Austin Packer Bulletin - 0127
Volume 1, Issue 27
AHS to Become a BARR Site in 2023
Today, the BARR Center announced that Austin High School would become a BARR Center (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) School this coming August. BARR Center is a national organization that aims to improve student and educator success through positive, intentional relationships and a data-driven, personalized approach. BARR is a model that aims to bring education into the 21st century with intentionally deepened relationships and a data-driven personalized, and supportive approach that aligns students, teachers, staff, and families with a unified culture of support and success so that, together, we can build strong schools and communities.
Using a strength-based lens, BARR will support the AHS team to help close the opportunity gap, improve academic outcomes, and increase the graduation rate. On average, large urban schools see a 40% reduction in failure rate, and smaller rural schools see a 29% average reduction after one year of using BARR.
Designed by an educator, the BARR system is rooted in the belief that growth is possible and within reach for every student and teacher in every school. After conducting 12 within-school randomized controlled trials, the BARR system has been proven to create statistically significant impacts in 20 areas of academic performance and outcomes for students, teachers, and schools. Compared to their peers, students in BARR schools report increased expectations and support from their teachers while feeling more deeply engaged in school.
"BARR's mission is to create equitable schools where every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status, has access to high-quality education where adults know them, recognize their strengths, and help them succeed. I developed and built BARR from a foundational belief that all schools have the capacity to make key changes using current staff," explains BARR Center Founder and Executive Director Angela Jerabek.
Austin High School will benefit from BARR Center's services, including training, on-site and virtual coaching, resources, and data support. For more information, visit https://barrcenter.org/.
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
The Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Symposium
Registration for the annual Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium is now open! Educators, administrators, psychologists, school board members, parents, and counselors may choose from a wide variety of in-depth sessions on evidence-based practices for addressing the instructional and social-emotional needs of gifted learners, including students who are twice-exceptional, culturally, and linguistically diverse. Join us in person, June 13-15, in Austin.
Austin Online Academy Summer Acceleration
We are excited to announce that AOA will be offering Summer Acceleration Courses this year! We have four 6-week course options to choose from, all of which start on June 12. The summer curriculum is fully asynchronous, with access to teacher support as needed. This means students can work at a time and pace that works best for their schedule – all while moving them one step closer to graduation!
Online registration is OPEN NOW until June 9. Please visit our summer website for registration details and reach out with any questions!
Free School Meals for Kids Signed into Law
Governor Walz signed the Free School Meals for Kids bill on Friday, March 17. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is excited to implement this program for our students in Minnesota. This legislation provides state reimbursement for a free breakfast and lunch to all students at schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The Free School Meals for Kids Program will start on July 1, 2023.
Minnesota State High School League
On Saturday, March 25, Packer Speech completed its regular season schedule at Rochester Mayo High School's Spartan Spectacular tournament. The day culminated in its highest individual and team finishes of the season.
- Alice Osmonson finished 4th in Storytelling.
- Qualifying for his first ever final round, Sam Langstaff finished 6th in Discussion.
- Making her debut as a varsity speaker, Ellen Ekins broke to finals and finished 4th in Prose Reading.
- Sebastian Emeline broke to finals in Extemporaneous Reading and Humorous Interpretation, finishing 6th and 4th respectively.
- Afi Adjowui broke to finals and finished third overall.
- Anna Gil took FIRST PLACE in Discussion.
- Finally, with her first #1 finish, Nawras Zaki took FIRST PLACE in Informative Speaking.
The section tournament remains, as team members attempt to qualify for State!
You can join the Hometown Food Security Coalition for an in-person gathering on Wednesday, April 12 as we strategically assess the structure and procedures of local food delivery systems, review previously identified resources and gaps, make collaborative decisions for change, and create collective action plans to ensure no one goes hungry in Mower County. Click here to get registered.
The Lunch Tray Project
As you may be aware, on Friday, March 17, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the universal school meals bill, making every K-12 student in Minnesota eligible for free breakfast and lunch.
At Austin Public Schools, we have provided all K-12 students with free breakfast for several years. Our Food and Nutrition department developed the Lunch Tray Project to support families whose income fell just outside the cutoff for Free or Reduced Price lunches.
With the passage of the universal school meals bill, the Lunch Tray Program will no longer be necessary, and as such, we are discontinuing it. The remaining program fund balance will be used during the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year to continue supporting families.
Thank you again for supporting the Lunch Tray Project over the years. Your donations helped make a difference in the lives of APS students and families, and its impact cannot be overstated. The Austin community has always tremendously supported our students, which is a huge part of what makes Austin such a special place.
Mayo Clinic Health System: Speaking of Health
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Logan Kelly.
Are you an alumnus of Austin Public Schools? If so, we'd love to hear from you!
We're excited to hear about your accomplishments and are eager to share your successes and advice with our current students, families, and the Austin community. Please take a few minutes to complete the quick questionnaire at https://www.austin.k12.mn.us/district-resources/alumni-spotlight regarding your current position and your career trajectory.
Thanks, and we look forward to hearing all your wonderful stories!
At Austin Public Schools, our mission is to inspire, empower, and accelerate every one of our learners, and we know that the only way for us to reach this goal is through the efforts of all our incredibly hard-working staff.
In this week’s Staff Spotlight, we’re highlighting Woodson Kindergarten Center and CLC social worker Lori Coughlin.
"Lori works with our littlest learners but makes a big impact on all students, staff, and families. Her knowledge and expertise are unmatched, and she has a special way of making everyone she interacts with feel important and appreciated. She is an asset to both Woodson and the CLC, and we couldn't do this work without her!"
If you’d like to nominate an outstanding Austin Public Schools staff member for our weekly Staff Spotlight, please take a moment to fill out the form at https://www.austin.k12.mn.us/district-resources/staff-spotlight. It only takes a minute and can truly make someone’s day. Thanks!
Superintendent Coffee and Conversation
Please consider joining Superintendent Page at the Coffee House on Main, 329 Main Street North, for Coffee and Conversation!
April 24 - 7:00 - 7:45 AM
May 29 - 7:00 - 7:45 AM
*Dates are subject to change
Or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-460-1900 to schedule an appointment.
Thursday, Mar 30, 2023, 07:00 AM
329 Main Street North, Austin, MN, USA
We are providing the opportunity for you to offer the Austin Public Schools feedback with “snapshot data.” Each week, we will open a quick 1-minute survey for you to share your thoughts on the district for the week. These data can generate insights into trends and patterns over time, which can help inform our decision-making and strategic efforts as well help us address concerns and celebrate successes.
Thank you in advance for your time!
In The News
Austin Public Schools is committed to creating an inclusive environment that values the diversity of its employees and does not discriminate against any employee or candidate based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status or membership or activity in a local commission. The school district strongly encourages anyone interested to apply to join our teams. Reasonable accommodations to access job openings or to apply for a job are available. Click here to learn more.