district 191 newsletter - winter 2015
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DESCRIPTIONNews and information about District 191, including details about the Vision One91 Referendum.
Your Schools Your Community
Winter 2015VOLUME 7, NUMBER 2
District 191 refinances bonds to save moneyBy refinancing some of its debt to a
lower rate, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 will save nearly $174,000 over the next two years.
Board members agreed in September to refinance just over $4 million through a process that is similar to when homeowners refinance their mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates.
“$174,000 is a very good savings on a small refunding,” said Jeff Seeley of Ehlers and Associates, who said the sale of the bonds in October went
even better than expected with the district even receiving a premium.
“Your district has the very high rating of Aa2, so there was quite a bit of interest,” he told the Board of Education. “The high rating is a testament to the budgeting and finance decisions of the board.”
A district’s bond rating is similar to credit scores for individuals with high ratings resulting in more favorable borrowing rates.
The Aa2 rating affirms the district’s financial health, said Seeley.
Only nine other school districts in the state are currently rated higher than District 191 by Moody’s Investor Services.
The refinancing will result in a reduction in property tax levies for taxes payable in 2015 and 2016.
“We continually review our finances to look for places we can save money or reduce costs,” said Lisa Rider, executive director of business services. “We have refinanced similar bonds in past years whenever it is possible.”
As a class project, Burnsville High School students Bailey Kump and Emma Toomire worked with a local coffee shop to devise a unique mocha beverage and marketed their product at JoJo’s Rise & Wine. The drink was available through December and every purchase resulted in a $1 donation to #burnsvillestrong.
That’s real-world learning for these and other students at Burnsville High School.
Meggan Malone, a business education teacher, focuses on providing “real-world” learning for her students in every way she can.
She has linked her students with restaurant Burger Jones for several
years, including last fall. This year, students are also working with Mozza Mia, Aspire Beverages, Junior’s Sports Cafe and Venue 13.
“Students can learn information from a textbook, but by working with a local company, they will remember the lessons forever,” said Malone, who is also the school’s DECA advisor, a school club that prepares students to be college and career ready.
Bailey and Emma wanted to connect with a coffee shop because they love coffee and they know that coffee shops are popular places for their peers to hang out.
Along with JoJo’s owner Mary Jo
Stevens, they developed a signature mocha drink called “DECA the Halls” that featured peppermint and white chocolate with candy cane sprinkled on top.
Bailey and Emma developed an advertising campaign and promoted the signature drink through radio and television, local newspapers, social media and colorful posters in strategic locations.
Both juniors serve as DECA officers and are students in Malone’s advanced marketing class. They will be submitting their advertising campaign for JoJo’s Rise & Wine to the DECA district competition in January.
Marketing project spreads warmth, cheer through coffee
Bailey Kump, left, and Emma Toomire, right, worked with Mary Jo Stevens at JoJo’s Rise & Wine to market a new coffee drink and raise money for #BurnsvilleStrong.
Elementary students took part in the district’s annual chess tournament on Dec. 20. High-lights included playing with Metcalf Junior High’s giant chess set, above, and competing with other young chess players from the dis-trict’s 10 elementary schools. Congratulations to the team from Harriet Bishop Elementary School which took first place with William Byrne Elementary’s chess team as runner-up.
Aradhana Menon, an eighth-grade student from Nicollet Junior High, placed first in the annual District 191 spelling bee by correctly spelling “alkali” in the 15th round of the bee. Chance Persons, a seventh-grade student from Metcalf Junior High was the runner-up.
This was Aradhana’s first time qualifying for the district bee while Chance also participated as a 5th and 6th grader. Both students are avid readers and say that contributes to their spelling success.
Others rounding out the top 5 (in alphabetical order) were Rachel Dylla of Nicollet Junior High, Ellie Scheldberg of William Byrne Elementary and Brandon Vi of Eagle Ridge Junior High.
A total of 31 students in grades 5 through 8, who were the building champions of their schools, competed in the district spelling bee.
The entire bee is available for viewing on the district’s website at www.isd191.org and on Educational TV channel 18.
Nicollet student is district’s top speller
On February 24, residents in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 will be asked to vote on two questions that would fund Vision One91,
a plan to redesign the school district to meet the needs of today’s learners and ensure each student is real-world ready.
• Organize our schools to better support learning by: » Realigning grades and schools to be K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 to
match current best practices and state standards;
» Repurposing the Senior Campus and adding classrooms at Burnsville High School to accommodate all students in grades 9-12;
» Remodeling some elementary schools to enlarge some kindergarten classrooms and improve other instructional spaces;
» Building an activity center at Burnsville High School for curricular, extra-curricular and community activities; and
» Adding space for Early Childhood programming at Dia-mondhead Education Center
Question 1: Buildings for Learning
What happens if Question 1 is not approved?
Without funding to pay for construction costs, District 191 would not be able to implement Vision One91, meaning:
Having a cohesive 9-12 high school increases access for all students to honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and other rigorous courses, as well as other electives.
Having 9th grade at BHS emphasizes the fact that 9th grade counts toward graduation and post-secondary plans.
Right now, 9th graders attend three different schools and seniors spend part of their day at the Senior Campus away from Burnsville High School.
Repurposing the Senior Campus would allow District 191 to save money by consolidating districtwide employees at Diamondhead and stop leasing other program spaces.
About Vision One91Vision One91 is a plan for the future of District 191 based on input received during more than a year of parent and student conversations, community forums, staff meetings and PTO meetings.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on February 24, 2015. Absentee bal-lots will be available in early January. There will be seven combined polling locations for the referendum. Find your polling location online www.mnvotes.org or call (952) 707-2005.
Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m.Metcalf Junior High
Thursday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m.Diamondhead Education Center
Approval of Question 1 would provide $65 million to:
Why change to a 9-12 high school?
• Improve security at schools by constructing secure entrances at schools that don’t already have them and upgrading surveillance cameras.
• Relocate programs and repurpose offices to provide more effective and efficient spaces for several programs and districtwide employees.
• There is no comprehensive 4-year high school experience for 9th-12th graders
• Overcrowding continues at some elementary schools
• Schools are not aligned with educa-tion standards or students’ social-emotional needs at key grade levels
• Early childhood and other classroom improvements would not take place
• Security improvements would be delayed
• Leased spaces would continue, tak-ing funds from other needs
Approval of Question 2 would provide $2.5 million per year for 10 years to:
Question 2: Technology for Classrooms
What happens if Question 2 is not approved?
How would increased technology improve learning?
Additional funding for technology would allow the district to significantly increase student access to technology tools, online resources, collaborative problem-solving experiences and different approaches to learning. Technology facilitates the personalization of learning to meet the needs, interests and pacing for each student.
Technology can also help teachers be more effective and efficient. Some tools would allow teachers to quickly assess student understanding on a topic and change instruction in response, and it would provide access to videos, simulations, activities and other materials that reinforce quality teaching in the classroom. Technology would allow teachers to receive additional professional learning opportunities and support for new strategies, activities, projects and overall instruction to meet students in their digital world.
• Provide technology and digital resources, such as Chromebooks, iPads, ebooks and online learning management systems, to improve how stu-dents learn by:
» Individualizing learning to meet the needs of students at all levels » Supporting collaboration among students and teachers » Improving assessment options for teachers » Allowing teaching and learning to take place anytime, anywhere
• Prepare students for the future by: » Gaining skills needed for technology related education and careers » Learning and working in ways that reflect real-world school/work
environments• Create the structure and support systems needed for today’s schools by:
» Providing equitable access to technology for all students/classrooms » Providing ongoing training and support for teachers » Creating a robust, reliable and secure technology infrastructure
Tax ImpactIf both questions are approved, taxes on an average District 191 home will increase by about $12 per month, or $144 per year.
Question Monthly Tax Impact*
Q1: Buildings for Learning
Q2: Technology for Classrooms
*Based on an average home valued at $200,000. For additional tax impact infor-mation, go to www.isd191.org/referendum.
Each Student Real-World Ready
Without a stable source of technology funding, resources would not be avail-able for a comprehensive, districtwide approach to technology integration into classrooms. Any progress would continue to be gradual, sporadic and piecemeal, because adequate funding
would not be available. Students and staff would not have equal access to technology tools and resources across the district, resulting in missed oppor-tunities and inequities.
Teachers’ ability to individualize instruction and respond to student
learning needs would be limited. Staff would not have access to training for proper use of technology in class-rooms. Students would graduate with limited technology knowledge and experience that is expected in today’s colleges and workplaces.
Prepared and paid for by Independent School District No. 191 (Burnsville-Eagan-Savage), 100 River Ridge Court, Burnsville, MN 55337. This publication is not circulated on behalf of any candidate or ballot question.
District 191 is committed to effective and efficient budgeting, focusing its resources on direct instruction and student support services.
SPENDING BY FUNCTION
Instruction, Student Support, School Administration - 79%
Transportation - 6%
District Administration - 4%
Facilities/Operations - 11%
Figures are from the 2014-15 District 191 budget.
District 191 students, staff and community members are invited to share their time and talents by making ceramic bowls at two upcoming “Potter ’s All Call” events. As part of the Bowls for Bra inpower fund-raiser, bowls made at these events will be sold to raise money for Brainpower in a Backpack, a community service effor t that provides weekend meals to children in need.
Potter’s All Call events are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 28. They take place at Burnsville High School in Room H108 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact Tim Hammes at [email protected] for more information or go to www.isd191.org/brainpower.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 191BOARD OF EDUCATIONJIM SCHMID, Chair ....................................(952) 882-1651 [email protected]
BOB VANDENBOOM, Vice Chair ..........(651) 454-9516 [email protected]
DEEDEE CURRIER, Clerk ..........................(952) 882-7746 [email protected]
ABIGAIL ALT, Treasurer ............................(952) 898-0243 [email protected]
RON HILL, Director ...................................(952) 440-1016 [email protected]
DAN LUTH, Director .................................(952) 440-1290 [email protected]
SANDRA SWEEP, Director .......................(952) 250-7097 ssweep@ isd191.org
BEN DAVIDSON, Student Advisor
Joe Gothard, Superintendent ..............(952) 707-2001 [email protected]
School District 191 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, disabil-ity, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, age, family care leave status or veteran status.
A B O U T T H I S N E W S L E T T E RThis newsletter is sent periodically to all residents in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 to provide information about schools, which are a cor-nerstone of the community. If you have comments, send them to Ruth Dunn, district communications director, at [email protected] or call 952-707-2020.
C O N N E C T W I T H U SBurnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 strives to keep residents informed and involved in their public schools. Check out the district’s TV channel 18 to see programs like “Superintendent’s Spotlight” and other news and information.
To get news, pictures, events and more delivered to you where you want them, “Like” us on Facebook, or/and follow us on Twitter.
Residents may also sign up for the District 191 e-Newsletter.
D I S T R I C T C O N TA C T I N F OPhone: 952-707-2000 Web: www.isd191.org E-mail: [email protected] Welcome Center (Enrollment): 952-707-4180
Kindergarten Information NightsAll 10 elementary schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 will hold Kindergarten Information Nights in January for parents/guard-ians whose children will be starting kindergarten in the fall of 2015. Don’t miss these great opportuni-ties to meet staff, tour classrooms and learn more as your child prepares for kindergarten. See the full schedule at www.isd191.org/kindergarten.
READY! for Kindergarten classesFree to District 191 residents, READY! for Kindergarten teaches parents how to play with a purpose, which builds strong minds and relationships. Parents learn activities and receive materials to make learning at home fun and effective based on their child’s current age. Winter sessions are held at Diamondhead, January 6, 8 or 10. One session per season. Preregistration required at www.communityed191.org.
Metcalf teacher named ‘Excellent Educator’ by WCCOMetcalf Junior High language arts teacher (and Burnsville High School alumnus) Steven Orth received a surprise visit from WCCO-TV reporter Kim Johnson this week as a station nominated him as an “Excellent Educator.” The station praised his ability to connect with students and provide meaningful advice about more than just language arts.
Two extraordinary student volunteers were recently honored as the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Award recipients at Burnsville High School.
Sunny Vuong and Maedin Abegaz are now in the running to be named one of Minnesota’s top youth volunteers of 2015. The award is sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals to recognize outstanding community service by young Americans.
Sunny, a senior, has a volunteered a total of 436.55 hours since she started as a sophomore at Burnsville High School. She volunteers in an elementary afterschool program and many school events. She also volunteers at a local food shelf and with BrainPower in a BackPack at Burnsville High School, a community service project that provides weekend food for elementary students in need.
Maedin, a junior, has volunteered 130 hours at Fairview Ridges Hospital and with Youth Environmental in Minnesota. She is in the Student Council and serves as secretary for the Youth Advisory Council at Burnsville
High School. She also participates in Science Quiz Bowl, Science Club, Green Team, National Honor Society and the Ethiopian Student Association. She is on the cross country and track teams.
Students recognized for volunteerism
Sunny Vuong, left, and Maedin Abegaz
A group o f t e ache r s and administrators from Twin Cities Metro area schools visited Nicollet Junior High in Burnsville this fall to learn about how the school has implemented its Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. The event was one of only a handful of AVID “showcases” in the Midwest this year, designed to provide an opportunity for educators to see an AVID implementation, share best practices, and learn more about
AVID in a hands-on manner.At Nicollet, AVID is both a
building-wide initiative and an elective class designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college by developing critical thinking and organizational skills and establishing a “college-bound” culture among students.
According to Principal Renee Brandner, Nicollet’s AVID program is getting good marks in meeting its goals and the school may be on
its way to becoming a “National Demonstration School,” one of the first in Minnesota.
Nicollet was the first school in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 to have an AVID program. It has since expanded to Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School, and is now growing at Eagle Ridge and Metcalf Junior High Schools.
Nicollet’s AVID program serves as model
Nicollet Junior High language arts and AVID teacher Danielle Christy (left) goes through student binders with visiting educators Natasha Brown (left) and Kari Schell of Anoka High School.
Superintendent Joe Gothard (center) and Busi-ness Services Director Lisa Rider (left) helped students make bowls for Bowls for Brainpower.
Potters needed for Bowls for Brainpower
The next in this year’s “Contents: Community Conversations” series of events will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. Organized by District 191 Community Education, these events invite community members to spend an evening discussing storytelling through a particular lens. In March, Native American author and Olympian Henry Boucha will share his stories of the triumphs and tragedies experienced in going from humble northern Minnesota beginnings to playing for the Detroit Red Wings and skating at the Olympic Games. Read more online at www.communityed191.org.
Join Community Education conversations
Teachers and students throughout Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 took taking extra time in December to focus on creating computer code as part of a global movement that involved millions of students in more than 180 countries.
Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science as part of Computer Science Education Week Dec. 8-14. With online support or just with their own knowledge and resources, teachers spent at least an hour during the week with students working through tutorials on using computer code to create programs including drawings, animations, games and much more.
“Even the basics of coding help nurture creativity and problem-solving skills, and prepare students for any future career,” said Cindy Drahos, business education teacher at Burnsville High School, which is one of only 39 high schools in Minnesota that teach computer science.
For more information about Hour of Code or to try coding for yourself, go online to www.hourofcode.org.
Schools emphasize computer science with ‘Hour of Code’
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TWIN CITIES MNPERMIT NO. 32254
100 River Ridge Ct. Burnsville, MN 55337
Your Schools Your Community
A glimpse at the future of ‘Real-World Ready’
It would be difficult to count how many times I have said or heard “real-world ready” since joining the One91 community. Real-world ready is found in our mission statement and it lives in our schools and communi ty. I t ’s all about preparing our students for the world they will live, work and be able to thrive in as adults.
I was inspired recently by witnessing the future of real-world ready by attending the grand opening of the new Emerson Process Management facility in Shakopee. The facility is located within ISD 191 boundaries and our Board of Education supported a resolution that assisted the company’s major expansion here.
The sprawling 500,000-square-foot building will soon be active with the production of complex and
specialized instruments. I was imagining groups of scientists, engineers, sales and marketing experts, office staff, maintenance personnel and technicians all working collaboratively to design, produce, sell and deliver their products around the world. With their expansion, Emerson hopes to have 500 new jobs in their metro area plants, many at the new facility in Shakopee.
Looking through the windows to labs and offices, I imagined our 10,000 students attending classes in One91 on a daily basis, all within 15 miles of Emerson, and pictured them working in a facility like that in the future. In many ways, we are working to cultivate the next workforce generation. Emerson is just one example of thousands of thriving businesses in our community
who rely on real-world ready employees.Vision One91 is our plan to redesign our school district
to meet the needs of today’s learners and ensure that each student is real-world ready. If approved, the two questions going before voters on Feb. 24, 2015 would provide us the support necessary to carefully consider and act on the needs of 21st century learners. These are exciting times for our students, staff and community members. Peering through the windows of the future I see many possibilities for our real-world ready students.
This column originally appeared on “Inside One91,” a new blog by
Superintendent Joe Gothard. Read more at http://joegothard.wordpress.org.
In this issue: Marketing Warmth, Cheer. . . . . . . . . . Page 1
Chessmasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 1
Vision One91 Referendum . . . . . . . . . Page 2
Volunteerism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3
Model Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3
Are you new to the district? Enrollment for all new students takes place online at www.isd191.org/enroll or at the district’s Welcome Center, lower level, of Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway. For more information, call the Welcome Center at (952) 707-4180 or email at [email protected].
A drawing of the new Emerson facility in Shakopee.
Featuring wine and craft beer tasting, this event is a fundraiser for Foundation 191, a non-profit organization which enhances, enriches and expands educational opportunities in District 191. The event will take place at the Ames Center in Burnsville’s Heart of the City on Jan. 29, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and can be purchased at Red Lion Liquor, 12400 Nicollet Ave., or online at www.foundation191.org.