To ECHO Charter School Parents and Guardians:

Impossible! The year has almost come to an end! Seniors will be making their way across the stage on May 24, juniors will be nervously looking at next year and planning for college, sixth graders will be wondering how junior high classes are to be...

To end the year on a high note, we've scheduled a few field trips so the kids can learn about Dakota history and culture. On Monday, may 13, grades 3-12 will travel to the Lower Sioux Interpretive Center. Buses will depart at 9:00 and return by 3:30 for end of day. They will tour the museum and grounds, and have a bag lunch inside the building (or outside, weather permitting). We will then trek to Birch Coulee, where the kids will learn about the events that unfolded with the Dakota War of 1862. We will make a stop or two after that before returning to school at the end of the day. Students will be expected to stay off their cell phones while they're in learning mode. They are also expected to be respectful, polite, and use appropriate language.

Then on Thursday, May 16, we will have another field trip to Pipestone National Monument. Buses will depart at 8:15 and return by 3:30 for the end of day. The students will meet artisans and take the trail tour. Pipestone National Monument is a sacred site for Indian people, so we expect students to be on their best behavior.

Note: These activities are funded in part with a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council made possible by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the state's general fund.

Friday, May 17, will be our annual Track and Field Day. The schedule will be forthcoming and we look forward to seeing students' families as they battle out yet another series of competitions! Stay tuned for more information!

Monday, May 20, will feature ECHO Charter's first every Dakota Day. This event is free and open to students, families, and community members.  Local artisans and historians will be stationed at locations around the school and students and families will learn about Dakota history, treaties, art philosophy, and lifeways.  Stay tuned and watch for Reminds and website updates for more information.  The students will be excited to make their own pipestone necklace on this day!

Important reminder: On field trips days, students should dress for the weather.  NO SANDALS OR FLIPFLOPS.  There will be a lot of walking, so kids should dress sensibly in layers.  One never knows when snow will maigically appear!

Helen Blue-Redner, Director