The District Insider

Volume 7, Issue 2 | September 2019

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Notice of Grand Forks School Board Opening
Grand Forks Public School District No. 1 is accepting applications to fill the seat of a mid-term vacancy until the next regular election, which will take place on June 9, 2020.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a citizen of the United States, eighteen years or older, and have resided in the Grand Forks Public School District for at least (30) days immediately preceding any appointment. Applications are available at the Mark Sanford Education Center, 2400 47th Avenue South, Grand Forks, ND, online at www.gfschools.org(under "District News"), or by email to scott.j.berge161@mygfschools.org.

The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on September 3, 2019.

If there are any questions, contact Scott J. Berge, at 746-2205, Ext. 7126.
Early Enrollment Numbers Increase Over Last 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 7,456 students enrolled on the opening days of school.


When comparing this year’s opening enrollment to last year’s opening enrollment of 7,330, there was an increase of 126 students.


In comparison to the May 2019 enrollment of 7,213 students, there was an increase of 243 students.


The district’s largest grade level of students is the kindergarten class, which has 623 students.


“We are absolutely thrilled with our opening week's enrollment; numbers that are very much in line with what our demographer anticipated,” said Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent of Grand Forks Public Schools. “The future trajectory for Grand Forks Public Schools looks extremely promising with our large kindergarten class.”


RSP and Associates, the demographer for Grand Forks Public Schools, had estimated an enrollment of 7,450 students.


An official enrollment report will be completed at the end of September and presented at a Grand Forks School Board meeting in October.

Parrill Named North Dakota Foreign Language Teacher of the Year

Emily Parrill, a Spanish teacher at Red River High School, has been named the 2019 Graciela Wilborn North Dakota Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. The award, which is given by the Foreign Language Association of North Dakota (FLAND), recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of foreign language teaching in the state of North Dakota.


In their letters of recommendation, colleagues shared Parrill's commitment to research-based learner-centered curricula, her professional leadership, and her passion for engaging with and caring about her students. Students described her willingness to listen and availability to those who need help, her patience and warmth, and her ability to challenge students while making class fun.


Parrill has taught at Red River since 2013. She currently teaches Spanish II, III, and IV, is the Department Chair of Foreign Languages, and the Renaissance Club advisor.


She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2005 and a master’s degree in educational leadership in 2012, both from the University of North Dakota


Parrill was recognized at FLAND’s 2019 Summer Conference on July 30 in Dickinson. Also attending the FLAND conference were Grand Forks Central teachers Katie Bolstad, Pam Fisher, and Sindy Larson, and Red River High School teachers Erika Feole and Kristine Middleton.


FLAND is an organization that supports the study and teaching of foreign languages. It was formed in 1968. FLAND’s Teacher of the Year award is named for Graciela Wilborn, a longtime Spanish teacher at UND, humanitarian, mentor, and champion of foreign language learning.

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Dr. Jerome Gunderson, Information Technology teacher at Grand Forks Central High School, has been selected by the North Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education (NDACTE) as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.


The Teacher of the Year award recognizes a teacher who is providing an exceptional career and technology program for youth in their community and respective field.


Originally a middle school technology education instructor, Gunderson transitioned into being one of the first information technology instructors in the state of North Dakota. Following the implementation of the Cisco Networking Curriculum and the establishment of the program, Gunderson was hired as the Director of Career and Technical Education at Grand Forks Public Schools, a role in which he held for several years. Gunderson returned to the classroom in Grand Forks in 2011 and has been teaching information technology at Grand Forks Central for the past nine years.


“Dr. Gunderson embodies the definition of a highly effective, dedicated, and respected educator,” said Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education. “Between a full teaching schedule, advising multiple student organizations, teaching summer school, and consistently working with his curriculum to stay current in the technical field, Dr. Gunderson never loses sight of the most important element of his classroom, which is his students. He is an exceptional educator and well-deserving of the Teacher of the Year award.”


Gunderson will now advance to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Region V competition, which includes Teacher of the Year award winners from 15 other states. The conference will be held in Colorado Lake Tahoe, Nev., in April 2020.


The award was presented at the 49th Annual North Dakota Department of CTE Professional Development Conference, held August 5-7 in Bismarck.

Two Career and Technical Education Programs Receive State Awards

Two programs in Grand Forks Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) program have been awarded 2019 Director’s Awards of Excellence by the North Dakota Department of CTE.


The Technology Education program (instructors Zach Buchhop, Nate Carlson, Jerome Gunderson, Jay Johnson, Andrew Kennedy, Ryan Moldenhauer, Grant Ness, Joseph Ostgarden, Roger Quinn, Aaron Schauer, Matt Solberg, John Stempinski, and Paul Strande) was selected for establishing strong industry partner support to accelerate expansion and growth of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. They were also recognized for each middle school in Grand Forks being recognized as a PLTW Distinguished School during the 2018-2019 school year, and participating in VEX Robotics and the Technology Student Association’s Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) competitions with multiple awards and recognition through the strong engagement and instruction by instructors.

Technology Education program educators with Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education

The Educational Equity and Nontraditional Careers program (instructors Katie Chandler, Rebecca Duncan, Jerome Gunderson, Joyce Larson, Kevin Phelps, and Paul Zettler), which includes the career units, 8th grade career fairs, Northern Valley Career Expo, career forums, job shadowing, internships, and Girls Who Code, was recognized for fostering a strong commitment to the education of a large population of nontraditional and English Language (EL) students in the field of technology and engineering. They were also recognized for developing the Girls Who Code clubs and Girls Go CyberStart program, which were founded to help girls in grades 6-12 practice coding in an environment free of stereotypes.

Educational Equity and Nontraditional Careers program educators with Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education.

“Grand Forks is consistently viewed as a leader and innovator within Career and Technical Education, and the recognition of these Director’s Awards of Excellence is a testament to the quality of CTE programs, staff, and opportunities available to our students,” said Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education.



The awards were presented at the 49th annual North Dakota Department of CTE Professional Development Conference, held August 5-7 in Bismarck.

Grand Forks Public Schools Receives Grant from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Grand Forks Public Schools has received a $15,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC).


The funds will be used to purchase reduced-price bus tickets for Native American students. The funds will also allow the students to receive assistance with fees, including after-school care, band instruments, electronic devices, college applications, and testing fees.


“Grand Forks Public Schools, through the generosity of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, will be able to assist Native American students with a range of services as they pursue their education,” said Chad Ward, Native American liaison for Grand Forks Public Schools.

This is the third year in a row Grand Forks Public Schools has received a grant from SMSC.


The SMSC is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the SMSC has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and causes since the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.

Kasprowicz Receives NDACTE Lifetime Achievement Award

Audrey Kasprowicz, a recently retired career technical resource teacher at Grand Forks Central High School, has been selected by the North Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education (NDACTE) as a 2019 NDACTE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.


This award recognizes Career and Technical Education (CTE) professionals for their leadership on behalf of the Association of Career and Technical Educators (ACTE), their innovations in CTE, and their contributions to the field over an extended period of time.


Kasprowicz was a career technical resource teacher at Grand Forks Central since 2001. Kasprowicz had also served as a Family and Consumer Science (FACS) instructor for over 10 years.


“The lifetime achievement award is a worthy recognition to the years of professional and student-focused service Audrey provided to Grand Forks Public Schools,” said Eric Ripley, Executive Director of Career and Technical Education. “Her educational career left an immeasurable positive mark on the lives on her students.”


“Ms. Kasprowicz have opened her doors to numerous administrators and teachers seeking information on how best to implement their own programs, generously sharing her experience and knowledge in helping at-risk students to succeed,” added Deb Huber, State Supervisor of Special Populations with the North Dakota Department of CTE.


Kasprowicz will now advance to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Region V competition for consideration for the ACTE Region V Teacher of the Year. The conference will be held in Colorado Lake Tahoe, Nev., in April 2020.


The award was presented at the 49th Annual North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education Professional Development Conference, held August 5-7 in Bismarck.

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Mark your calendars! Five community meetings on Grand Forks Public Schools' facilities have been scheduled for the month of September. Please see the attached graphic for specific dates, times, and locations.


Each meeting will begin with a large group gathering for a presentation of information, followed by small group conversation to provide feedback. Insight from our community members is essential to this process, and we would appreciate your presence and feedback.


Thank you!

Grand Forks Public Schools Partners with MealViewer

Grand Forks Public Schools is now able to offer a quick and easy way for families and students to view daily breakfast and lunch menus through a partnership with MealViewer.


MealViewer provides convenient access to online menus available 24/7 on the district website or through the district mobile app. Users can create profiles and review information about each menu item. Users are also able to select any allergens a student has and they will get an alert each time that allergen is on the menu. MealViewer also allows tracking of carbohydrate counts for students with diabetes. Families and students can also favorite and rate certain meals to ensure Grand Forks Public Schools serves the meals they enjoy.


“Partnering with MealViewer gives us the opportunity to provide more menu information to our families in an easy-to-use format,” said Emily Karel, director of Child Nutrition at Grand Forks Public Schools. “Using an electronic platform also allows us to be more environmentally conscious and reduces the amount of paper we had used distributing menus.”


To sign up for MealViewer, please visit https://schools.mealviewer.com/, or download the Grand Forks Public Schools mobile app (directions for downloading the app are available at https://www.gfschools.org/Page/8832) and register for a free MealViewer account. Create a profile on MealViewer by selecting your students’ school.


Families can direct any questions they have to MealViewer by emailing mealviewer.support@e-hps.com, or by calling 1-866 351-2248.

Grand Forks Public Schools Receives Grant from Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

Grand Forks Public Schools has received a grant from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) in the amount of $10,000.


The funds will be used to assist Native American students with fees including after-school care, band instruments, electronic devices, college applications, testing, sports, and lunch tickets, along with hosting cultural events for the Grand Forks community.


“Grand Forks Public Schools, through the generosity of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, will be able to assist Native American students with a variety of services as they pursue their education,” said Chad Ward, Native American liaison for Grand Forks Public Schools.


The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located ten miles south of the Canadian Border. The unique traditions and culture of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians have a vision, “to achieve self-sufficiency, financial independence, and healthy lifestyle through the knowledge and education of the most important asset – our people.”

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Upcoming Events
  • September 9 - Grand Forks School Board Meeting (6 p.m., Mark Sanford Education Center)
  • September 11 - Grand Forks Central/Red River 1-hour late start
  • September 17 - Grand Forks Air Force Base School Board Meeting (12 p.m., Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School)
  • September 18 - Elementary Early Release (1:30 p.m.)
  • September 27 - No School (Professional Development)
  • September 30 - Grand Forks School Board Meeting (6:10 p.m., Viking Elementary School)

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Contact Grand Forks Public Schools

Mark Sanford Education Center

2400 47th Ave. S

Grand Forks, ND 58201


701-746-2200

www.gfschools.org