your schools, your community
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DESCRIPTIONThe Winter 2013 edition of the District 191 print newsletter.
Your Schools Your Community
winter 2013VoluMe 5, NuMber 2
iNsiDe . . .student and staf f achievements page 2bhs seniors earn nat ional honors page 2students get hands- on biology lessons page 3Column: board sets legis lat ive pr ior i t ies to improve student success page 4
NoN-ProFit orGu.s. PostAGe PAiD
twiN Cities MNPerMit No 32254
100 river ridge Ct. burnsville, MN 55337
Class Acts 2013once again this year, District 191 teachers will present Class Acts, a musical variety show that has raised more than $200,000 for scholarships given to graduates of burnsville high school and burnsville Alternative high school. Performances are set for Feb. 28-March 2 at 7:30 p.m., with a special March 2 matine at 2 p.m. at the Mraz Center for Performing Arts at burnsville high school, 600 e. highway 13.
For more, scan or go to http://bit.ly/SkGNJ5
Considering the development of powerful, personal, mobile computing devices, theres little doubt that some technologies have the potential to enhance teaching and student learning in todays schools. Finding out which technologies provide the most benefit and how best to use them is the driving force behind a major initiative in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 this year.
With the Improving Student Achievement Through Technology (ISATT) initiative, the District is working to ensure it doesnt get caught in the snare of simply buying shiny new toys. Instead, teachers are developing action research plans that layout how they will use technology, such as iPads or social media, and how they will measure the impact on student learning.
Its not about the iPad, explained curriculum coordinator Rachel Gorton. Its about what the iPad can do for student achievement.
Read more about the District 191 ISATT program online at www.isd191.org.
Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 is one of only 11 school districts in Minnesota and one of 539 in the nation to be placed on the College Boards 3rd Annual Advanced Placement Honor Roll.
District 191 is one of only four Minnesota school districts to achieve the honor for multiple years.
The prestigious recognition is given to districts that simultaneously increase students access to Advanced Placement (AP) coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP exams.
Since 2010, District 191 has increased the number of students participating in AP courses by 13 percent while maintaining the high percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or more at 70 percent.
More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an AP Exam which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.
This AP distinction is recognition for what we have been trying to do, which is get more students into AP classes and have them take AP exams, said Superintendent Randy Clegg. Students who experience the rigor of college level courses by taking Advanced Placement classes at Burnsville High School and our three junior highs are more prepared to succeed in college, university or any other course of study they pursue after graduation.
District 191 makes AP honor roll again
Measured approach ensures tech investments are effective ISATT
improving student Achievement through technology
Overview: teams of teachers are using various technologies, including iPads, to improve teaching and learning, mea-suring their results, and sharing those results with colleagues.
Why this approach? by remaining focused on student achievement, the district avoids ineffective and unsustain-able investments in technology.
Burnsville High School led the state again last year in the number of students participating in College in the Schools (CIS) courses and also in the number of credits earned, topping 135 high schools including Eden Prairie, Shakopee and Eagan.
Last year, BHS students earned 2,669 credits, which translate into $1,195,926 in tuition savings for students and their families, according to a report from the Univer-sity of Minnesota. Credits apply to the University of Min-nesota, but also transfer to other colleges and universities across the country.
BHS offers CIS courses in American history, govern-ment, economics, literature, writing and critical thinking, calculus, public speaking, French and Spanish. Thirteen teachers in District 191 have been trained to teach CIS courses. Students taking CIS courses are held to the same academic standards as students on the University campus.
burnsville high school is tops in Cis participation
Nicollet Junior High students Zizi Hansen and Mackenzie Carrane use an iPad to edit a video book review they created.
Achievement: we are focused on learning and we get resultsstuDeNts suCCeeD
Burnsville High School juniors Hannah Keirstead and Jack OBrien were selected as the schools ExCEL Award winners this year. ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Edu-cation and Leadership) is a unique recognition program honoring juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities, and are model citizens. Both Hannah and Jack are excellent representatives of what Burnsville High School is all about, said Jeff Marshall, activities/athletics director.
teAChers AChieVe Cara Slattery, a sixth-grade teacher at Rahn Elemen-
tary School of Arts and Technology, and Carla Staffa, a social studies teacher at Burnsville High School, have been named 2012 TIES Excep-tional Teachers and were honored during the TIES Education Technol-ogy Conference in December. They are among teachers selected for modeling best practices in using technology in their classrooms to engage students in learning. School districts participating in the TIES Exceptional Teacher Award program are members of TIES, an education technology consortium of 47 Min-nesota school districts.
Leanne Banks, a special educa-tion teacher at Eagle Ridge Junior High, was honored with the 2012 District 191 Inclusive Education Practices Award. The award recognizes staff members who are fostering meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities in classrooms and extracurricular activities. The parent who nominated Banks for the award com-mented that she encourages pride in her students by recognizing their talents, strengths and abilities.
Six seniors at Burnsville High School (BHS) are among the most academically-talented scholars in the country based upon their performances in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship program.
Approximately 1.5 million students across the country took the Prelimi-nary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), and 50,000 are now being recognized for their outstanding scores.
These students have earned sig-nificant academic recognition the type that is noticed by admission of-
fices at colleges and universities, said Erin Broviak, a guidance counselor at Burnsville High School. They can take great pride in this accomplish-ment.
BHS students Jason Dorow and Savannah Lim are among fewer than one percent of students who are named as National Merit Semi-finalists. They will now be under consideration for National Merit Finalist status, a list that will be announced at a later date.
In addition, three BHS students have been named Commended Stu-dents, a designation that goes to fewer
than 3.5 percent of those who took the test. They are Ryan Allison, Sarah Da-vidson and Laura Garbe.
Another senior, Brianna West-brooks, is a semifinalist in the Out-standing Participants in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. She scored among the top 3 percent of more than 160,000 Black Americans who requested consideration in the 2013 National Achievement Program when they took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualify-ing Test. Finalists will be announced in April.
Congratulations to top-scoring BHS students, front row, from left, Jason Dorow and Savannah Lim; back row, from left, Sarah Davidson, Laura Garbe, Brianna Westbrooks and Ryan Allison.
Molly Olander, a seventh-grader at Nicollet Junior High in Burnsville, took home the huge championship trophy for winning the 29th annual District 191 spelling bee on Nov. 29.
Hibah Hassan, an eighth-
grader at Eagle Ridge Junior High in Savage, was the run-ner-up.
The bee went 19 rounds and 239 words. The winning word was grievance. Thir-ty-one students in grades 5-8 participated.
Neill Elementary School teacher Jim Condon was the pronouncer. Judges were Su-perintendent Randy Clegg and principals Elaine Mehdi-zadeh of Rahn Elementary and Jeff Nepsund of Marion W. Savage Elementary.
BHS seniors earn national academic recognition
Nicollet speller is 2012 District 191 champ
Carla Staffa, top, and Cara Slattery
Elementary students who share an enthusiasm for chess competed in the annual chess tournament in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 on Dec. 15 at Metcalf Junior High.
Harriet Bishop Gifted and Talented Elementary School earned its first district championship title. The school also has the biggest chess club in the district with well over 60 members coached by teacher Jessica Perry. Runner up was the team from Sioux Trail Elementary, coached by teacher Mark Kleven, while third place went to the Sky Oaks El-ementary Team coached by teacher Scott Nemetz.
The new district individual champion is Zander Gorton, a sixth grader at Harriet Bishop, while Jackson Reichert, a sixth grader from Rahn School of Arts & Technology placed second.
harriet bishop earns elementary chess title
Bernadette Bernie Bien knows that healthy students make better learn-ers. Her dedication to stu-dents and their academic success has been the focus of her 21-year career as a health care professional in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.
Its a major reason that Bien was selected by the School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM) as the 2012 Minnesota School Nurse of the Year.
This honor recognizes one licensed school nurse annually who embodies the organizations ideal, said Mary Jo Martin, chair of the SNOM selection com-mittee. Nominated by her peers, Bernadette Bien is most worthy of this honor.
Bien, who is the school nurse at Hidden Valley El-ementary School in Savage, responds, It is rewarding to work with kids and fami-lies in an educational en-vironment and support the
learning of our students. Bien welcomes the
award as an opportunity to highlight her profession. School nurses work be-hind the scenes, said Bien. People are aware of the first aid and care we provide to ill children but school nurses do so much more.
Bernie is an instrumen-tal part of the office staff, and provides not only for the medical needs of our students, but also advocates for their emotional well-
being, said Hidden Valley Principal Jon Bonneville.
bernie bien is named states top nurse
Advertise in our publications.
scan the code, go to http://bit.ly/11vlnM3, or call 952-707-2020 for more information.
3Community Connections: together everyone achieves more
PArtNers iN eDuCAtioNStudents benefit when individuals, businesses and organizations in the community join in partnerships with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. There are many ways to become involved in the schools and/or to make contributions. All partnerships are greatly appreci-ated. For more information, please contact Communica-tions Director Ruth Dunn at 952-707-2020 or [email protected]
Experienced potters are invited to support the District 191 Empty Bowls for Full Bellies event by throwing bowls on the potters wheel on Feb. 23. Participants can drop in as their schedule allows between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Burnsville
High School, 600 E. Highway 13, in the schools clay lab (Room H108). Creations will be sold at the April 18 Empty Bowls event with proceeds supporting Brainpower in a Backpack, a Burnsville High School volunteer project that provides weekend food to local elementary school children who might otherwise go hungry. Learn more at http://bit.ly/13edrxS.
Are you looking for a way to stretch your grocery dollar? Save up to 40% on groceries when you purchase packages of fruit, vegetables and frozen meat at Fare For All Express at Diamondhead Education Center. Fare For All winter and spring dates include Feb. 13, March 13 and April 10 between 3-5 p.m. Diamondhead Education Center is located at 200 W. Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville.
KeY CoMMuNiCAtors wANteD Do you talk with neighbors over the picket fence or
at soccer games? Do others come to you for informa-tion? Are you connected to the community grapevine? Then we would like to add you to the key communicator network in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. This network is another way to expand two-way com-munication with residents from all walks of life including parents and those who dont have children attending our schools. We look forward to conversations with key communicators, both in person and via email. Please join the network by emailing your contact information to Ruth Dunn, communications director, at [email protected]
CoMMuNitY eDuCAtioNRegister now for Winter/Spring classes!
The Winter/Spring 2013 Community Education catalog has arrived! Online registration is now even easier with the digital edition at www.communityed191.org.
Look for these and other class titles for adult learners. Frankly Speaking - Amp up your public speaking
skills American History - Focusing on the American Revo-
lution or the Normandy Campaign Dare to Curl The sport not hair! Learn how stones
and brooms, delivery and sweeping work on the ice. iPad classes For the new or not so new iPad owner
For our younger students: Skit-els Theater Arts Class - Learn about the stage,
acting and teamwork by learning and performing a short skit.
Go Solar! - A workshop to build a solar station Lego Animation Nation - Build and film your own
digital animation movie.
This is just a sample of the learning opportunities available! For more information call 952-707-4150.
The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 community is invited to attend three seminars pre-sented by Foundation 191, a not-for-profit organization that supports District 191 students and schools.
Paul Bernabei and Tom Cody, directors of Top 20 Training, will present the sessions. Their work pro-vides training and materials that empower youth, par-ents and teachers to develop their potential and the po-tential of others. Bernebei and Cody have spent more
than 35 years teaching, counseling and coaching in Twin Cities schools.
The seminar schedule is:Jan. 28 Living Above
the Line: Understand above the line thinking that serves your best inter-ests, and recognize when your thinking goes below the line and how you can recover.
Feb. 4 Knowing How to See Things Differently (The Frame): Understand how your perspective af-fects the results you are get-ting in your life.
Feb. 11 Learning from Mistakes and Mov-ing Outside the Comfort Zone: Better see what be-liefs keep you and your children from moving out-
side your comfort zones and find effective ways to responding to your mis-takes and the mistakes of others.
All seminars will take place in the Upper Com-mons of the Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway, and will start at 7 p.m. Atten-dance is free but registra-tion is requested to ensure adequate materials are available. Register at www.communityed191.org or at the District 191 Community Education office.
Top 20 seminars coming to District 191 community
You can read a book to learn about birds and wildflowers and how their adaptations help them survive the Minnesota climate. But thats not how biologists do it, and thats not how students at Vista View El-ementary are doing it, either.
Thanks to a partnership with the Minne-sota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Vista View students at all grade levels are getting a chance to learn about the world around them by looking with their own eyes and touching with their own hands.
Active learning opportunities dominate the experience. During one trip this fall, students moved from one bird feeding sta-tion to another, using a tool that simulates one style of bird beak to see how certain adaptations connect birds to their habitats. This winter, students in all grade levels will be snowshoeing through the refuge looking for animal tracks.
Being able to experience the outdoors is a big deal for many of our children who dont have exposure to these types of ex-periences in their daily lives, said Jodi Dempsey, Vista Views science spe-cialist who helped secure the partner-ship.
Wilderness calls to elementary students thanks to partnership
For more, scan or go to http://bit.ly/VUsLIV.
At left: Fifth-grade student Lucas Volk examines milkweed plants.
A partnership with the Univer-sity of Minnesota Extension brought a cooking-based nutrition program to Sky Oaks families for free this fall. Cooking Matters was a hand-on class that taught participants how to prepare healthful and tasty meals on a limited budget, as well as provid-
ing meal planning and other nutrition information.
Classes included a cooking dem-onstration component, educational time, practice cooking time, and an opportunity to sample whats been made. Participants also received a bag of grocery items so they can try the
recipe at home. The families were very happy to
have had this opportunity, and they learned a lot about nutrition and mak-ing nutritious meals, said Sky Oaks parent liaison Heidi Grant. The kids loved to be able to help cook and to have a special time with the parents.
Cooking and nutrition class provided through U of M Extension
Learning Buddies volunteer Justine Mills works with a student at Rahn Elementary School of Arts & Technology.
Students in several classrooms in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 have the opportunity each week to work with older adults who are part of a program that has made a positive impact on elementary students in Dakota County for 16 years. Gideon Pond, Sky Oaks, Vista View, William Byrne and Rahn elementary schools participate in the DARTS Learning Buddies program.
Learning Buddies connects trained older adults with elementary students to work together on classwork, share experiences, and learn from one another. Each volunteer is assigned to a classroom to help enhance students reading, math and science skills. Studies have shown that intergen-erational programs such as Learning Buddies benefit chil-drens social development, too.
Becoming a DARTS Learning Buddy stems from my interest in reading and I enjoy passing this interest on to students as they begin their educational journey. This is why I enjoy volunteering, said Dale Turnham, a DARTS Learning Buddy volunteer.
Funded by Flint Hills Resources since 1997, the Learn-ing Buddies program has nearly 90 volunteers in schools
throughout Dakota County. Volunteers have served more than 37,000 students and logged more than 67,000 volun-teer hours. For more information about the Learning Bud-dies program, visit www.darts1.org/LearningBuddies.
Learning Buddies matches older volunteers with classrooms
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 infor-mation about schools, which are a cornerstone of the commu-nity. if you have comments, send them to ruth Dunn, district communications director, at [email protected] or call 952-707-2020.
boArD oF eDuCAtioNroN hill, Director ..............................................(952) 440-1016 [email protected]
sANDY sweeP, Director .....................................(952) 250-7097 [email protected]
PAulA teiKeN, Director .....................................(952) 846-4106 [email protected]
JiM sChMiD, Director .........................................(952) 882-1651 [email protected]
DAN luth, Director ...........................................(952) 440-1290 [email protected]
DeeDee Currier, Director ...............................(952) 882-7746 [email protected]
bob VANDeNbooM, Director .........................(651) 454-9516 [email protected]
AleX JeNseN, 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, sta-tus with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, age, family care leave status or veteran status.
Phone: 952-707-2000 web: www.isd191.org e-mail: [email protected] Center: 952-707-4180
M A r K Yo u r C A l e N D A r
BHS Theater presents Taming of the Shrewset in the idyllic town of Padua, shakespeares classic comedy the taming of the shrew tells the story of bianca Minola, the beautiful daughter of a lord. bianca cannot be married until her elder sister, Katherine, finds a husband. Katherines quick temper and acerbic wit, how-ever, frighten off every suitor. A brutish newcomer named Petruchio is tapped to court and marry Katherine. beyond the fact of the marriage itself, Katherine is even more irked by Petruchios less than conventional behavior at the ceremony and post ceremony bridal feast. each starts to play what they consider sly games of oneupsmanship with each other to gain the upper hand in the marriage.
the taming of the shrew performs February 14-16 and 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mraz Center for Performing Arts at burnsville high school, 600 e. highway 13. tickets are $8. senior preview performance is wednesday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.
Volunteer award nominationsthe deadline for submitting nominations for the John Cosk-ran Volunteer Award is March 20. the award honors volun-teers who give of their time and talents to enhance students educational experiences and achievements. business people, community residents, students, parents, staff members and alumni are all eligible to receive the award. learn more at http://bit.ly/10uMsjb.
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.
to get news, pictures, events and more deliv-ered to you where you want them, like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, or connect with us through a new online community portal called our Common Place.
Community members are also invited to connect with District 191 through a new, local social network called CommonPlace. its designed to be an online bulletin board for the burnsville and District 191 community. Go to www.ourcommonplace.com/pages/isd191.
residents may also sign up for the District 191 e-Newsletter or any of our school-specific e-Newsletters.
Students may enjoy late-start days in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, but adults arent convinced they are best for student learning. They felt the five days each year when school start times are pushed back two hours are disrup-tive for families and schools while no longer being effective for profes-sional development for teachers.
So at its meeting Dec. 20, the Board of Education approved a rec-ommendation to replace late-start days with two all-day professional development days one in No-vember and the other in the second
semester. Students would not have school on those days while teach-ers use the time to analyze data and collaborate on plans to meet the in-dividual learning needs of students.
The recommendation was pre-sented by Assistant Superintendent Chris Lindholm, who led a task force that reviewed options and gathered feedback from teachers, administra-tors and parents this fall.
Recommendations for the 2013-14 academic calendar are expected to come before the school board in February.
late-start days removed from 2013-14 calendar
s u P e r i N t e N D e N t s C o lu M N
board sets legislative priorities to improve student success
Dr. Randy Clegg
Decisions made in St. Paul have a major impact on what we can do for our students. Thats why our Board of Education recently met with area state legislators to share its top three priorities for the current legislative session.
Funding formula: State funding for schools has not kept pace with inflation for several years, let alone provided adequate funding to meet the challenges of increased childhood poverty. Board members are ask-ing legislators to restore the inflation-adjusted general education formula to the level of the 2003 Fiscal Year. They are also requesting that the state adequately fund special education so that increasing amounts of general fund dollars arent required to pay for these mandated services.
Full-day kindergarten: Our students live in a highly competitive, knowledge driven, globalized economy. To prepare them to flourish, ISD 191 has made a commitment to provide a high quality full-day kindergarten program for all students at no cost to their families. Not only is this educationally sound, but it also makes sense financially because money invested early saves on costs for academic remediation at later grade levels. The time has come for the state to fund a
full day of kindergarten for all students instead of just a half-day.
Integration fund-ing: Since being iden-tified by the state as ra-cially isolated in 2007, ISD 191 has received integration funding to provide students with greater opportunities for interra-cial contact and to develop programs and activities that boost the academic achievement of all students. There has been discussion about ending integration funding, which would make it difficult to address the needs of a highly diverse student population and to close the achievement gap. The Board hopes that integration funding continues so it can be used for innovative and integrated learning programs such as magnet schools, initiatives that promote family involvement, profes-sional development for staff, and increasing opportuni-ties for students to access college and career readiness programs.
For more information on the Boards 2013 Legisla-tive Priorities, go to www.isd191.org.
District 191 earns top rating from auditing firmThe comprehensive annual
financial report for the 2011-2012 school year in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 has received a clean, unqualified stamp of approval from the firm that conducted the audit.
Thats the best rating a school district can receive from an auditor, said Dennis Hoogeveen of CliftonLarsonAllen in a report to the Board of Education on Nov. 15.
Actual revenue came in slightly over budget while expenses were under budget, thus the General Fund unassigned fund balance increased
from $11.5 million on July 1, 2011 to $15.4 million on June 30, 2012.
Very good outcomes in terms of building that fund balance up, he said. Its not easy to come by those kinds of results because it really represents decisions that you as a board have to make that makes those numbers possible. It is a lot easier to spend money than save money.
Hoogeveen said the fund balance is an important aspect in considering the Districts financial well-being since it represents things such as cash flow and serves as a cushion against unanticipated expenditures,
enrollment declines, funding deficiencies and changes in state aid.
For the past 23 consecutive years, District 191 has received an award for financial reporting from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. Hoogeveen said a 24th award is likely based on the quality report put together by the business office headed up by Brady Hoffman, director of accounting, and Lisa Rider, executive director of business services.
Districts favorable bond rating continuesThe financial health of Burns-
ville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 was affirmed by the Aa2 rating it received recently from Moodys Investor Services.
That is a very, very strong rat-ing, Joel Sutter, executive vice president of Ehlers, Inc., told the
District 191 Board of Education re-cently. I believe there are only 10 school districts in the state of Min-nesota that have higher ratings. You are in strong company there.
Any time bonds are sold, a dis-tricts rating can go down, up or stay the same, said Lisa Rider, the dis-
tricts executive director of business services. This recent evaluation solidifies our rating and is definitely good news for our bond sales.
A bond rating is similar to credit scores for individuals. Better ratings result in more favorable borrowing rates.
search for next superintendent gets underwayOn Jan. 3, the Burnsville-Eagan-
Savage School District 191 Board of Education unanimously chose the superintendent search firm School Exec Connect to help the district find its next superintendent. School Exec Connect specializes in superintendent searches for school districts in suburban and regional centers.
Over the next weeks, School Exec Connect will develop a Leadership
Profile based on feedback from staff and community members through focus groups, interviews and an online survey. The firm will help recruit candidates locally and
throughout the country that match that profile.
Then, the board will narrow a candidate list to two or three who will be invited back for more in-depth interviews that would include feedback from staff members and community residents. The selected candidate would start on July 1.
Stay informed about the Superintendent Search process online at www.isd191.org.