Backpack Online - November 18, 2022
November 18, 2022
Kindness poster contest winners announced
As part of October’s National Bullying Prevention campaign, Anoka-Hennepin held its 19th annual kindness poster contest.
The district invited students at all grade levels to submit their best artwork for the competition and the school-level winners advanced to the district-level competition.
This year’s theme was There is POWER in Kindness. Nearly 150 posters were voted on by staff at the Educational Service Center (ESC) on Thursday, Nov. 10. This year’s winners are:
- Leona Payne, kindergarten, Brookside Elementary School.
- Alissha Yang, first grade, Mississippi Elementary School.
- Gia Alunovic, second grade, Sunrise Elementary School.
- Natalie Clark, third grade, Rum River Elementary School.
- Taleen Almosawi, fourth grade, Jefferson Elementary School.
- Inessa Crane, fifth grade, Eisenhower Elementary School.
- Avrie Siedschlag, sixth grade, Coon Rapids Middle School.
- Clare Jolly, seventh grade, Oak View Middle School.
- Kayana Podany, eighth grade, Northdale Middle School.
- Eva Figueroa, 11th grade, Andover High School.
These students will be recognized at the Jan. 23 School Board meeting and will receive a Kindle tablet from the Horace Mann Company. Winning posters will also be displayed on the district website and printed for use in school buildings across the district.
Parent Engage 360
Bullying is a topic that often arises, and is not always easy to discuss as a parent or guardian. Parents may be wondering how to support their child, what questions to ask, or who to talk to at school to help.
In the latest episode of the Parent Engage 360 Podcast, host Liz Burgard, Anoka-Hennepin parent involvement coordinator, is joined by Britt Olean, district school social worker, and Mary Kling, assistant principal of the Compass program overseeing elementary student conduct and discipline, to share information on how Anoka-Hennepin defines bullying and how parents can help support their children if they suspect bullying is happening.
Also in this episode, Olean shares the role of school social workers in the district and how they support students in a variety of ways. Tune in to the latest Parent Engage 360 Podcast on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, or at ahschools.us/parentengage360.
The Parent Engage 360 Podcast aims to provide parents and guardians with knowledge from experts in chemical health, mental health, internet safety and more, as well as the tools needed to support their children. Anoka-Hennepin hopes that providing timely and helpful information through the Parent Engage 360 podcast series will strengthen the bond between school and home with resources parents and guardians can use and share with others.
Updated attendance boundary change proposal in Blaine
The Anoka-Hennepin School Board reviewed boundary proposals at its Nov. 7 meeting, where district leaders presented an additional option in the Blaine cluster in response to projected new housing development throughout the Blaine community and market conditions for new housing.
The updated proposal would relocate an area south of the Blaine city border with Ham Lake and both north and south of 131st street from the Sunrise Elementary School attendance area to the McKinley Elementary School attendance area. This change also applies to the middle school attendance boundary proposal, shifting an area from Northdale Middle School to the Roosevelt Middle School attendance area. Review the maps for the new boundary option:
The district held a community meeting Tuesday, Nov. 15 to review the updated proposal and allow the community to provide feedback for School Board consideration.
WATCH D.O.G.S. is back bringing smiles to students and staff at Madison
Volunteers play an important part in the success of all students in Anoka-Hennepin
Students, staff and families at Madison Elementary School are excited to welcome back a volunteer opportunity for the positive male role models in the school community.
Since 2014, Madison has featured the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program as an opportunity for fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, uncles, and other father figures to serve as a full day volunteer at the school, but due to the pandemic, the program was put on hold. The Madison administration was unsure if it would return this year, but after hearing strong support from the PTO and families, the program is now back in full force.
“One advantage of this program is that it gets men into the school to be good role models, but they also get to see what their child’s day is like at school,” said Madison principal Dorothy Olsen. “They get to see how hard teachers and students work and the life of an elementary school student.”
AHEF awards additional 58 grants to teachers and staff, totaling $26,796
The Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF) recently awarded the second round of grant funds for school projects and students totaling $26,796 in mini-grants for the 2022-23 school year. These funds complement an earlier round of grants in May 2022 and perennial grants that AHEF funds each year for a total of $74,843 in funds awarded for this school year. The mini grants fund teacher requests that create additional learning opportunities in classrooms for students.
AHEF received 60 mini-grant requests from staff of which all were funded either partially or in full. “This was one of the largest number of grant requests received in years,” said Tess DeGeest, executive director of the AHEF. “The increase in requests reflects the continuing needs of students all across our district and the dedication of our staff members to meet these needs.” Learn more about the mini grants.
Anoka-Hennepin hosts first Education, Employment, and Enlistment Palooza
Anoka-Hennepin career and college specialists from the district’s high schools have collaborated to present the first Education, Employment, and Enlistment Palooza on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 8-11:15 a.m. at Anoka High School (AHS). The event will highlight a variety of college, career and post-high school planning options for all high school students and families.
The format will include a mix of scheduled 40-minute sessions on focused topics with the fair opening at 9 a.m. and running until 11:15 a.m. The three sets of sessions will run from 8:15-8:55 a.m., 9:35-10:05 a.m., and 10:10-10:50 a.m.
The sessions feature topics like paying for college, FAFSA information, applying for scholarships, labor market trends and more. More than 40 higher education institutions from the region, 20-plus employers and multiple military branches will be in attendance. View the session schedule and planned palooza attendees.
“Showing multiple pathways for students to consider upon graduation is critical to truly understanding how many opportunities exist and to begin imagining and planning for their futures,” said Colleen Neary, career and college specialist at AHS. “Events like the palooza can create the foundation for students to gather information and, ultimately, make confident decisions about their next steps.”
Anoka High School students attend 3M Cultural Collaborative Career Day
Anoka High School students attended the 7th Annual 3M Cultural Collaborative Career Day on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The event is geared towards high school students with diverse backgrounds who are interested in learning about various careers at 3M, and was hosted by the 3M African American Network and Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD).
Attendees had the opportunity to interact with professionals of color who are thriving in their careers. The students attended a panel discussion, networked with current 3M employees and toured the St. Paul campus. The goal of the event is for students to explore a diversity of disciplines and have them leave inspired by how much the world has to offer them.
Virtual resources still available for curriculum open house through Nov. 23
Anoka-Hennepin School District families, students, staff, and community members have been invited to review three new curriculum options and provide feedback. The district offered both in-person and virtual open house opportunities in November, with the in-person open house taking place Thursday, Nov. 17, and the virtual option available for community review through Nov. 23.
These new curriculum options are in the areas of high school chemistry, high school honors chemistry, and elementary science. Learn more about the curriculum open house.
Anoka-Hennepin Schools Invites Parents to Weigh in on Science Curriculum
The Anoka-Hennepin School District is changing part of their science curriculum, and they are inviting the public to weigh in on Nov. 17. They are specifically considering new curriculum for chemistry, honors chemistry and elementary science.
Fall activities roundup
The Minnesota State High School League girls swimming and diving state tournament takes place Nov. 16-18, with several students from Anoka-Hennepin Schools competing at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
In preliminary round diving competition, Anoka High School’s Kirsten Bailey scored 141.10 and Blaine High School’s Sophia Larson scored 129.20.
In the swimming competition, the following swimmers competed in the preliminary round Thursday, Nov. 17. Finals take place Friday, Nov. 18.
Andover High School
Cate Pawlaski - 200 yard IM - 2nd place, 100 yard breaststroke - 1st place
200 yard medley relay - Keira Elliott, Pawlaski, LeeAnna Seward, Eva King - 18th place
Anoka High School
Ally Diehl - 100 yard butterfly - 18th place, 200 yard IM - 20th place
Erin Neises - 500 yard freestyle - 18th place
Nora Sloth - 100 yard freestyle - 19th place
200 yard freestyle relay: Diehl, Sloth, Grace Morphew, Neises - 19th place
400 yard freestyle relay: Diehl, Neises, Sydney DeRung, Sloth - 14th place
Blaine High School
Gabby Busch - 100 yard backstroke - 18th place
Sophia Leo: 50 yard freestyle - 22nd place, 100 yard backstroke - 16th place
Nevaeh Miller: 200 yard freestyle - 20th, 500 yard freestyle - 20th place
Madeline Schrank: 200 yard freestyle - 18th place, 100 yard butterfly - 10th place
Kalli Stark - 50 yard freestyle - 18th, 100 yard freestyle - 17th place, 50 yard freestyle swim-off - 1st place
200 yard medley relay: Leo, Shrank, Miller, Stark - 10th place
200 yard freestyle relay: Kate Pennoyer, Busch, Lana Ryan, Leo - 20th place
400 yard freestyle relay: Schrank, Busch, Miller, Stark - 12th place
Champlin Park High School
400 yard freestyle relay: Kari Bork, Addy Stover, Mari Lachinski, Sophie Norsted - 17th place
The state adapted soccer tournament for both cognitive impairment (CI) and physical impairment (PI) is set for Nov. 18-19 at Stillwater Area High School.
The Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs qualified for the MSHSL PI state tournament and enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the north division. The Mustangs will play the Rochester Raiders in the first round at 5 p.m. on Nov. 18.
Bid now: Student-built ice house for auction
Sale benefits future hands-on learning opportunities in the school
Temperatures are falling, which means ice fishing opportunities are fast approaching. Anoka-Hennepin students from the Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) want you to fish in comfort and style with a new ice house. An auction is live now for a student-built ice house, which is 6-feet wide, 8-feet deep and 9-feet high. The starting bid is $2,900.
The ice house features a 32-inch steel entry door with a locking knob, two 24-by-24-inch sliding windows and four ice fishing holes. The sale of the ice house benefits future hands-on learning opportunities in the school.
Act now! The auction is scheduled to close on Wednesday, Nov. 23. View more details about the ice house and make a bid.
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.