district 191 community newsletter - aug. 2011
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DESCRIPTIONThe community newsletter of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 for August 2011. This newsletter is mailed to all residents and focuses on student learning, staff achievements, community collaboration, District 191 fiscal activity, and more news and events.
Your Schools Your Community
FAll 2011Volume 4, number 1
INSIDE . . .Student and staff achievements – page 2Local businesses contribute to schools – page 3Extraordinary volunteers are awarded – page 3Insurance changes save money – page 4
NON-PROFIT ORGU.S. POSTAGE PAID
TWIN CITIES MNPERMIT NO 32254
100 river ridge Ct. burnsville, mn 55337
Calling the Class of 2024!Children who will be at least five years old by Sept. 1 are invited to start kindergarten this fall in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. For more information, call the district’s Welcome Center at 952-707-4180 or go to the “Enroll” section of the district’s website at www.isd191.org. Kindergarten starts on Thursday, Sept. 8 — two days after other students start school.
continued on page 3
Vista View staff help refugee family lay down roots Staff members at Vista View Elementary School in Burnsville are co-sponsoring a refugee family that recently moved to the area. The group collected donations to furnish an apartment for the family. On their own time, they cleaned the place, moved in furniture,
stocked the kitchen cupboards, started a book collection for the preschooler, made the beds and filled in every single detail of the apartment.
“It was so amazing to see it all come together,” said teacher Jennifer Bordonaro, who spearheaded the effort. “To think, everyone’s ‘left over stuff’ provided the first home for a family.”
The family they are sponsoring includes a couple, their preschool child and the wife’s father. They are Karen, which is the largest ethnic minority group in Burma, and have spent the past 16 years in a refugee camp in Thailand as the Burmese government has driven the Karen out of the country, said Bordonaro.
rahn elementary launches as Arts and technology magnetRahn Elementary School in Eagan will open its
doors as a new arts and technology magnet school at the start of the 2011-12 school year.
“We know from our existing magnet schools that parents want school choice,” said Superintendent Randy Clegg. “We are pleased to offer yet another option for families.”
After surveying parents and staff members, a 16-member design team led by Principal Elaine Mehdizadeh developed the unique concept of uniting arts and technology into a magnet theme. “It builds on the foundation that we have here with strong arts programs and use of technology,” she said. “It’s a great fit for us and it will be attractive to families.”
“Our teachers will continue to provide a rich learning experience for our students in meeting the Minnesota State Standards in language arts, reading, mathematics and science,” said Mehdizadeh. “The arts and technology theme will provide additional learning opportunities for our students that spark curiosity and imagination, engage them in critical thinking and introduce them to new experiences with technology.”
Magnets offer enhanced learning themes in addition to the district’s core curriculum. Other magnets in the district include: • STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at William Byrne Elementary and Metcalf Junior High in Burnsville. • Gifted and Talented at Harriet Bishop Elementary and Eagle Ridge Junior High in Savage.• AVID, a schoolwide college readiness program, at Nicollet Junior High in Burnsville.
Rahn is located at 4424 Sandstone Drive in Eagan. For more information, contact the school at 952/707-3600 or go to www.isd191.org.
A rahn student explains his science project to judges last spring.
new school year begins sept. 6
The new school year begins on Tuesday, Sept. 6, for most students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.
There are a few exceptions. At Nicollet Junior High School, only 7th grade students will attend school on Sept. 6 so they have a day by themselves to adjust to their new school. All students at Nicollet will attend beginning on Sept. 7.
It’s a similar story at Burnsville High School where only 10th grade students will attend on Sept. 6 and be involved in orientation activities all day. Then on Sept. 7, all high school students will attend.
All kindergarten students start school on Thursday, Sept. 8. They will be meeting their teachers individually for a half-hour on Sept. 6 or 7. Appointments are being set up at each school.
Students who are new to the district can register for school at the district’s Welcome Center, lower level, Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway. Contact by phone at 952-707-4180 or by e-mail at [email protected].
STUDENTS SUCCEEDA team of Metcalf Junior High ninth-grade engineering students took top honors in Minnesota in the e-Cybermission competition that
focused on alternative energy. Team members include Katherine Carman, Bram Carr, Matthew Klein and Meghan Perron with advisor Sue Borne.
Fifth grader Luke Haddorff of Sioux Trail Elementary tied with two other students for first place in the fifth-grade Fact Drill portion of the
state Math Masters competition.
Also in Math Masters, the Harriet Bishop sixth-grade team of Sam Carman, Sam Carlson, Abby Herzog, Maddie Strey and Blake Andert
took first place in the entire state. Andert also tied for second in the sixth-grade Fact Drill portion of the competition.
Burnsville High School students Amber Funkhouser and Dylan Stoos were among the fewer than one percent of students nationally who
TEACHERS ACHIEVE Burnsville Alternative High School Associate Principal Chris Bellmont was selected by the Minnesota Department of Education to serve on
the state’s Social Studies Standards Review Committee.
Jennifer Bordonaro and Mindi Limberg, teachers from Vista View Elementary, were selected to present presentation at the Minnesota
English as a Second Language (ESL), Bilingual, and Migrant Education Conference.
Burnsville High School teacher Marie Hansen was given the Develop-ing Leadership Award by the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English (MCTE). The award is presented each year to a new teacher (1-5 years
of teaching) who shows enthusiasm and passion for the field of English language arts education.
Burnsville High School head baseball coach Mick Scholl was selected as the 2010 Class AAA State Baseball Coach of the Year by
the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association.
To see many, many more, go to bit.ly/kc7ZMD or scan the code.
Achievement: We are focused on learning and we get results
Congratulations to the class of 2011!The 2011 Burnsville High School graduation ceremony was held June 10 at Pates Stadium at Burnsville High School. Including ceremonies for the BEST Transition program, VALE Education Center, and the Burnsville Alternative High School, more than 750 students earned their diplomas this year. To see more photos of the 2011 Commencement Ceremony, scan this QR code or go to bit.ly/inXGNT.
Employees of the yearThe 2011 District 191 Employees of the Year are: Wubet Abraha, Community
Education, Pre-School Project Kids; Vi Knoblach, Educational Assistant, Burnsville High School; Renee Kegley, Educational Assistant, Hidden Valley Elementary in Savage; Stacy Harrison, Food Service, Eagle Ridge Junior High in Savage; Howard Bennett, Custodial, Edward Neill Elementary in Burnsville; and Brigid McCarthy, Clerical, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Area Learning Center.
Baseball wins state Congratulations the 2011 State Baseball Champion Burnsville Blaze! The BHS
baseball team defeated Maple Grove in dramatic fashion in the June 22 title game, scoring six runs in the final inning to win 6-5. Bo Hellquist drove in the winning runs with a single down the first base line.
Four team members were named to the all-tournament team: pitcher Bo Hellquist; outfielder Tyler Hill, Jr.; pitcher Quinn Johnson; and outfielder Andy Lieser. Scan the QR Code for more details, or go to bit.ly/labp3g.
Student-Athlete Success StoriesThe following students and teams qualified for their sports’ state tournament
or meet during the 2010-11 season. Congratulations to them for representing the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage community with pride.
Students are ‘regulars’ at International Science and Engineering Fair
For the 17th time since 1992, students from Burnsville High School were selected to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) — the premiere science competition in the world for students in grades 9-12.
Presenters were Martin Anderson with his research entitled, “Specific Impulse of Traditional Black Powder Rocket Engines in the Pyrotechnics Industry,” and Redeat Abegaz with “Effects of Benzoyl and Salicylic Acid on Escherichia coli.” Alternates to the ISEF were Thatcher Banh and Sierra Adrian with “Modulation of Phagocytosis by Morphine and Hypoxia” and Christina Sahli with “The Effect of Gender and Senescence on Preference Toward Models that Insinuate Benevolence or Abhorrence.”
At the ISEF, top young scientific minds from 60 countries showcase their talent on an international stage, enabling them to submit their work to judging by doctoral level scientists and providing the opportunity to compete for nearly $4 million in prizes and scholarships.
From left, Martin Anderson, Redeat Abegaz, Sierra Adrian, Christina Sahli and Thatcher Banh
Prestigious colleges honor juniors Representatives of Harvard, Yale and other prestigious colleges honored six high-
achieving juniors during the annual Junior Book Awards ceremony at Burnsville High School (BHS) in May.
During the ceremony, alumni from the colleges recognized the 11th grade students for their outstanding academic accomplishments and school involvement. Each student was presented with a book that is connected to the college in some way, often written by a professor or alumnus.
Burnsville High School students who received Junior Book Awards are: • Alec Bunnell from Harvard University;• Nathan Knoblauch from Yale University; • Laura Landgraf from Wellesley College;• Alexander Odom, a Science Achievement and Exploration Award from the
University of Minnesota;• Christopher Phenicie from Dartmouth College, and• Brian Zetah from Columbia University.“This is definitely something to add to your resume,” said BHS counselor Erin
Broviak. “This is a nationally recognized distinction.”
are named National Merit Finalists.
Goodrich executive supports science at BHS Steve Lenertz, a Burnsville High School graduate who now heads the Integrated
Sensors Department at Goodrich Corporation, is supportive of science students at his alma mater. He has spoken to classes about the connection between research and aerospace engineering.
He’s also presented a $4,500 donation from Goodrich, located in Burnsville, to pay for research supplies and travel to international competitions, and he’s pledged additional support for three years.
“This monetary award from Goodrich ensures that we will be able to continue our research,” said Jenny Hugstad-Vaa, a science teacher at Burnsville High School. “We are extremely grateful for their support.”
Community Connections: Together everyone achieves more
Six to be inducted into BHS Hall of FameMary Ajax, Adam Bailey, John Bergman, Tom Osiecki, Amy Stromwall and John
Sullivan will join 42 honorees previously inducted into the Burnsville High School (BHS) Hall of Fame at a dinner Saturday, Aug. 27, at Neisen’s Event Center, 4851 West 123rd Street, Savage.
The BHS Hall of Fame, established in 2006, recognizes those who have made exceptional achievements in their field, significant contributions to Burnsville High School and/or unique contributions to their community on a local, state, national or international level.
“The Hall of Fame honorees serve as examples of the quality education that BHS provides and has fostered over the years and as role models for current students and staff to achieve their own success,” according to Principal Dave Helke.
For more information about each of the inductees, go to bit.ly/mQ4lPe or scan the QR code.
Students are winners in city essay contestThree third-grade students from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191
were winners in the “I Love Burnsville” essay contest. They had the honor of reading their winning essays out loud at the Burnsville City Council meeting on June 7.
“We received 272 entries and they were great,” said Tom Hansen, deputy city manager.
Top essay writers were: • 1st place - Joey Anderson, Vista View Elementary (Teacher - Traci Dennis) • 2nd place - Konnor Kirchoffner, Sioux Trail Elementary (Teacher - Ann Engdahl) • 3rd place - Delani Davidson, Edward Neill Elementary (Teacher - Lynda
Zachariasen) The students received $50 savings bonds and their schools received $50 thanks
to US Federal Credit Union, which sponsored the event this year. Judges were Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and Marty Kelly, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development for US Federal Credit Union.
Extraordinary VolunteersRecipients of the 2011 John Coskran Volunteer Award were, from left, students Trae Boldthen and Elizabeth Stradtherr, parents Christine Zrust and Katie Iomazzo, teacher Kathy Silvers, and alumnus John Yeboah. Not pictured: Muriel Anderson, community resident.
Every year, hundreds of volunteers donate their time and talents to the schools. Their contributions are much appreciated.
If you are interested in volunteering in the schools, please contact Ruth Dunn, communications director, at 952-707-2020 or [email protected].
Steve Lenertz, third from left, recently presented a donation to Burnsville High School, represented by, from left, student Carissa Kloncz, Principal Dave Helke, student Heather Milne and teacher Jenny Hugstad-Vaa.
Vista View staffers are taking turns visiting the family and providing transportation to appointments. They are teaching the family how to use the bus, go grocery shopping, fill out job applications, and enroll in adult English classes. “We are spending a lot of time with them during the first weeks but will see less of them as their independence is built,” said Bordonaro.
She continued: “Several of us have talked together since the family arrived and each person has shared with me how powerful it is to spend time with the family even if little to no English words are spoken. It completely changes the way you think about your own life, your students’ lives, and life as an American in general.”
Vista View, continued from page 1
Vista View staff members, including teacher Erin Presse, right, installed a shower curtain as they prepared an apart-ment for a refugee family.
‘Thank You’ to our community partners! District 191 is fortunate to have many wonderful partners in the Burnsville-
Eagan-Savage community, and beyond. Thank you to the following organizations for supporting students and schools. Three recent gifts include:• The Kohl’s store in Burnsville recently selected the Gideon Pond Elementary PTO
as the recipient of its second annual Associates in Action National Go Green event. About 20 Kohl’s volunteers cleaned-up and planted trees and shrubs in front of Gideon Pond on April 29. In addition, the PTO was awarded a grant of $1,500 to purchase plants, potting soil and planters that will be placed in front of the school.
• Gordman’s — $2,500 donation and volunteer partnership with Sky Oaks Elementary • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — $5,000 grant to support
the Burnsville High School robotics team
New dual-language preschool class offeredA new preschool option offered by District 191 this fall is aimed at addressing the
needs of two groups of students and their families - those hoping to learn English and those looking to learn Spanish.
The dual-language preschool class will be like nearly any other preschool offered by the District – kindergarten readiness, social-emotional development activities, and more – except that instruction, labels throughout the room, and everything else will be presented in both English and Spanish.
According to Rebecca Richardson, who will be the lead teacher in the class this fall, the initial plan involved Spanish immersion, meaning a Spanish-only classroom designed just for teaching English-speaking children. However, the need to connect more with Spanish-speaking families and the opportunity to provide a learning experience that benefitted more than one group provided the impetus for changing to dual-language.
The class will be a full-day program, meeting from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Diamondhead Education Center, located 200 W. Burnsville Parkway in Burnsville. Before and after class care options will be provided at no extra costs to participating families. For more information, call 952-707-4150.
About this newsletterThis newsletter is sent periodically to all residents in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 as a way to keep residents informed about the schools, which are a cornerstone of the community. The newsletter is being published at the lowest possible cost with stories being intentionally brief. Longer versions of the stories and additional information are available on the district’s web site at www.isd191.org. If you have comments, please send them to Ruth Dunn, district communications direc-tor, at [email protected] or call 952-707-2020.
boArD oF eDuCAtionRON HILL, Chair ................................. (952) 440-1016 [email protected]
SANDY SWEEP, Vice Chair ................. (952) 250-7097 [email protected]
PAULA TEIKEN, Treasurer .................. (952) 846-4106 [email protected]
DAN LUTH, Clerk ............................... (952) 440-1290 [email protected]
DEEDEE CURRIER, Director ............... (952) 882-7746 [email protected]
JIM SCHMID, Director ....................... (952) 882-1651 [email protected]
SAM WEHLING, Student Advisor
Randall Clegg, Superintendent .......... (952) 707-2001 [email protected]
School District 191 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orienta-tion, age, family care leave status or veteran status.
Phone: 952-707-2000 web: www.isd191.org e-mail: [email protected] Center: 952-707-4180
s u P e r i n t e n D e n t ’ s C o l u m n
looking forward to a new school year full of possibilities
Soon we will welcome 9,800 students back to our schools. They will find classrooms cleaned with care by our custodial staff. They will be greeted with smiles from school secretaries, educational assistants and principals. They’ll be served healthy meals by food service staff. They will be taught by teachers who are focused on student achievement and committed to each child’s success.
The first day of school is the highlight of the year for those of us in education. Every new school year is full of possibilities, hopes and dreams. During the next nine months, there will be students who learn to read, do complex mathematical equations, ask probing questions, deliver presentations, analyze laboratory experiments, begin to play a musical instrument, create amazing artwork, become leaders of their peers, volunteer to help others, and so much more.
Every new learning experience takes students closer to the adults they will become. This is a responsibility that we take seriously. While we are focused on their achievement now as students, we’re also looking ahead to their future success after graduation. It’s more important than ever that we provide a world-class education for our students so they can be competitive and successful in an increasingly complex and technical global workplace.
Learning has never been one size fits all, and even less so today. Education has also become more individualized. Educators are now using many types of assessments, including standardized tests, to customize instruction to each unique student. This will continue to be a major focus for the upcoming school year.
As superintendent, I’ve been fortunate to visit many classrooms throughout the district over the past three years. I’ve seen dedicated teachers working hard to provide the best possible education to their students. I’ve seen students engaged in learning and, as a result, changing and growing. I’m very proud of what is accomplished every year in our schools. For ongoing news and updates, I invite you to view our district website at www.isd191.org. Here’s to a great 2011-12 school year!
Dr. randall Clegg
no. 1 in minnesotaBurnsville High School is No. 1 in the state for participa-tion in the College in the Schools program of the Uni-versity of Minnesota whereby students can earn college credits right at their high school. BHS tops the other 108 schools that participate including Hopkins, White Bear Lake and Eden Prairie. During the last school year, BHS students earned 2,499 college credits and saved $876,549 in college tuition — enough to put smiles on the faces of many parents.
school calendars approvedCalendars for the next two school years have been approved by the Board of Education. Go to the district’s website at www.isd191.org and look under “Academic Calendars” on the homepage to see calendars for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.
About our school districtThe award-winning Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 (ISD 191) educates 9,800 students in kindergarten through grade 12 and is the 14th largest school district in the state of Minnesota. The district also offers a compre-hensive community education program for learners from birth to senior citizens.
ISD 191 includes 10 elementary schools (grades K-6), three junior highs (grades 7-9), one high school (Burnsville High School) with grades 10-12, and one alternative high school (Burnsville Alternative High School).
For more information, call 952-707-2000 or go to www.isd191.org.
Follow us on Facebook and twitterTo get news, pictures, events and more delivered to you where you want them, “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. It’s also a great way to give the District feedback and share these updates with your friends.
Did you know? You can now watch meetings of the board of education on the district’s website at www.isd191.org. Go to Board of Education under the “About 191” pulldown and you will find links to videos of board meetings.
District 191 receives financial reporting awardFor the 22nd consecutive year, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 has received an award for
financial reporting from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) award is the highest recognition for school district
financial operations and is only conferred to school districts that have met or exceeded the standards of the program. This award was received for the 2009-10 CAFR.
“This award recognizes our continuing effort to meet the highest standards of financial integrity,” said Superintendent Randy Clegg. “It is a prestigious accomplishment that demonstrates that we are using tax dollars wisely.” About 20 school districts in Minnesota receive the award each year and District 191 is one of the very few to have received it for so many consecutive years. For more details, visit www.asbointl.org.
science and math classrooms are focus of bhs updatesWhen students return to Burnsville High School in
September, they’ll notice some changes as the 56-year-old building gets some much-needed updates.
Most of the district’s other schools have already been updated. Now it’s time for the flagship, Burnsville High School, to get a facelift over the next three years.
“The public has made an investment in these school buildings so it’s important that we keep them up-to-date so they continue to provide high-quality learning environments for our students,” said Superintendent Randy Clegg.
Phase 1 of the project is taking place this summer with updating to the HVAC system to improve air quality. Also the science and math classrooms are getting new flooring, paint, cabinets and lighting.
The front entrance is shifting to doors that are left of the current entrance. The main office will be moved to the front of the building where world language classrooms have been located. Those classrooms will go where the main office has been. This swap will probably take place over winter break.
Read more at http://bit.ly/qIx4uf or scan the QR Code.
Architect and BHS graduate Eric Anderson shows some of the planned improvements at the school.
Qr Codes offer quick way to more informationAs you read through this edition of the District 191 newsletter, you will notice
several black and white squares next to certain stories. These are called Quick Response (QR) Codes. Using your mobile phone, you can scan these to access additional information such as videos, photo galleries, charts and graphs. For readers without a smart phone, this additional information will always be available on the district’s website at www.isd191.org.
This is the first issue of the district newsletter that includes the codes so we’d appreciate your feedback. Did you scan a code? Did you find the additional information helpful? Did you have any problems accessing the content? Please provide feedback to the Communications office at 950-707-2042 or e-mail [email protected].
Scan this code with your smart phone to learn more about QR codes.
District reduces costs for health insuranceFaced with annual double-digit increases in the cost of health insurance for employees, Burnsville-Eagan-
Savage School District 191 has made some creative changes to save money. “Rising costs for health insurance are a major financial challenge for all school districts,” said Lisa Rider,
the district’s executive director of business services. “We are constantly looking for ways to keep costs down.” Last year, nearly $1.8 million was saved through a switch to a high-deductible plan coupled with a health
reimbursement account. This year, the district negotiated a contract with an insurance provider that resulted in a zero increase for
the current year — a very rare occurrence in this day and age — that will save $1 million. The three-year contract calls for a 12% cap for the following two years that can be reduced to 6% if at least
90% of employees participate in wellness activities.