TLES Otter News

Welcome Back 2019/20

Message from the Principal


    Welcome Back Students, Families, and Staff!  

    We’ve had a fantastic start to the 2019-2020 school year!  A huge shout-out to the families that were able to attend our back to school Open House and help your student(s) become settled into their new classrooms.  Thank you to all parents/families who volunteered during the mornings, lunch/recess, and afternoons during our first week of school.  

    Just a reminder our PTO is looking for more members to join the Twin Lakes PTO. I encourage families to consider attending a meeting and getting involved.  It’s a great way to get to know your school, community and other families. PTO meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month in the Twin Lakes Media Center. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, October 8. Free Childcare will be provided.  

    For more information on events and happenings you can follow our Facebook Twin Lakes Elementary PTO page (click on link) TLES PTO Facebook Page and their website (click on link) TLES PTO Website.

    Please take the time to read this month’s newsletter thoroughly.  It contains many updates, reminders, and procedure information as we head into a very busy next few months. 

    Each year I ask families to practice patience regarding the parent drop-off/pick-up process during the first few weeks of school. There is often a lot of congestion and delays until people become better acquainted with the procedures. The safety and well-being of our students is always our highest priority. We will continue to work together to ensure the process is safe and successful for all of our students and families.

    Thank you for sharing your child(ren) with us and we look forward to partnering with you to continue on with another Safe, Fun and Successful Twin Lakes School year.

    It’s great to be an Otter!

    Dan Collins, Principal


  • School News & Events

    Picture Day  

    Picture Day is coming to TLES on Wednesday, October 2nd.  Lifetouch order forms have been sent home with your student.  To order your student(s) picture package go online to:

    Our school's picture day ID: EVTQPTMNF

    School Store 

    School Store will be open Tues, Oct 1-Fri, Oct 4 from 9-9:30am. The store will have items for school (pencils, folders, erasers, pencil sharpeners, mirrors, locker magnets, etc).  Prices ranges from .25 cents to $2.00. 

    Donations for Veterans 

    TLES will be collecting items for the Recreation Department at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis.  Please consider donating any of the items from this list.  Donation baskets will be placed in the Office and in Ms. Widman's Music room.  Donations will be accepted now until Friday, November 15th.

    Treats: Cookie/Cake mix * Puffcorn * 2 liters of Soda (Root Beer, Cream Soda, Orange, Coke, and/or Sprite) * Hershey Kisses 

    Games: Sorry * Uno * Match game * Yahtzee * Connect 4 * Farkle * Left Right Center (dice game)

    Supplies: Coloring Books * Crayons * Markers * Color pencils * Large picture books/coffee table books (landscapes, animals, cars, etc) * Radios/CD Player * Gently used Mini iPod/Shuffles/MP3 Players     fg

    October is Bully Prevention Month
    Students have been kicking off Start with Hello week this last week of September and will continue to focus on promoting connectedness with students the month of October to help prevent bullying.  Students will have lessons from the school social workers and school counselor to encourage making connections with others from greeting one another to having conversations with others.
    Start With Hello is a national program to help everyone in the school community feel connected and included.

    Cherrydale Fundraiser 

    Thank you Twin Lakes Families for supporting our annual Principal Fundraiser.  Each year our school relies upon the annual fundraiser to help pay for excellent educational opportunities for our students.    

    Pick up will be Wednesday, October 23rd, from 3-6 pm. Please pull up to the front of the school and we will deliver your items to you!

    Again, thank you for the tremendous support.

    Fall Festival 

    Thursday, October 31st

    Teachers will be sending home information regarding classroom activities and our school wide parade. Students are invited to wear a character themed costumes. Parents are invited to watch the parade in the cafeteria.

    Parade begins at 2:30pm.


    Save The Date!!! 

    us  Veterans Day Program:

    Monday, November 11


    2020-21 Kindergarten Information Night:

    Tuesday, November 19


    Fire Prevention and Safety Week 

    Fire Safety Week was September 16-20.  Elk River Fire Department was here at Twin Lakes discussing and educating our students on fire prevention and safety.  Students met with the ERFD and toured the Firehouse.

    Thank you ERFD for all you do for us, your courage, and service. 

    Updates from the Health Office +

    Illnesses are prevalent in our schools during this time of year.  Our Health Services are structured to keep students in school as much as possible so they can meet their educational goals.  However, there are times when students need to stay home to get well and prevent exposure and the spread of illness to others. 

    Please report all illnesses of health conditions (strep, pneumonia etc...) to Health Services.  When parents are called about a child who has become ill during the school day, it is the expectation that they will be picked up within one hour.

    Refer to the following information to guide decision making regarding exclusion of ill children.


    Temporary Medications

    If your child needs to have temporary medications (ibuprofen or cough drops) please provide a written/signed note with directions as to how you would like medicine administered.  Students should not keep any medication in their lockers or backpacks. We can keep these medicines on hand for 2 weeks. If you need longer, a doctor's note will be required. For students with a prescription (inhaler, Epi-pen, Adderall, etc.) please call the Heath Office 763-274-7242. 

    Borrowed Clothing

    Kids from all grade levels during the school year come to the Health Office for a change of clothing.  This is due to various reasons such as falling in mud, bathroom accidents, spilled milk or food in the cafeteria, & nosebleeds.  We know parents are sometimes tied up and can't make it so we loan out clothes when possible.  We ask that the borrowed clothes are washed and returned to the Health Office so we can continue to help your children throughout the school year.   
    In order for us to help other children, please return any borrowed clothing to the Health Office
    Health Office is in need of girls extra small and small girls pants and underwear  


    If your child will be absent, arrive late or leaving early, please call the school attendance line (763)241-3555 before 9 a.m.  You may call 24 hours a day and leave a message.  Attendance is taken each school day at 9:15 AM.  Students who are not present in the classroom at that time are marked absent. 

    Procedures for

    Early Pick Up & After School Pick Up

    Early Pick Up Procedures

    If you need to pick your student up early during the school day or at the end of the school day, you must send a note with your child in the morning. Early release notes must include student name, teacher, time of pickup and reason for the early release. 

    If you were unable to send a note to school with your student, please call the office.  As a courtesy, we ask for requests to be made earlier than 3:00pm unless an emergency.  

    After School Pick Up Procedures 

    Parents picking up their children at the end of the day are asked to arrive at school no earlier than 3:50pm and students should be picked up by 4:00pm.  Please park in the bus corral after the buses have left.  (If you arrive before the buses have left, we ask that you remain in your vehicle until buses leave.)  Enter through Door 2 and sign their student(s) out.  *Pick up process will not begin until buses have left the bus corral.  Process may change pending bus promptness. 
    News from our PARENT LIAISON  
    Hello Twin Lakes Families, my name is Jessie Keckeisen and I'm the TLES Parent Liaison. Welcome Back to all our returning families and hello to all the new families this year. I'm excited for another fabulous year here at TLES!
    There are many times we need volunteers to help out throughout the year! If you are interested in volunteering please use this form to sign up for my Volunteer Email List:
    All volunteers are required to have an approved background check with ISD 728
    It's online, free and very easy 
    If you need to get in contact with me anytime this year you can email me or leave me a voicemail 763-241-3400 x6090
    News from our Twin Lakes PTO 
    Please come and join us as we continue to support the students and staff of Twin Lakes Elementary
    Meetings will be held at Twin Lakes Elementary in the media center on the second Tuesday of each Month at 7 p.m.
    FREE childcare will be provided during the meeting
    Meeting Dates 
    Oct 8, 2019
    Nov 12, 2019
    Jan 14, 2020
    Feb 11, 2020
    Mar 10, 2020
    Apr 14, 2020
    May 12, 2020 
    Book Fair Dates: 
    Nov 25-26, 2019
    Mar 25-27 2020
    (*held during parent/teacher conferences) 
    School Carnival: OtterFest Fri Apr 3, 2020 

    Here are some ways to support our PTO and school (besides Otterfest)

    Twin Lakes Elementary collects:

    Box Tops For Education* *Box Tops has changed their program to an app where you scan your receipts to earn Box Tops! Please continue to clip Box Tops to send in until they have all been fazed out. There will be a classroom collection contest coming up in the middle of October.

    Shoparoo is another app where you can scan your receipts to earn points that turn into money for TLES.  

    Tyson Project A+ 

    Loaves for Learning (found on Country & Village Hearth Breads

    Coborn's has a program connected to your MORE rewards card.  You can go into your account, School Rewards and select Twin Lakes Elementary PTO so we can get the points. 

    We also earn money through Amazon Smiles. Here is our link: 

     "Like" our Twin Lakes Elementary PTO page on Facebook

    to keep up on all the latest happenings, news, and events going on here at TLES

    News from our District Equity Specialist


    I am Yuko Larson, the Equity Specialist in the Elk River School District at your child(ren)’s school.  I am looking for parents or relatives of students who have an international background. If you are from a different country, have a different culture, or had experience living in a different country, I would like you to come in and talk about your international background or experience to your child(ren)’s classroom. You can help us learn about you, a different culture, a different country, and our world!

    You can…

    -show pictures (I can help you make a slideshow)

    -bring and show things from your culture

    -read a short/easy book in the language

    -teach a traditional song, dance, or game/ activity

    -answer questions

    We can meet once before you come to school and talk about what we (the school) can do to help you feel comfortable and prepared for the classroom if you would like. The presentation will be about 30-40 minutes and I will be there to assist you. 

    I am looking forward to this opportunity and if you are willing to participate, please send the following information to my attention to your child(ren)’s school by: October 11th, (Friday). Your name, Your background/experience, Your child(ren)’s name/ school/ grade (Teacher’s name), Available Time and Day, Contact information, Telephone number, and email address. 


    日本クラブ (5th grade Japan Club)

    Japan Club will be meeting every Tuesday morning from October 1st through October 29th. We will learn
    Japanese alphabets, vocabulary, phrases, and do a variety of fun activities.

    Club Dates: October 1st, October 8th, October 15th, October 22nd, October 29th

    8:15-9:00 (Please drop your child off NO EARLIER than 8:00 am) Place: DAPE room

    News from our School Based Mental Health 

    Hello! My name is Sam and I am a counselor from Lutheran Social Services. I am excited to be back at Twin Lakes Elementary. My role is to provide both skills training and counseling in individual and group settings. Skills training focuses on teaching things like how to communicate appropriately, how to make and maintain relationships or how to handle emotions. Counseling is a healing practice and focuses on restructuring thought patterns, processing emotions or difficult life events and adjusting perspectives. I have previously worked at Brainerd High School where I provided group and individual skills training as well as co-facilitated group therapy. I had the opportunity to complete two internships during my time in graduate school. At Nystrom & Associates, I practiced in-home therapy with children and families while my time at CORE Professional Services was split between facilitating group therapy, individual sessions and psychological assessments with juveniles and adults. I enjoy using art and play therapy techniques with kids as well as incorporating cognitive and rational emotive behavior therapy. I will be in Twin Lakes on Thursdays and Fridays, so feel free to ask me any questions. You can reach me by email at, by phone at (218)330-3808 or in person in the PTO room in the library.

    If you have a student you think may benefit from services, please reach out to Ms. Dockendorf or Ms. Hudalla.


    Sam Nelson, M.S.


    News from Music 

    In Music class, we have been practicing our school song.  We are encouraging students to practice.  Have your child singing it for you!

    Twin Lakes Otter Anthem

    We are the Otters, we show Otter pride.

    We are so proud, we’ll shout far and wide.

    Our great school of excellence is full of creative learning and fun.

    We work together, we’re a great team.

    We can discover, and we can dream.

    We believe we can achieve, for Twin Lakes is number one! 

     Click here to listen to the Otter Anthem  

    First Day of School 2019/20

    Mr. Collins read Hooray For You! to the students during our Back-to-School kick-off.  Hooray For You!  Hooray For You! is our theme for the year.  Hooray For You! is a celebration of you-ness, the grand sum of body, mind and heart that makes every person truly unique!  

    A few favorite quotes: 

    "It's the GRAND SUM of you that sets you apart.  Your body and brains, plus your spirit and heart." 

    "You think big ideas and original schemes.  Your wide-eyed wishes are your dreamiest dreams." 

    "And the cool thing that's true is how you can grow where there's thinking to change or new stuff to know." 

    "You're perfect as you." 

    "Look in the mirror.  Love who you see.  Stand tall. Smile BIG." 

    d   dc 2   5


    Elk River Homecoming Parade 2019

    Thank you to Mr. Molstad, Dr. Maher and Mrs. Barnier for their Otterly Awesome assistance for making our float possible!  Thank you to the families and staff for joining Ollie and to the families in attendance of the Homecoming Parade.  Elks won 38-8 over Chisago Lakes! 

    h ho h5 hc  5g hcf

    Annual Homecoming Tradition at TLES is inviting the Elk River Football Team to come to TLES the day of the Homecoming Game and read to our students

    g gh htg fwse er ert erw ertwe erf ertt erq erh  tch fth

     Kindergarten Field Trip to the Apple Orchard aa

    ah ahh

  • Events Calendar 


    Mon Sept 30-Oct 4 Start with Hello Week 

    Tue Oct 1 Student Council Meeting

    Tue Oct 1 5th Grade Japan Club 

    Wed Oct 2 Picture Day  

    Tue Oct 8  5th Grade Japan Club

    Tue Oct 8 PTO Meeting, 7pm 

    Fri Oct 11 5th grade Kindness Retreat 

    Tue Oct 15  5th Grade Japan Club

    Thur Oct 17 No School (MEA)

    Fri Oct 18 No School (MEA)

    Tue Oct 22  5th Grade Japan Club

    Wed Oct 23 1st Grade Field Trip 

    Wed Oct 23  Fundraiser Pick Up 

    Tue Oct 29  5th Grade Japan Club

    Thur Oct 31 Halloween Parade 


    Fri Nov 1 No School

    Tue Nov 5 Student Council Meeting 

    Wed Nov 6 Picture Retakes 

    Mon Nov 11 Veterans Day Program 

    Tue Nov 12 PTO Meeting, 7pm

    Fri Nov 15 Last Day for Veteran Donations 

    Tue Nov 19 Kindergarten Information Night 

    Fri Nov 22 No School 

    Mon Nov 25 No School, Conferences 

    Tue Nov 26 No School, Conferences

    Wed Nov 27 No School

    Thur Nov 28 No School 

    Fri Nov 29 No School 



Contact Us!

  • TLES Office  763-274-7242

    24 hour Attendance Line  763-241-3555 


    Daniel Collins 

    Senior Secretary 

    Chris Marsh 

    Attendance Secretary

    Kelli Duerr 

    Health Services Secretary

    Nicole Remiger 

    Vision Transportation


Once an Otter, Always an Otter