneurialism.

Steps to apply:

  1. One application may  be used for all scholarships.

  2. Clearly indicate your: name, address, phone number, e-mail, parent contact, and college you plan on attending in the fall of 2020.

  3. Please list your: school activities, non-school activities, work, and volunteer experiences during high school.

  4. Please write an essay of one to two pages in length about your future academic and career goals and how a scholarship will help you attain them.

  5. You will need to submit the names of two individuals who fill out a form to recommend you for the scholarship.  If your recommenders are SES or District 196 staff you do not need to give any contact information – just their names and position in the district .  If it is not a District 196 staff person, then you will need to provide a phone number and email.  Do not ask your recommenders to write a letter.  Mr. Nelson will contact them and they will fill out a standard form.

  6. To be eligible for the Flint Hills Discovery Scholarship financial need must be considered (the other scholarships don’t require this). You must provide the front page of your FAFSA/Student Aid Report which indicates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  A copy of an online estimate is also acceptable.

How to submit: 

Once you’ve completed the “steps to apply” please email (or mail) the completed documents to:

Nathan Nelson, SES Counselor 

School of Environmental Studies

12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Road

Apple Valley, MN 55124


Attention Senior Parents:

A few parents of SES seniors are coordinating an opportunity to jump on a national trend to celebrate our SES Senior Class of 2020.  Because of these unique and unprecedented times, if you are interested in showing your support to our seniors by simply recognizing them, check out the link below to order a yard sign.  They are $14.00 and ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY THIS FRIDAY (4/3) using the Let’s Honor Those Seniors Order Link.  Please reach out to Mr. Rylander at with any questions.  


SES Education Foundation 

The School of Environmental Studies Education Foundation (SESEF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) community foundation dedicated to supporting the excellent education of students at the School of Environmental Studies. The foundation, established in 1999, is composed of volunteer parents, faculty and citizens interested in the success of the School of Environmental Studies and its students.

Interested in becoming a SESEF Board member? Please attend our meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 6:00 - 7:00 in the SES Forum or email us at for more information.  Please note that the meeting on April 14th will be held virtually.  Please reach out directly to if you would like the link to attend.