Desktop Schools Popup

Select a School

Weekly Wednesday Update April 29

Hello SES families!

While Governor Walz’s announcement last week wasn’t a surprise, it certainly made things feel real when we learned we will not be together again this school year. We miss all the students, conversations, and experiences we value so much at SES. Yet, we also know there is much to be grateful for as we round out week five of Distance Learning. Last week we celebrated Earth week and the engagement of students and faculty reminded everyone what a special community we have. Below are some highlights from the SES School Spirit Challenge... Who are you hiking with Wednesday?!  Also, enjoy this short video that highlights the week’s events.



I am also heartened by the many examples of creative problem-solving among teachers, students, and parents to ensure academic success for all. Thank you to everyone (students and parents) who completed the survey distributed last week.  Your feedback helps to inform our understanding of what is helpful to families during this challenging time as we work to create meaningful instruction and effective student support during Distance Learning. 

Please continue to be safe and take care of one another. We are here if you need us.

Lauren Trainer


Student Support Options

As you are aware, from Superintendent Kreger’s message, the state is giving teachers Professional Development days this Friday (5/1) and next Monday (5/4).  Not only does this provide teachers with an opportunity to plan, it also provides a wonderful opportunity for students to catch up on missing work. Please reference any communications from your student’s teachers last week and check Schoology to support your student in using these two days to catch up in their classes… it is NEVER too late to re-engage and learn!

Each teacher at SES is working hard to be available for your student. In addition to having office hours where they can respond quickly to students’ questions, there are also numerous help sessions available each day in a variety of subjects.  If your student is struggling in a particular course, please reach out to see what is available. A few options your student may want to take advantage of:

  • All teachers are all offering support via Zoom in small groups and one-on-one, check Schoology for recurring times/links and/or reach out to set up individual meetings. 

  • Houses have weekly and or daily check-ins via Zoom (see Schoology for times/links)

  • All assigned novels for house are being paired with a daily group read aloud option.  Check Schoology for times/links.  (Seniors are currently reading Brave New World or Handmaid’s Tale)

  • The AVID tutors (Shazia and Charles) are available for 1:1 and small group tutoring and offer a drop-in help for chemistry and math on Mondays at 10:00. (Please contact for more information)

  • Physics help is being offered every Tuesday/Thursday at 2:30 via Zoom.  (Please contact for more information)

  • AP Teachers are offering small group sessions to prepare for the upcoming AP exams. (See Schoology for times/links)


A Note about Graduation

Though we do not yet know what the graduation ceremony will look like, we have started a conversation about options and are working together with all ISD 196 high schools to develop a plan.  To help inform our decisions we would like senior parents to give us some feedback about potential 2020 graduation options by responding to this survey

To prepare for the ceremony, we are also looking for student graduation speakers. Any SES Seniors interested in submitting a graduation speech to be considered as a speaker, should send a draft to Ms. Melton by Friday, May 8. Seniors can find more information by clicking here


SES School Spirit Days... Special Edition... Fancy Friday!

This week... in honor of SES Prom... students are being challenged to emerge out of their sweatpants and hoodies to metamorphosize into fancy, beautiful, handsome young adults. On Friday morning I will post a Flipgrid link on Schoology for them to create a short video all dressed up and fancy doing a little dance, or a twirl... maybe with some music in the background (school appropriate of course) and/or a pet or family member as a dancing partner. The challenge is to unite together, as a community, in celebrating what would have been SES Prom night! #SESCommunitySpirit


Notes on Tech Issues and Support:

iPad Tech Tips

  • Working in Notability more than ever? Need help organizing your files? Check this out.

  • Please make sure to complete the operating system update that was pushed out to all iPads last week.

Support structures in place for distance learning:

Items worth being repeated:

  • Three popular fixes for iPad issues:

    • Updating the iPad’s operating system in Settings

    • Updating the app that has been the issue by reinstalling it in Self Service (student App Store). The most common apps in need of an update are Schoology, Drive, Docs, and Notability.

    • Restarting the iPad by turning it off completely and then back on

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


Week 5 of Distance Learning: We may be driving each other crazy!

These times are challenging for everyone’s mental health -  parents, teachers and students alike! As a parent of teenagers, I know firsthand the challenges this time brings! When our teens (spouses, co-workers, parents) are acting in ways we would rather they didn’t, that unpleasant behavior stems from an emotion. Are you tired of nagging your teen to get up before noon? Are they constantly irritable and argumentative? Click HERE to learn how to address the emotion that is driving their rather unpleasant behavior. Feel like you need more help? Email me at

Still struggling to build a new routine? Homework just not getting done? You know you should exercise, but it’s just not happening? Check out these tips for building new habits!

Our district has also created a Virtual Calming Room to help with managing stress. There are meditations, soothing sounds, yoga, mindfulness exercises and more. Check it out!

Terri Cairns, SES School Psychologist 


Notes from Counselor Nelson

Final reminder… applications for the SES Senior Scholarships are due THIS FRIDAY, MAY 1st!  With no school on Friday, this could be a perfect opportunity for your senior students to complete the application. 

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

Criteria: 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 yourfuture 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 phone number and e-mail.  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 e-mail or mail the completed documents to:

Nathan Nelson/Counselor

School of Environmental Studies

12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Road

Apple Valley, MN 55124



Beyond the SES Senior Scholarships, there are a few others newly available.  Please contact Mr. Nelson if you would like more information on the following:

  • Cedar Park Elementary STEM School:  TWO - $750 scholarships for seniors who are alumni.  Due May 9.

  • Westview PTO Alumni Scholarship: $1000 scholarship for seniors who are alumni.  Due May 22.

  • Echo Park Elementary Scholarship: $1000 scholarship for seniors who are alumni. Due May 22. 


Advanced Placement Exams Update:

  • Advanced Placement exams will be given from May 11 to May 22.   

  • To take the exams SES students should complete the following steps:

    • Know what day and time your exams are. View the full exam schedule.  For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long and include an additional 5 minutes for uploading. Students will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes prior to the start of the exam.

    • Confirm that you have a working computer, tablet, or phone with internet access.

    • Confirm that you are receiving communication from AP by having a valid e-mail address.  To do that verify your account go to 

    • Students will receive their test tickets two days before they take their exam.

    • Students will receive access to an "AP Practice Demo"  on May 4. This will give students an opportunity to learn what the exam day experience will be like.

  • Please review the 2020 AP Exam Day Checklist 

  • Please contact AP directly, your AP teacher, or Mr. Nelson if you have questions.


SES Yearbook Orders

Yes!  You can still get a 2019-20 SES yearbook!  The yearbook is complete and there are a limited number of copies still available to order online through the Jostens site. Having a yearbook is a great way to make you smile,  remembering all the fun events and friendly faces from our SES community that we are missing so much this spring!  


SES Enrollment for the 2020-21 School Year

More, now than ever, we are understanding the value of a supportive community.  SES strives to offer this support to our students as they learn, grow and become the leaders of tomorrow. We have resumed taking applications for our upcoming school year.  Please pass this on to any friends and neighbors that might find SES to be the educational opportunity they are looking for!  Visit to apply.