Backpack Online - August 26, 2022
August 26, 2022
August 26, 2022
Anoka-Hennepin Schools welcome nearly 300 new teachers
Anoka-Hennepin Schools officially welcomed nearly 300 new teachers during a three-day orientation Aug. 23-25. According to Employee Services, the number of new teachers is a record for new hires attending the orientation.
The first day brought new teachers from schools across the district together at Blaine High School (BHS) for the new teacher orientation, which is just one of a number of events held this week for staff to get acquainted with Anoka-Hennepin and prepare for the upcoming school year. New teachers in attendance shared what makes them most excited about teaching, and top themes that emerged were:
Making a difference.
Making an impact.
Connecting with others.
New teachers also heard from Interim Superintendent Dr. Kate Maguire and other district leaders, in addition to reviewing the strategic priorities for the upcoming year and getting an overview of the district. Included among the new teachers were 25 from the district’s “Grow Your Own” program and a group of alumni of district schools.
District middle schools host WEB Days to ease transition for sixth graders
Five Anoka-Hennepin middle schools hosted WEB Days this week to help ease the transition for sixth graders making their next step in their academic journey.
WEB stands for Where Everybody Belongs, which is a national mentoring program that typically works with sixth graders at the school. Each school has teachers who serve as WEB Advisors and eighth graders who volunteer as WEB Leaders.
Goals for the day were to provide the students with an opportunity to learn more about the school, interact with other sixth graders and make connections with some eighth graders who are willing to help them once the school year begins.
Freshmen and new-to-district student orientation day set for Tuesday, Sept. 6
Getting off to a strong start at a new school is a key strategy for ensuring students feel safe, welcome and ready to maximize opportunities. When school begins for the 2022-23 school year on Sept. 6, freshmen and new-to-district students at Anoka-Hennepin’s five traditional high schools will participate in a series of activities that aim to ease the transition to high school and build a foundation for academic success.
This is a new program for Anoka-Hennepin Schools which is informed by “best practice” positive results from high schools from around the metro area and state who report strong results for providing positive outcomes for students. It is also aligned with a School Board strategic priority to refine and improve the high school schedule to maximize student achievement.
Traffic tips for the back-to-school season
The back-to-school season is a busy time for families, school staff and our communities. There is often more traffic congestion in this season and it’s more important than ever for drivers to pay attention before- and after-school to keep families, students and staff safe.
Check out these tips from the Anoka-Hennepin transportation department as a back-to-school reminder:
- Crosswalks: Be mindful that we are sharing the road with young walkers and staff helping them across the crosswalks or intersections. Always stop for school patrols and crossing guards.
- Know drop-off and pick-up procedures: Schools have procedures in place to keep traffic safe. Make sure you know your school’s plan for the safety of all students and staff.
- Use slow speeds: Use caution in school zones and be aware of your surroundings. We can all work together to ensure the safety of drivers, school buses, walkers and bikers.
- School bus safety: Familiarize yourself with school bus safety tips on the road. Always stop if yellow or red lights are flashing or if stop arms are extended from a school bus. Allow extra time for students to board and exit the bus and proceed to safe sidewalks to enter school zones or return home.
- Share the road: Be patient of other vehicles stopped for pedestrians or using caution in school zones. Do not pass other vehicles or school buses. Be alert, young children may take an unpredictable path as they are learning safety rules.
Thank you for your partnership in school traffic safety.
2022-23 School year starts Tuesday, Sept. 6
Complete back to school verification
As families prepare to start the 2022-23 school year, back-to-school verification is now available online. It’s important that each family completes the verification process before the first day of school. Verification ensures that Anoka-Hennepin Schools has confirmed contact information for each student to ensure schools have access to emergency contact information and information releases for the safety of our students.
Login to A-HConnect to complete back to school forms for the upcoming school year.
Parents/guardians can access back to school forms by clicking the lock icon and “Login” at the top right corner of any district or school website.
Then, select "My Student Information."
If you need help finding your login/password, call 763-506-HELP for assistance.
Apply for educational benefits for the 2022-23 school year
All Anoka-Hennepin families are encouraged to apply for the educational benefits program for the upcoming school year. A new application must be submitted each school year.
By completing this application, students may receive free or reduced fees for transportation, meals, academic, and co-curricular activities. Please visit ahschools.us/freereduced to set up, or log in to your SchoolCafe account and complete an application for free or reduced-price meal and other benefits. The educational benefits program not only ensures that students have access to nutritious meals, it also provides critical federal funding for schools.
As a reminder, the federal subsidy to provide free school meals for every student will no longer be available this school year. Only one application is needed per household. Please contact the child nutrition department with any questions or assistance at 763-506-1240 or staff.CnpEnrollment@ahschools.us.
Anoka-Hennepin 2022-23 school handbook
The Anoka-Hennepin School District has updated its school handbook for the 2022-23 school year. Parents/guardians will be required to view and sign off on the handbook as part of the district’s back to school verification process through A-HConnect, and families can preview the School Handbook now for important information and updates about the upcoming school year.
Aurora superfan connects with her favorite player, an Andover High School grad
Mariah Nguyen, a Class of 2021 graduate of Andover High School, was a member of Minnesota Aurora FC in its inaugural season this summer. Prior to the championship match, KARE 11 featured her as she made a deep connection with an 8-year-old superfan.
Additionally, she was recently featured in this ABC Newspapers article.
Important update regarding transportation for 2022 fall activities
As experienced during the 2021-22 school year, the nationwide shortage of bus drivers continues to affect the availability of transportation services. Anoka-Hennepin transportation has been working diligently to ensure that bus routes to and from school and activities are covered. While the bus companies are making progress in adding drivers to address the shortage, we anticipate that there will be continued issues this fall. Anoka-Hennepin is committed to keeping planned athletic and activity events this fall season. The main goal is for student-athletes to continue to compete despite the driver shortage and transportation issues.
Device Protection Plan available to students assigned Chromebooks
New this year, families have the option to enroll in the Device Protection Plan.
Families can opt-in to the Device Protection Plan when completing their back-to-school verification and pay for the coverage in SchoolPay.
- The plan cost is $20 per student or $60 per family per school year.
- If the student qualifies for reduced priced meals, the cost of the Protection Plan will be reduced to $10 ($30 for families). If the student qualifies for free school meals, the cost will be reduced to zero.
Local non-profit hosting annual 5k and 10k fun run/walk to support mental health
Thumbs Up, a non-profit organization that embraces all who are struggling and seeks to break the stigma around mental health, is holding its ninth annual 5k and 10k run/walk/bike event on Saturday, Sept. 17. The race will be held at Woodland Trails Park in Elk River and begins with an opening ceremony and keynote speaker at 9 a.m.
Learn more and register for the event (register by Aug. 31 to guarantee your race shirt) at thumbsupformentalhealth.org.
Blaine High School to honor 2022 Hall of Fame class
The 2022 class of the Blaine High School (BHS) Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of Kristina (Bunker) Borgen, Matt Hendricks and Dave Nelson.
The 2022 class will be honored Sept. 23 at the BHS homecoming football game against St. Michael-Albertville High School. The class will be recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to the start of the game at 6:45 p.m. Kickoff from Bengal Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. A cash post-game celebration is scheduled for family, special guests and community members at The Roadside (12530 Ulysses St NE) in Blaine.
Interim superintendent Kate Maguire talks with local media about back to school
KARE 11 spoke with Dr. Maguire about staffing in the district. “If there are people in neighborhoods next to schools, or retirees or young people that want jobs part-time or full-time, this is the place to be,” said Anoka-Hennepin Interim Superintendent, Dr. Kate Maguire.
CTN Coon Rapids visited with Maguire for a wide-ranging interview just hours after 300 new teachers gathered for their first workshop. Topics included job openings, building improvements, extra help for students and more.
Franklin Elementary School closure and repurposing plan approved
Bridges and Pathways special education programs to relocate
A recommendation to close and repurpose Franklin Elementary School as a special education facility for the Bridges and Pathways programs was approved by the school board at its Aug. 22 meeting. Please note, this action does not impact where students attend school for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.
Major reasons for this action include:
Continued declining enrollment in the Franklin Elementary attendance area.
Available classroom space at other Anoka-area schools.
Demonstrated facility needs for Bridges and Pathways special education programs.
Upcoming events and important updates
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This e-newsletter is published by the Anoka-Hennepin communication and public relations department. It's sent to Anoka-Hennepin families and community members who subscribe on a weekly basis during the school year, excluding breaks (and periodically during the summer). Questions, comment or concerns about the Backpack Online e-newsletter? Contact us.