The District Insider
Volume 10, Issue 2 | September 2022
Three Career and Technical Education Programs Receive State Awards
Three programs in Grand Forks Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) program have been awarded the 2022 Director’s Awards of Excellence by the North Dakota Department of CTE.
The Business Education program (instructors Katie Chandler, Aaron Cummings, Shari Jerde, Trevor Lennon, Logen Letofsky, Dustin Norby, Theresa Ostgarden, Melissa Port, and Megan Sullivan) was selected for increasing student enrollment through high-quality courses, such as the Microsoft industry certification opportunities for all students enrolled in the Microsoft Office courses; revitalizing the FBLA programs at Grand Forks Central and Red River high schools; maintaining the professionalism that continues to be demonstrated by the program’s instructors.
The Information Technology (IT) Education program at Grand Forks Central (instructor Zachary Buchhop) was honored for providing students with an educational experience that is engaging, up-to-date, relevant to the world of work, and foundational to a career within the IT field; encouraging the opportunity to achieve industry-level certifications to verify student knowledge and skills as they continue developing their IT career pathway; maintaining an active SkillsUSA chapter, where students have been able to compete at the state and national level.
The Health Sciences Education program (instructors Katie Hatt Rokke, Linsey Naastad, Dani Rowekamp, and Kari Satrom) was recognized for growing enrollment each and every year through dedicated and professional staff; having very active HOSA chapters at Grand Forks Central and Red River high schools, which have provided the opportunity for students to receive awards at fall leadership, state, and national conferences; valuing the communication between district teachers, advisory board, and community partners.
The awards were presented at the North Dakota Department of CTE Professional Development Conference, held August 8-10 in Bismarck.
Early Enrollment Numbers Increase Over Previous Year
Grand Forks Public Schools, which includes public schools in the city of Grand Forks and Nathan F. Twining Elementary and Middle School on the Grand Forks Air Force Base, had 7,489 students enrolled on the opening days of school.
When comparing this year’s opening enrollment to last year’s opening enrollment of 7,358, there was an increase of 131 students.
In comparison to the May 2022 enrollment of 7,248 students, there was an increase of 241 students.
RSP and Associates, the demographer for Grand Forks Public Schools, had an estimated enrollment of 7,493 students.
“There is always apprehension and reservation around first-week enrollment numbers, particularly during the pandemic when we realized an enrollment dip based on our demographer's projections,” said Superintendent Dr. Terry Brenner. “Today feels like a new day with student numbers up 131 from the opening week one year ago. That is a trajectory we are excited about as a school district and as a community.”
An official enrollment report will be completed at the end of September and presented at a Grand Forks School Board meeting in October. The report will include total enrollment for each grade level.
Ripley Receives State CTE Award
Eric Ripley, executive director of career and technical education and technology, has been selected to receive the Outstanding Direct Support Provider of the Year award from the North Dakota Association for Career and Technical Special Needs Education (NDACTSNE) association.
The award recognizes administrative or non-classroom persons who have made a major contribution to the development and/or growth of CTE Special Needs Education.
Ripley was nominated for the award by Rachael Richter, a vocational resource teacher at Red River High School).
“During the time I have known Eric, I’ve come to see that he is an incredible advocate for CTE in general, as well as relating to special populations,” Richter shared in her nomination letter. “He has been instrumental in helping my Resource Education program come together over the last several years. He has been very willing to allocate part of his budget for things like new student tables, presentation equipment, classroom storage, supplies, and other necessities to enhance student learning and support. The support and advocacy he provides are unparalleled and greatly appreciated by teachers and students alike.”
The award was presented to Ripley at the North Dakota Department of CTE Professional Development Conference, held August 8-10 in Bismarck.
Photo (from left): Rachael Richter, Eric Ripley, Barb Quintus (NDACTSNE awards chairperson).
Carlson Named North Dakota History Teacher of the Year
Elizabeth Carlson, a history teacher at Red River High School, has been selected as the 2022 North Dakota History Teacher of the Year.
The National History Teacher of the Year is chosen from outstanding history teachers in each state, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Department of Defense schools. The award is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
“Knowledgeable and impassioned teachers bring our country's history to life for students, allowing them to understand that engaging with history is about more than a series of facts,” said James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our students’ education, and these are the best of the best.”
A panel of teachers, administrators, and scholars from North Dakota selected Carlson for her achievements in American history education.
As an award recipient, Carlson will receive a $1,000 honorarium, a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, and recognition at a future event.
"Ms. Carlson is most deserving of this prestigious award,” said Principal Dr. Kris Arason. “She is an excellent teacher that brings history alive in her classroom. Students not only learn the content but live it through ‘real-life’ simulations from the period they study. Ms. Carlson is extremely passionate about her subject and works to instill that same passion in her students. The students at Red River are extremely fortunate to have her as their teacher.”
As a state-level award recipient, Carlson is also one of 53 finalists for the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Award. The winner of this year’s award will be announced in October 2022.
Rumor Has It
We wanted you to be aware that we have added a new webpage to our GFPS website titled, Rumor Has It. It is housed under the Communications Department and is linked on the homepage. Direct link: https://www.gfschools.org/Page/9488.
We will use this as a platform to provide accurate information to community member questions throughout the school year.
Early Childhood Selective Screenings
In order to identify students between the ages of 3-5 who have a disability, the Grand Forks Special Education Unit holds a selective screening one time monthly throughout the school year (September-April).
The purpose of the screen is to identify children who have a disability that may affect their school performance when they are of school age. Data collection in the areas of early intervention has demonstrated the benefits of providing services early in the life of a child to significantly reduce the
impact of a disability during the school years.
Screening is completed based on referrals due to concerns about a child’s development in the areas of speech/language, cognition, general development, social/emotional, fine motor, gross motor, vision, and hearing.
Early childhood selective screenings require pre-registration and will be held on Wednesdays at Ben Franklin Elementary School, 1016 S 20th St.
If you have questions about the screenings or have a child you would like to refer to the screen, please contact the Grand Forks Special Education Unit office at 701-746-2230.
- September 14, 2022
- October 12, 2022
- November 9, 2022
- December 7, 2022
- January 11, 2023
- February 8, 2023
- March 8, 2023
- April 12, 2023
Job Openings (posted since 8-1-2022)
- Custodian - Employee Referral Bonus Eligible - Twining School
- Unlicensed Assistive Personnel - Lake Agassiz Elementary
- Tutor - Mentor Center
- HVAC Technician
- Snow Removal (on-call)
- Security Officer - Valley Middle School
- Director of Human Resources
- Paraprofessional - Online Support
- Interventions Teacher - Kelly School
- Security Officer - Red River High School
- Paraprofessional - Early Childhood Special Education - Wilder Elementary
- Paraprofessional - 504 - Lewis & Clark School
- Paraprofessional - Interventions Title 1 - Lewis & Clark Elementary
- Summer Grounds Worker
- School Counselor - Schroeder Middle School
- Math Interventionist - South Middle School
- Behavior Specialist - Head Start
- School Psychologist Intern - Grow Your Own
- Head Start Teacher
- School Counselor - Elementary
- Student Behavior Facilitator - Century Elementary
- Designated Sub Teacher
- Bus Driver (Part-Time) - Students in Transition (SIT)
- Bus Monitor (Part-Time)
- Paraprofessional - Early Childhood Special Education - Ben Franklin Elementary
- Instructional Design Coach - Phoenix Elementary
- Paraprofessional - Lunchroom - Pool Application
- Paraprofessional - Secondary Level (6-12)
- Paraprofessional - Elementary Level (K-5)
- Security Officer - Central High School
- Paraprofessional - Interventions School within a School (SWIS)
- Speech Language Pathologist
- School Psychologist
- Paraprofessional - Title 1 - Wilder Elementary
- Grade 6 Teacher - Twining School
- Library Media Specialist - Phoenix Elementary
- Paraprofessional - 504 - Schroeder Middle School
Examples of Excellence
- Congratulations to Hanson Du, an 11th grade student at Grand Forks Central High School, and Eli Zerr, a 10th grade student at Red River High School, on being two of 25 students selected from across the state to serve in North Dakota State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler’s student cabinet! The cabinet will advise her about ways to strengthen North Dakota’s K-12 education system.
- Check out the great article below from the Society for Science about Amaa Wijetunga, student at South Middle School, and her work on cleaning up the world's water.
- September 2: Professional Development (No School K-12); District Office closes at 4 p.m.
- September 5: No School K-12/District Office closed (Labor Day)
- September 12: Grand Forks School Board meeting (Mark Sanford Education Center, 6 p.m.)
- September 20: Grand Forks Air Force Base School Board meeting (Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School, 12 p.m.)
- September 21: Early Release (Twining/middle/high schools: 1 p.m., elementary schools: 1:30 p.m.)
- September 26: Grand Forks School Board meeting (Mark Sanford Education Center, 6 p.m.)
Description of image above: East Grand Forks Public Schools and Grand Forks Public Schools invite you to bring unused, expired medications to the Grand Cities School Medication Take Back Challenge! Together, our school districts hope to collect at least 200 pounds of unused medications. September 20, 2022 from 7:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at the Hugo's Parking lot on Columbia Road.
Description of image above: Red River High School Roughriders Hall of Fame. Induction Ceremony. September 24th at 1 p.m. in the Red River Theatre. Open to the Public. Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022 inductees: Brad Lies, Chad Williamson, Chris Barta, Chris Hoversten, Craig Larson, Dashawn Carter, Dawn Zimney, Greg Herndon, Kathy Wischer, Kory Zimney, Mike LaMoine, Rick Ulvin, Scott Larson, Steff Steinke, Teri Horpedahl, Terry Dunphy, Tim Loven, William Janssen.