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Weekly Wednesday Update Mar. 11

Hello SES Families,

As promised the staff at SES has put together a summary of all the amazing experiences that happened during winter intensive theme. Please take a few moments to look through the 2020 Winter Intensive Theme: Amazing Experiences for Everyone! slides to see all the things that were happening on-site and off-site involving our SES community of students and staff. 

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Friday, March 13th - SES Recycled Formal Dance (8:00pm - 11:00pm @ SES, Cost $5)
  • Saturday, March 14th - FREE ACT Reading and English Practice (10:00am - 1:00pm* @ SES)
    • (* Note this is a time change based on Student Feedback for a preferred time window)
  • Tuesday, March 17th - Multilingual Seal Test
  • Tuesday, March 17th - SES Prospective Student Information Meeting (3:15pm - 4:30pm @ SES)
  • Monday, March 23rd - Friday, March 27th - NO SCHOOL/ Spring Break
  • Tuesday, April 7th - ACT Test for all Juniors in District 196 

ACT is quickly approaching

All juniors in ISD 196 will be taking the ACT (WITHOUT the writing portion) on April 7th. There will be regular transportation to and from SES on this day. Breakfast and lunch will also be available. However, all district juniors have the option to leave after the ACT is completed, if they choose. Please talk to your junior about their plans.

In regards to preparing the students, many activities have been happening across the building during the school day. House teachers are giving students test-taking tips and exposing them to sample test sections. Math teachers are doing the same and students who are in AVID have been digging into even deeper practice. Beyond the practice that is integrated into these courses, there have been some additional FREE practice opportunities available in the month of March, with one remaining this Saturday to focus on the Reading and English Sections of the test.  Note: The time has been moved back slightly in response to feedback from students that are planning to attend.



3/16, 3/31, 4/6

2:05 - 3:00

Green Classroom

Ms. Pederson & Ms. Clements

ACT Math



10:00 - 1:00


Ms. Melton & Ms. Wackman

ACT Reading and English


ACT Day for SES Seniors

Just for clarification, SES seniors will not be having a “distance learning day” when the juniors take the ACT.  Instead, Senior House teachers have an activity regarding sustainability that students will do. There will be more information coming regarding the work in the field they will be doing- look for it from your senior’s House teacher. 


Dakota County Waste Reduction Grant

SES has been awarded a grant from Dakota County to continue to evolve our waste-reduction practices. We are grateful for the funds and the support of the team. On Monday, 3/30, students will start their day with a short all-school assembly to discuss the additional recycling containers we will have delivered over spring break. We are excited to ramp up our effort to produce less waste as a community. Ask your student for ideas you could use at home to do the same!


SES Recycled Formal Dance (Hosted by Student Council)

The SES winter formal with a twist… don’t spend money (or spend VERY little) wear apparel that is reused, recycled or upcycled… raid the closet of your friends/family, or visit a thrift store to find the perfect outfit to wear for this annual event! 

Recycled Formal Spirit Week

Students can show their SES school spirit by participating in themed dress-up days leading up the Recycled Formal next week. 

  • 3/9: Monochrome Monday
  • 3/10: Tired Tuesday
  • 3/11: Wacky Wednesday
  • 3/12: Throwback Thursday
  • 3/13: Favorite Teacher Friday


Notes from Counselor Nelson

AP Ordering Deadline

March 13 is the final AP exam ordering deadline for high schools in the US.  SES students registered and paid for their AP exams in November. There could be a few students who have not ordered an exam but now want to take an AP exam.  They should see Mr. Nelson in the Counseling Office to place their order by Friday, March 13. They will have to pay a $40 late fee in addition to the original $80 exam fee.    There are also students who, in the next few months, will be deciding that they no longer want to take an AP exam. The will be reimbursed $40 of the original $80 dollar fee. We will communicate to SES families the process for the partial reimbursement after Spring break.

Scholarship opportunities for SES seniors.   See Mr. Nelson for more information.

  • Announcing New Scholarship for SES seniors!! Friends of the Farm Scholarship: two $1,000 scholarships (note there was a mis-type last week the scholarships are NOT $2000 each) for SES seniors, preference to a career interest in agriculture, agri business, agronomy, or animal/environmental science.   Priority to FFA members. Please print and complete the FOF Scholarship Application and return to Mr. Nord by April 1.

  • Scott Highlands Alumni Scholarship due March 20.

  • Woodland Elementary Alumni Scholarship due March 31.

  • Red Pine Elementary Alumni Scholarship. Due April 13.

  • The TEAM Kaleigh Foundation is proud to honor Kaleigh’s memory by awarding six $1,000 scholarships to ISD 196 students who share Kaleigh’s drive for: academic excellence, strong citizenship and character, desire to make a meaningful contribution to society.   Apply at   

College Visits in the SES Library:

  • University of Wyoming:  March 13 at 11:30 AM.

  • Army National Guard:  March 17 at 12:00 PM.

  • Winona State: April 20 at 10 AM.

In the next week, through rose and blue house, SES juniors will be participating in the first of two college/career planning sessions led by the Counseling Office. Among the topics covered are:

  • Review of the general timeline related to the college admission process.  Juniors will learn when they will typically apply to college and what steps are part of the process.
  • Explanation of the primary and secondary admissions factors: GPA, ACT scores, strength of schedule, activities, recommendations, essay, interview.
  • Go over the types of colleges there are: technical,  2 year community, state universities, private, urban or rural, etc.
  • How to set up a college visit.
  • How to login and use Naviance which is a popular career/college exploration program.
  • Through the Naviance questionnaires, students will understand a sense of their own individual “work and student personality” and how that might related to a potential college major.


Upcoming Community Event 

Next month on April 18th,  Carpenter Nature Center will be hosting the Hastings Area Birding Festival, and with a Youth Birding Competition for those ages 18 and under. As a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we are attempting to recruit 50 youth teams to participate in the birding competition. Many local organizations and businesses are sponsoring the competition so that those participating in the competition can get in for free, and there are many great learning opportunities throughout the rest of the festival.

Seniors… were you in the Field Ornithology Intensive Theme with Mr. Everhart last spring? Did you love Birding?  You should DEFINITELY create a team!!! Open the flyer above for more information.  


Senior All-Night Party Fundraiser 

The Senior Party parent committee is kicking off a few fundraisers to help support the Senior All-Night party in June.  Please participate and help raise funds to support a fun end of the year event for SES Seniors. 

  • Bring your family and friends to eat at Cafe Zupas in Eagan on March 17th from 5-9pm. The Senior Party Blast will earn 25% of the proceeds earned that night.

  • The annual Butterbraid Fundraiser is well underway and we would love your help in making this fundraiser a success!  For every Butterbraid a student sells, their name will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card, $25 Target gift card or $20 Holiday Gas card!  Juniors are welcome to participate in this fundraising event as well, and will be included in the drawings for gift cards. Look for order forms in each of the four houses and in the main office.  Order forms are due in the main office by March 17th. 


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. 


Could you use some extra food over the weekend? SES participates in the Sheridan Story Weekend Food Program. Your family can receive a free 4 to 5-pound bag of food discretely left with your student on Friday mornings. Families can choose between traditional, East African, Latino, Southeast Asian, and ready-to-eat foods. There are no requirements to sign up. Just let us know! This can also be for one week, one month, or the whole year, whenever you need a little extra help. To sign up or for questions please contact