November 15-22 "Week at a Glance"
Hello Gordon Parks Students and Families
Issue #99 of The Lens helps us kick off the beginning of Quarter 2! Teachers are preparing their PBL projects for the coming weeks as a way for students to engage with learning and earn additional credits.
Please enjoy photos from Ms. Warner's MN Zoo field trip.
An important update is that we have added GP Connect on Wednesdays to continually improve information sharing and community building at our school.
11/15 Ethnic Studies Fall Family Forum 5-6:30 PM
11/15 College Gear Wednesday
11/13-11/19: Transgender Awareness Week / Transgender Day of Remembrance
🪜 INTERESTED IN CONSTRUCTION CAREERS? 🔨
🐠 Minnesota Zoo Field Trip Photos 🦫
Beaver Dam Experiment Part II
"ELEPHANT TOOTHPASTE" Decomposition Reaction Q1 Chemistry Project
APPLY FOR THIS ⬇️ YOUTH FILMMAKING OPPORTUNITY
GPHS TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Steve Vaerst
Hiya!! I am Mr. Vaerst. My last name is commonly mispronounced using the English language. It is pronounced with the e being silent (Varst). The background of my family name traces to Germany. I am the 4th generation of teachers within my family here in the states, where my great grandmother, grandmother, father, mother and two aunts were all teachers. For me, teaching has been a way of life and is also what both my brother, sister and niece do as well. I grew up in Inver Grove Heights, MN
This is my first year at Gordon Parks High School. My subject area is Mathematics. I began my career in 1996 and joined Saint Paul Public Schools in the fall of 2001 at Como Park Senior High. In 2011, I joined the staff at Washington Technology Magnet before taking a district-level position for the 2022-2023 school year, which now brings me here.
My favorite part of being an educator at GPHS are the smaller class sizes and the ability to work more closely with students. I enjoy being able to adjust what students are learning in order to best prepare them for life after high school, and learning from the staff here as well. I feel like we are a small family here at GP which gives me a strong sense of belonging.
I am hopeful that someday I could offer a project where students work in teams to build small sheds for people in the community, partnering with companies who would be willing to help pay for/donate materials, and students learn various aspects of mathematics needed within the construction process. Depending on cost, the hope would be we could generate some funding from the sale of the sheds to help expand the program.
In my free time, I love the outdoors and enjoy enjoying multiple activities that keep outside all year. My favorite activities are archery, muskie fishing, ice fishing, hunting and golf. In the winter, I will compete in a team-format indoor archery league here in Saint Paul, but since COVID that has been put on hold. I also enjoy doing Sudoku puzzles, card games with family and friends as well.
I also enjoy activities with my wife as we go exploring nature trails throughout the state, attending various fine arts performances such as plays and dinner theater (my favorites are murder-mystery dinners where the audience interacts with the theater members), trapped puzzle rooms, and spending time with family, primarily her family in Texas. We also enjoy meeting with friends on Trivia nights at restaurants, attending movies (my wife LOVES popcorn) and quiet times at home as well
Student Writing from the Q1 "Banned Books Project"
Dear Editor of To Kill A Mockingbird,
I am writing to express my support for banned books and the importance of preserving intellectual freedom. Banning books limits our access to diverse perspectives and stifles the free exchange of ideas. It is crucial that we encourage open dialogue and embrace the power of literature to challenge and inspire.
History has shown us that many great works of literature faced bans and challenges. For example, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, a powerful exploration of racial injustice, has faced attempts at censorship. However, this novel continues to educate and enlighten readers, fostering empathy and understanding.Banning books not only restricts individual freedom but also hinders intellectual growth and critical thinking. It is through exposure to different ideas, even controversial ones, that we can broaden our horizons and develop a more inclusive society.
Instead of banning books, we should focus on promoting dialogue and providing resources for critical analysis. By encouraging thoughtful discussions and engaging with challenging literature, we can foster a society that values diversity, empathy, and intellectual freedom.
Anonymous GPHS Student
FREE WINTER HATS, MITTENS & SCARVES
VIDEO CONTEST w/ MARCH 5th, 2024 DEADLINE
SOCIAL WORK CORNER
NEW! Compassion Roseville HEALTH CLINIC, location: 1910 County Road B West, Roseville MN 55113, Services provided at no cost, first come first served, Services: Dental: Fillings, Extractions, Cleanings, Medical Exams: Kids and adults, Vision: Checks and Free Glasses, Social Services, and Physical Therapy
NEW! Metro State University, Winter Food Distribution, 690 E. 7th Street, St. Paul MN 55106, Student Center Rm 101, 2:30-4:00 pm,
November 15, 2023, December 13, 2023, January 10, 2024, February 14, 2024, March 13, 2024, April 10, 2024, May 8, 2024
Eligibility: Our Fresh Produce Distribution events are open to everyone! Identification
and documentation is not required to attend. • Recommendations: We encourage you to bring your own large, reusable bags
and a cart if you have one
• Parking: Parking is available in the Metro State ramp for $8. Otherwise, street
parking is available along 7th St. and Bates Ave.
For cancellation updates and more information, please visit:
NEW!The Salvation Army Toy Shop 2023 registration will be confirmed by email and people will need that when they go to the Toy Shop. People will be assigned to a Toy Shop and it may not be the one closest to them.
NEW! Registration will be available only online from Wednesday, November 1st – Friday, December 1st, or until 5,000 available spaces are filled. Register at https://saangeltree.org/ by entering the resident’s zip code and then continue with the registration process through TSAMM Angel Tree. Toy Shop Registration questions can be transferred to the Clearinghouse at 651-746-3595, Mon-Fri 9am-4pm excluding Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
- Crosswinds Community Church, 9125 Newgate Ave N, Stillwater - December 19-21
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 13801 Fairview Dr, Burnsville - December 19-21
- Friendship Academy of the Arts, 3320 E 41st St, Minneapolis December 18-22
If you have any questions please let me know @ Debbie Cricks, Administrative Assistant ll
Twin Cities Social Services, The Salvation Army DHQ, Office: 651-746-3530
NEW! Union Gospel Mission Thanksgiving Grocery Bag. Register here for a Thanksgiving Grocery Bag. If you require any changes to your ticket reservation or become unable to participate, please email email@example.com.
NEW! White Bear Lake Foodshelf’s Give A Gobble will start the 1st week in November! www.whitebearfoodshelf.org.
NEW! Merrick Community Services Holiday Share Program registration opens November 6th. Go to Merrick’s link: https://merrickcs.org/holidayshare/
CLICK BELOW FOR THE GORDON PARKS HANDBOOK
EARN ELECTIVE CREDITS VIA WORK EXPERIENCE
Do you need elective credits? Do you have a part-time job?
Did you know you can earn 2 credits per quarter for working after school?
To take advantage of the work experience program, the first step is to check with your counselor to see if you still need electives. If so, he will direct you to Mr. Iwen, the Work Experience Coordinator who can get you set up with the paperwork and information you need for work experience credit.
This is a great way to earn credit for something you might already be doing!
If you are interested in work opportunities or need help searching and applying for jobs talk to Mr. Iwen in room 1109, and visit the hallway display on the first floor.