The District Insider

Volume 7, Issue 4 | November 2019

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Grand Forks Public Schools Receives 16 Grant for Innovation Awards

Grand Forks Public Schools have been awarded $30,400 in grants from the North Dakota Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department to support the competitive VEX Robotics teams at the middle and high schools and to expand VEX Robotics into several elementary schools with the development of VEX IQ clubs.


VEX Robotics is an innovative robotics design platform that transforms STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning for students and their teachers. Students create and program robots to operate both by remote control and autonomously. VEX IQ is designed to expose younger aged students to STEM fundamentals through the use of robotics.


Grand Forks Central and Red River high schools will each receive $2,400. Elroy Schroeder, Nathan Twining, South, and Valley middle schools will each receive $1,400, while Discovery, J. Nelson Kelly, Lake Agassiz, Phoenix, Viking, West, Wilder, and Winship elementary schools will each receive $2,000. All enrolled students at the schools have the opportunity to participate in the club, if interested.


Grand Forks Public Schools also received a $2,000 grant, which will help support hosting the VEX State Tournament, and the Grand Forks ENCORE program also received $2,000.


“Robotics is an emerging field, both in student interest and available career pathways. Grand Forks Public Schools is extremely excited to be able to expand VEX Robotics into the elementary level through the development of VEX IQ clubs,” said Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education. “This grant funding will be instrumental in providing more opportunities for students to participate and gain exposure to robotics.”


The grants were written by Ripley.


In VEX Competitions, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The VEX Robotics projects encourage teamwork, leadership, and problem solving among groups. VEX and VEX IQ Robotics Competitions are the largest and fastest-growing elementary, middle, and high school robotics competitions in the world.

Jody Thompson receives 2019 CVIC Peacemaker Award

Thompson (center) receives the 2019 CVIC Peacemaker Award, presented by Director of Community Innovations Kari Kerr, Grants Administrator Julie Christianson, Board Chair Darla Adams, President/CEO Coiya Tompkins, Director of Advocacy and Empowerment Laura Nash Frisch, and Prevention and Education Specialist Kaitlin Atkinson.

Jody Thompson, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education, has been named the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) 2019 Peacemaker Award recipient, recognized for his partnership in the Safer Tomorrows initiative to end violence in two generations.


Thompson provided leadership in CVIC’s efforts to develop a community plan to end childhood exposure to violence, serving on the Safer Tomorrows Governance Team from 2011-2016 and on the agency’s board of directors from 2012-2019.


"CVIC tries to make us a better community whether that’s within the school system or working with local partners, Thompson said. “Anytime the public schools can be involved we want to be front and center. I gladly accept the award on behalf of the Grand Forks Public Schools and all the county schools involved in the Safer Tomorrows Road Map.”


“Jody was influential in CVIC’s successful efforts to implement prevention programs in schools throughout Grand Forks County,” said CVIC President/CEO Coiya Tompkins. He also paved the way for CVIC to begin delivering individual and group therapy to students in the Grand Forks area schools. “More kids are being reached with prevention education and healing services than ever before as a result of Jody’s efforts,” said Tompkins.


The award, which CVIC gives annually to a local citizen who demonstrates outstanding commitment to ending violence in Greater Grand Forks, was announced on October 10th at CVIC’s Take Back the Night rally, an awareness event held as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Grand Forks Youth Commission - Youth Ending Stigma (YES)

Check out this great video by our Grand Forks Youth Commission! This is the latest video installment for Governor Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum's Youth Ending Stigma (YES) challenge to have students help reduce the negative stigma associated with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders.

This video will be shown at an upcoming Recovery Reinvented event, and will also be shared with the U.S. Surgeon General.
Grand Forks Youth Commission - Youth Ending Stigma (YES)

HALL OF FAMERS

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Congratulations to the Red River High School Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019 (in alphabetical order): Don Barcome Jr., Nick Cichy, Jay Johnson, John Koppy, Ingrid Lawrence, Annie Leake, Matt Malm, Tom Montgomery, Greg Murphy, Jackie Myers, Nora Narloch, Julia Pedersen, Grant Potulny, Ryan Potulny, Gary Purpur, Briona Reynolds, Craig Riendeau, Todd Schaefer, Liza Wischer, Bob Zimney, Jeremy Zimney.

CONSTRUCTION CREW AT WINSHIP

Check out this hard-working construction crew in Ms. Aune's class at Winship Elementary! The students have been learning about area, perimeter, and volume in math class.

A Fashionable Halloween

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Student at Community High School in the art and fashion class created adaptive Halloween costumes for two Grand Forks Public Schools elementary students. Thanks to their hard work, as well as a behind-the-scenes assist from school and district administrators and staff, we now have Darth Vader in a TIE Fighter and Cinderella in her carriage (photos courtesy Eric Ripley).

Examples of Excellence
  • Congratulations to Grand Forks Central's Clair Hynek and Mikayla Weiss on being named to the 2019 NDHSAA Girls’ Cross Country All-State Team!

  • Congratulations to Red River High School's Hunter McHenry and Matthew Rongitsch on being named to the 2019 NDHSAA Boys’ Cross Country All-State Team!

  • Congratulations to Lily Bredemeier (Red River High School) on her multiple girls' golf awards from the Eastern Dakota Conference (EDC), which included being named to the All-EDC Team, East Region All-Tournament Team, East Region Medalist, and EDC Senior Athlete of the Year. Lily was also named to the North Dakota High School Activities Association's All-State Team, and selected as the 2019 Outstanding Senior Athlete in Girls' Golf by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association.
  • Congratulations to Lexi Laframboise (Red River High School) on being named to the girls' golf All-EDC and East Region All-Tournament Teams.
  • Congratulations to the following student-athletes on being named to the boys' soccer All-EDC team: Dilson Gurung, Red River High School; William Lawson-Body, Grand Forks Central High School; Jackson Macho, Grand Forks Central High School; Colten Mitchell, Grand Forks Central High School; Mason Thingvold, Red River High School.
  • Congratulations to Gary Wu (Grand Forks Central High School), the East Region Boys' Tennis Singles Champion!
  • Congratulations to the following boys' tennis players on being named to the All-EDC Team: Kaden Johnson, Red River High School; Koby Kuenzel, Red River High School; Braden Panzer, Grand Forks Central High School; Logan Sandberg, Grand Forks Central High School; Gary Wu, Grand Forks Central High School
  • Congratulations to Kaden Johnson (Red River High School) and Gary Wu (Grand Forks Central High School) on being named boys' tennis Senior Athlete of the Year nominees.
  • Thank you to our hard-working high school counselors for helping our seniors apply for college during College Application Month! On October 15th (College Application Day), students completing an application for a North Dakota college or university received a free T-shirt.

  • Congratulations to Kaden Johnson (Red River High School), the 2019 Boys’ Tennis Singles Champion!

  • Congratulations to the following boys' tennis players on being named to the All-State Team: Kaden Johnson, Red River High School; Braden Panzer, Grand Forks Central High School; Logan Sandberg, Grand Forks Central High School; Chase Spicer, Grand Forks Central High School; Gary Wu, Grand Forks Central High School.

  • Congratulations to the following boys' soccer players on being named to the State All-Tournament Team: William Howard, Grand Forks Central High School; William Lawson-Body, Jr., Grand Forks Central High School; Jackson Macho, Grand Forks Central High School.

  • Congratulations to Richard DaFoe (Red River High School) on being selected as the EDC Coach of the Year for Cross Country.

  • Congratulations to Mikayla Weiss (Grand Forks Central High School), Claire Hynek (Grand Forks Central High School), and Annika Prestreng (Grand Forks Central High School) on being named to the girls' cross country All-EDC Team.

  • Congratulations to the following boys' cross country runners on their All-EDC Team recognition: Adam Arnold, Grand Forks Central High School; Carter Elde, Grand Forks Central High School; Hunter McHenry, Red River High School; Zach Martin, Grand Forks Central High School; Matthew Rongitsch, Red River High School; Quinn Roehl, Grand Forks Central High School.

Job Openings with the Grand Forks Public Schools' logo.
Upcoming Events
  • November 11 - No School K-12/MSEC Closed (Veterans Day)
  • November 12 - Grand Forks School Board Meeting (6 p.m, Mark Sanford Education Center)
  • November 13 - Grand Forks Central/Red River High Schools One Hour Late Start (PLCs)
  • November 13 - Elementary Early Release at 1:30 p.m. (PLCs)
  • November 25 - Joint Grand Forks School Board/Grand Forks Air Force Base School Board Meeting (5:30 p.m., Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School)
  • November 27 - End of 1st Trimester (elementary schools)
  • November 27- Elementary Early Release at 1:30 p.m. (PLCs)
  • November 28-29 - No School K-12/MSEC Closed (Holiday Break)
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Mark Sanford Education Center

2400 47th Ave. S

Grand Forks, ND 58201


701-746-2200

www.gfschools.org