Backpack Online - Nov. 11, 2022
November 11, 2022
Schools across the district recognize Veterans Day
Schools across Anoka-Hennepin recognized Veterans Day with events and/or educational opportunities aimed at learning about and honoring those who have served or who are serving in the military. It is a proud tradition in Anoka-Hennepin to host veterans and their families.
Read more and view photos from just a few of the events around the district:
Adams Elementary welcomed veterans to the school for a brief ceremony that included music, and a video of Adams students expressing what Veterans Day means to them and their families. Watch this news story by CTN on Adams principal Ann Herlofsky, who currently serves in the U.S. Navy.
Anoka High School hosted its annual Veterans Day Assembly, featuring Colonel Lori Allert, an honorary color guard and performances from the school band, orchestra and choir prior to a Veterans reception with refreshments in the school cafeteria.
Blaine High School hosted an annual Veterans Day assembly, emceed by BHS alum and KARE-11 anchor Morgan Wolfe, and keynote speaker Maj. Nathan Burr.
The Champlin Park High School (CPHS) marching band performed at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Bloomington. CPHS students are the first guests to visit and perform at the residence since the pandemic.
Coon Rapids Middle School held an all-school assembly that was attended by a number of veterans, including 99-year old World War II veteran Don Halverson. Halverson was a member of the Army’s 34th Division, also known as the Red Bulls. He was drafted in 1943 and spent his entire deployment in Italy from 1943-1945. Students, Austin Olson (sixth grade) and Fatima Al-Esawi (seventh grade) each read their Veterans Day essays and the eighth grade choir, band and orchestra all performed during the program. Watch a replay of the program.
Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy for Environmental Math and Science students in Cub Scout Pack 276 honored veterans with a flag ceremony to express their gratitude to all veterans.
Jefferson Elementary School hosted student’s Veteran family members, and community Veterans for breakfast and a flag-raising ceremony outside the school.
McKinley Elementary held an all-school assembly that included veteran family members of the school’s students and staff. Army specialist and former McKinley Elementary student Brady O’Loughlin gave a keynote address, along with speeches from students and a flower presentation where students with a veteran in attendance could give their family member a rose.
Mississippi Elementary was joined by the Coon Rapids VFW Post 9625 Color Guard for a flag raising ceremony held outside. The color guard presented the U.S. and Minnesota flags and raised them on the flagpole before students recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jennifer Keller, a Veteran and second-grade teacher at Sunrise Elementary School, shared an educational presentation with all second-grade students - which included her story and experience in the Army Reserve and serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. Keller trained and served a variety of capacities, including as a Russian Linguist/Interrogator, Supply Specialist and NBC Specialist. Students studied uniforms worn by herself and other Veteran family members, photos and memorabilia collected from her time in service.
Wilson Elementary held a breakfast event for students or staff with a veteran family member(s), and Principal Chris Forrest said about 100 people attended the event. The entire school gathered at the flagpole after the breakfast, where students sang patriotic songs they learned in music class, said the Pledge of Allegiance, and viewed a flag raising ceremony. A special slideshow video was created for Veterans and students.
McKinley Elementary School
Sunrise Elementary School
Project Lead the Way executives visit CRHS to see the curriculum in action
David Dimmett, President and Chief Executive Officer and other executives from Project Lead the Way (PLTW), as well as local industry leaders visited Coon Rapids High School (CRHS) - Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Nov. 10 for a glimpse of the curriculum in action.
PLTW creates engaging classroom environments by empowering students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges. Through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, students not only learn technical skills, but also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate, and collaborate. PLTW also provides teachers with the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning.
The Nov. 10 visit also included visitors from neighboring school districts, including educators from Osseo Area Schools, Minneapolis, and St. Paul Public Schools, and industry partners Cargill and Medtronic. View photos from the visit on Nov. 10.
CRHS students and staff provided an in-depth look at the biomedical sciences and engineering programs and how they are using PLTW curriculum on a daily basis. Guests toured the building, visiting computer integrated manufacturing, medical interventions, biomedical innovation, and engineering design and development classes to see the PLTW in action and hear from students as they showed off their latest classroom projects.
PLTW curriculum is currently provided in nine schools across the district, including CRHS, Blaine High School - Center for Engineering, Mathematics and Science, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Jackson, Northdale, Oak View, and Roosevelt middle schools and Monroe Elementary School - Mathematics, Science and Children’s Engineering.
Blaine High School educator named TIME Innovative Teacher in 2022
Blaine High School achievement coach Kevin Bross was named a TIME Innovative Teacher in 2022 for helping to create a teaching model based on medical rounds. Working with other district achievement coaches and literacy coaches, Bross developed the idea of instructional rounds to allow teachers to learn from each other and grow as educators.
Instructional rounds provide teachers the opportunity to observe other colleagues, reflect on those observations and then find ways to bring those ideas into their own classroom. The teachers participating are typically in a small group and observe two to four teachers in a day. They then share their thoughts and ideas of each observation.
Teachers are surveyed after the experience to determine if they are implementing a new instructional practice or strategy that has impacted student learning as a result of the instructional rounds process, and 100% are reporting yes.
“It was exciting for Blaine High School, the district and all the people involved,” Bross said of the honor from TIME. “It is a reflection on the teachers at Blaine High School and the collaboration within Anoka-Hennepin more than anything else.”
Ramsey Elementary students learn about unity through world drummer in residence
The beats of drums could be heard through the halls of Ramsey Elementary School Oct. 28-Nov. 3, as third-fifth graders learned from Mark “Chico” Perez, a world drummer/artist in residence.
The students had the opportunity to work with Perez for 30 minutes a day during his week at the school, and in addition to learning and playing drums, explored music from different cultures. For the third graders, the experience culminated with an evening drumming program for families on Nov. 3.
Perez has been playing drums for more than 55 years and teaching children in Minnesota school districts for 30 years. He brought a high level of energy to the music room and put smiles on the students’ faces. Perez said he loves to share his knowledge with children and that the drums are an opportunity for him to teach respect, unity and the power of one.
University Avenue Elementary students participate in space experience event
On Monday, Nov. 7 the students at University Avenue, Aerospace, Children’s Engineering, and Science Elementary had a special event literally fill their gym. Big Earth Orbit, part of Sparkpoint Innovations and based in Minneapolis, came to put on an amazing space show using models for all the students.
On this special day, students and their teachers joined Mr. Rudy and his large inflatable earth, moon, and sun models in the gym. There, Mr. Rudy used an 18-foot inflatable earth as a model, and lots of student and staff volunteers, to illustrate some pretty ‘far out’ concepts. View photos of the Big Earth Orbit experience.
Dancing, art featured at Rum River Elementary multicultural night
Rum River Elementary in Andover hosted its first ever multicultural family night Thursday, November 3, where families could experience different cultures in numerous ways. The evening included stories, musical instruments, art projects, dancers, and family-created displays from nearly every continent.
Fall activities roundup
Cross country teammates from Andover High School posed for a photo after competing in the state championship.
Anoka-Hennepin student-athletes compete in Minnesota State High School League cross country championships
The Blaine boys’ cross country team earned a spot at the AAA Minnesota State High School League championships at St. Olaf College Saturday, Nov. 5 after a second place section race finish last month. The team placed 12th of 16 teams at the state meet, with junior River Santiago leading the team with a 26th place finishing time of 15.59.2. Other scoring members of the Blaine team included Ben Lewis (16.51.0), Tyler Bargman (17.13.0), Nathan Taylor (17.13.7) and Connor Bialka (17.16.8). Evan Christopherson and Kentin LaBeau also ran, with times of 18.11.2 and 18.52.2, respectively.
Individually, Anoka-Hennepin high schools also had the following competitors take part in the event. They include:
- 43rd place: Andover High School’s Aidan Gomes with a time of 16.20.0.
- 62nd place: Champlin Park High School’s Charles Hibbs with a time of 16.40.9.
- 85th place: Andover High School’s Jack Jendro with a time of 16.56.1.
- 125th place: Coon Rapids High School’s Peyton Martinek with a time of 17.22.7.
- 126th place: Champlin Park High School’s Ethan Ibarra with a time of 17.22.7.
Though Anoka-Hennepin did not have a team represented at the girls’ state event, many district student-athletes competed at the individual level during the AAA race. Leading the pack for Anoka-Hennepin female runners was Anoka High School junior Kaelyn Nelson, who placed 14th with a time of 18.30.7. Other competitors included:
18th place: Champlin Park High School’s Abby Hibbs with a time of 18.38.4.
29th place: Andover High School’s Olivia Krafty with a time of 19.12.0.
72nd place: Andover High School’s Isabel Grant with a time of 19.49.1.
77th place: Andover High School’s Julia Babineau with a time of 19.53.8.
86th place: Champlin Park High School’s Brigid Keran with a time of 20.02.8.
123rd place: Blaine High School’s Shalom Sulungaine with a time of 20.38.9.
District student-athletes sign letters of intent
Student-athletes from Anoka-Hennepin high schools (Andover, Anoka, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids) participated in signing events Nov. 9 to mark the start of the NCAA early signing period. At the events, student-athletes signed letters of intent from colleges and universities across the country to continue their academic and athletic careers.
School safety: A multi-layered approach in place to protect students and staff
Anoka-Hennepin Schools utilizes a multi-layered approach to protect the safety of students and staff. At the core of this effort are relationships that form a positive school culture and climate, a system to support students and a focus on academic success. Structural and physical systems and use of technology and clear communication also play a significant role.
The district prepares to maintain safety through an emergency management plan that coordinates facility design, procedures and training, law enforcement partnerships, and parent/guardian communication. Anoka-Hennepin has invested in a digital radio system to coordinate a response during emergencies along with a visitor management system that identifies a single point of entry to school buildings and requires proper identification for entry during the school day.
The district maintains relationships with local law enforcement and coordinates school resource police officers at 12 schools. Tim Fournier serves as manager of security and emergency operations for the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Fournier is an experienced law enforcement leader having served as a police chief, commanding officer and officer for the City of New Hope. Along with a team of school leaders, Fournier leads planning and facilitation for preparedness drills in the event of fire, lockdown, weather and other emergency situations.
High school chemistry, elementary science curriculum open house set for Nov. 17
Anoka-Hennepin School District families, students, staff, and community members are invited to review three new curriculum options and provide feedback. The district will offer both in-person and virtual open house opportunities in November.
These new curriculum options are in the areas of high school chemistry, high school honors chemistry, and elementary science.
The resources will be available for community viewing on Nov. 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Educational Service Center in Anoka. For parties unable to attend the in-person meeting, resources are available to view virtually from Nov. 17-23.
Early influenza season and promoting health and wellness in school
Minnesota is starting to see an uptick in flu cases, according to new data from the state department of health. Now is the perfect opportunity to remind your students about healthy habits to prevent the spread of germs and illness. Use these conversation tips at home to stay healthy this school year:
Wash hands frequently: Scrub hands and fingers with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds.
Cover coughs and sneezes: Use an elbow or a tissue.
Avoid touching your face: Germs can enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.
Practice healthy eating habits: Food is your body’s fuel. Choosing well-balanced meals boosts energy and health. Avoid sharing food/drinks/utensils with others.
Get plenty of rest: Sleep is important and restores your mind and body.
For more resources and information contact your school health services office or visit ahschools.us/healthservices.
Safety is the top priority in extreme winter weather
The safety of all students is the first priority when determining if schools should stay open in extreme winter weather.
The decision to close school is a serious one, and it affects many working families who would have to take a day off of work or find day care on short notice.
Tech Protect: Device protection available for district-issued Chromebooks
Deadline extended: Select or decline coverage by December 1.
The Device Protection Plan is optional; it is not required, however, by electing not to participate in the Protection Plan, families may be required to reimburse the school district for the replacement or repair of damaged Chromebooks assigned to their student/s. Damaged or broken screens may cost between $100 to $190 depending on parts needed; or the replacement cost for the entire device could be up to $410.
Families can opt-in to the Device Protection Plan by logging into A-HConnect, and selecting "My Student Information," and "Fees." Parents must select or decline coverage under the Device Protection Plan.
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 per student ($30 for families) per school year.
If the student qualifies for free school meals, the cost of the Protection Plan will be reduced to $0.
- Repairs with the Protection Plan are subject to a $15 deductible.
Upcoming events and important links
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This e-newsletter is published by Anoka-Hennepin Schools. It's sent to all Anoka-Hennepin staff on a weekly basis during the school year, excluding breaks (and periodically during the summer). Questions, comments or concerns about In the Know e-newsletter? Contact us.