Backpack Online - November 23, 2022
November 23, 2022
Updated school boundaries approved for 2023-24
Following months of reviewing draft proposals and considering community feedback, the Anoka-Hennepin School Board unanimously approved new attendance boundaries for the 2023-24 school year.
School Board members and district leaders collected community feedback on draft proposals shared at over 10 meetings this fall that ultimately informed the plan. Recommendations were revised in the Blaine and Champlin Park cluster proposals in response to community feedback.
Regional High School celebration brings school community together
A student-led initiative at Anoka-Hennepin Regional High School (AHRHS) modified the school’s annual traditional Thanksgiving meal to a celebration of the diverse student population. Knowing not every student celebrates Thanksgiving, the AHRHS Student Voices group was the catalyst for the change, which was supported by the school’s equity team and child nutrition staff.
“The change gave us joy because we realized that our voice matters and every student knows that we can make changes,” said AHRHS student J-Kwon Paibo. “It brings a really positive energy (to the building). It brings us together, we love each other.”
On Nov. 22, students and staff feasted on a menu of tacos, Liberian rice and beans, turkey legs and pumpkin bars. Students volunteered to serve the meal, and the energy in the cafeteria was high. The shift in the meal and celebration happened quickly, and the administration was grateful for the flexibility of the child nutrition staff.
Superintendent interviews scheduled to begin the week of Nov. 28
At a special school board meeting Monday, Nov. 28, the Anoka-Hennepin School Board will approve a list of initial recommended candidates to interview in its search for the next superintendent of the school district.
Candidate names will be public once approved by the School Board at 6:30 p.m. First round interviews are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Nov. 29 and conclude the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 30. Follow the Superintendent Search webpage for updates about the process at ahschools.us/superintendentsearch.
The search process is coordinated cooperatively with School Exec Connect, a search and consulting firm that specializes in supporting school boards in recruiting and evaluating candidates for leadership positions such as superintendents, central office administrators and principals. The firm has both a local and national reach and also supported Anoka-Hennepin Schools in the last superintendent search process in 2014.
Students give thanks and give back at Roosevelt Middle School
Every day before school at Roosevelt Middle School (RMS), students have the opportunity to stop by the media center to participate in a themed activity. Nov. 21 was Mindful Monday, as students conducted a service project to benefit the preschool students in the building.
Students volunteered their time to assemble 100 activity kits that the preschool students will take home for the holiday break. The students filled small gift bags that had the Roosevelt Royals paw print on it with items like Play-Doh, a miniature glider, stickers, a game, origami and more. Later in the day, groups of middle school students delivered the kits to the young learners. View photos of the volunteer activity.
"Volunteering is important because it's an opportunity to do something that helps others," said RMS student Brady Whittenburg.
RMS teacher librarian Morgan Reel coordinates the morning programming and said Monday’s activity was intended to help strengthen the Roosevelt community by celebrating its youngest learners.
“I wanted to give our middle schoolers the opportunity to participate in volunteerism, which can benefit their mental well-being,” Reel said. “We do these morning activities and a lot of the time it is a make-and-take project, so I wanted to spin that around and have them make something for someone else.”
In the news: Safety and security in schools
Protecting the safety of students, staff and visitors continues to be a priority at all Anoka-Hennepin Schools. The District recently increased security procedures at events to ensure safety following incidents at other metro area high schools, and utilizes a multi-layered approach to protect the safety of students and staff.
Anoka-Hennepin Schools works closely with and maintains relationships with local law enforcement, coordinating school resource police officers at 12 schools. WCCO TV spent time at Coon Rapids High School last week to discuss school safety and the role of school resource officers in schools. Watch the story to learn more.
Learn more about school jobs, attend virtual job fair Nov. 30
The Anoka-Hennepin School District is hosting a virtual job fair for all non-teaching positions Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 3-6 p.m. Participants can join the virtual job fair at any time between 3-6 p.m.
Whether you’re looking for part-time, full-time, or seasonal positions, Anoka-Hennepin has opportunities for any phase of your work life. Job seekers with all education levels, background experiences, interests, and schedule availability are encouraged to join our team!
The district is currently seeking applicants for a number of non-teaching positions. Registration is required for the Nov. 30 event.
The virtual job fair will provide opportunities to learn about open positions in various areas and chat live with hiring managers:
- Child nutrition (food service).
- Before and after school childcare (Adventures Plus).
- Teacher assistants (paras).
- Special education teacher assistants.
- General information about employment in Anoka-Hennepin.
Anoka-Hennepin is hosting the virtual job fair via Brazen, the leading virtual hiring event and online career fair platform. Join the virtual job fair from the comfort of your own home and learn about great opportunities available at Anoka-Hennepin.
In the news: Project Lead the Way
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.
Educators from neighboring school districts, including Osseo Area Schools, Minneapolis, and St. Paul Public Schools, and industry partners Cargill and Medtronic were also in attendance to learn more about the specialty program at CRHS. Watch the CTN story to learn more.
Final fall activities round-up
The state adapted soccer tournament for both cognitive impairment (CI) and physical impairment (PI) was held Nov. 18-19 at Stillwater High School.
The Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs defeated St. Paul Humboldt 8-4 on Nov. 19 to win the consolation championship at the state tournament. The Mustangs entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed and lost a heartbreaker 3-2 to the Rochester Raiders in the quarterfinals. Anoka-Hennepin had a bye in the first round of the consolation bracket before closing-out the season with a win.
Girls swimming and diving
The MSHSL state girls swimming and diving meet was held Nov. 16-18 at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
The following results are from the finals portion of the state meet held Nov. 18.
Andover High School
Cate Pawlaski won the state title in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.79 and placed fourth in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:03.62.
Anoka High School
Ally Diehl, Erin Neises, Sydney DeRung and Nora Sloth placed 12th in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:38.38.
Blaine High School
Madeline Schrank placed ninth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.05 and ninth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.41.
Sophia Leo placed 11th in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.85.
Madeline Schrank, Gabby Busch, Nevaeh Miller and Kalli Stark placed ninth in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:34.63.
Parent Engage 360 Episode 28: Anti-bullying and discipline
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.
Lauren Williams, a second grade teacher at Hamilton Elementary School, was featured in the Star Tribune's recent article on reading proficiency and new methods to effectively teach young students to read.
Read the article, "How Minnesota's largest districts are teaching struggling readers." (subscription may be required)
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
- Preview: Special School Board meetings for Superintendent search set for Nov. 28, 29 and 30.
- Action of the School Board, Nov. 21.
- Superintendent Search.
- Anoka-Hennepin's first Education, Employment and Enlistment Palooza set for Dec. 10.
- Providing family choice: Anoka-Hennepin features 12 specialty and magnet schools.
- District enrollment remains steady, elementary-age students impacting growth.
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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.