Issue #90

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Welcome Back to School!

We are now in our second week of school. Our 23/24 school year started on Tuesday September 5th after the Labor Day weekend. We welcome principal Shandyn Benson to GPHS.

It is going to be a great school year.

Review "The Lens" for important announcement about school and community opportunities. And while we're on that subject, registration for Q1 Evening High School (a great way to earn additional credits) begins next week.

Introduction to our new Principal Shandyn Benson

I've been an educator in St. Paul Public Schools for 23 years and in that time have had many roles. I've taught social studies in alternative education and at Harding High School. I was the IB MYP (Middle Years Program) coordinator at Harding and later became a TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) in the Office of Teaching and Learning. The last two years I was an assistant principal at Washington Technology.

I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in Social Studies Education as well as a Certificate in Technology. I also earned a Certificate in Urban Education from Hamline University. Later I went on to earn a Masters in Educational Leadership, K-12 Principal License, and Educational Specialist degree from Saint Mary’s University, Twin Cities.

When I am not working, I spend a lot time with my family on either a ball field or a soccer field. I have two daughters aged 16 and 12.

I believe it is important to balance all the demands of work and home life with something I enjoy. For me, that is running. I've ran 10 marathons, 8 of them in the last 3 years and my 11th is coming up in October.

What energizes me about Gordon Parks is seeing the motivation our students have to earn their credits for graduation and begin their life outside of high school. This is especially true when students find out they are so close to being done.

What I already enjoy about being part of the GPHS team is how hard the teachers work to ensure students are earning their credits. Learning about the projects that many have poured so much time into creating is very exciting. I can't wait to explore more ways for students to earn credits and get closer to walking across the stage.


Principal Shandyn Benson

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Students were asked to create a digital 6-word memoir, a personal story about their life in ONLY 6 words, in Ms. Tomlin’s English 11/12 classes. Students were asked to do some prewriting and then revise their writing and come up with 6 words that portray something deep and powerful about themselves. Next, they were asked to add an image that represents their memoir. You can see some of their work here in The Lens:
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Read our GPHS "Rights & Responsibilities Handbook" via the linked image below


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Do you need elective credits? Do you have a part-time job?

Did you know you can earn 2 credits per quarter for working after school?

To take advantage of the work experience program, the first step is to check with your counselor to see if you still need electives. If so, he will direct you to Mr. Iwen, the Work Experience Coordinator who can get you set up with the paperwork and information you need for work experience credit.

This is a great way to earn credit for something you might already be doing!

If you are interested in work opportunities or need help searching and applying for jobs talk to Mr. Iwen in room 1109.

Gordon Parks High School Website

Incoming, and returning students, should take a glance at our Gordon Parks High School website as a place for information. Please click on the image above or URL listed below.

What is "The Lens" E-Newsletter

This weekly newsletter may be new to students that are just getting started at Gordon Parks High School.

The Lens is called, "The Lens", because of our namesake, Gordon Parks. It would take a lot of time to list all of Gordon Parks accomplishments, but he is best known for his epic photography career that spanned seven decades. To learn more about Gordon Parks, click here.

The Lens is a useful tool for reminding students and parents about important school info, as well as a place for us to highlight the work of students. Expect more content in our future issues, but for now, we just want to remind you about coming back to school next week.

**Important Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care Notice: Renew Your Coverage & Your Children’s Coverage**

Do You Have Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare? Protect Yourself & Your Family: Renew Your Coverage & Your Children’s Coverage

UPDATE your contact information with Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. Use your phone, computer, or a local library computer to go to the website and follow the provided steps to update your contact information. Make Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare has your current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information. This way, they’ll be able to contact you when it’s time to renew your/your children’s coverage.

• RESPOND to the Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare renewal form when it arrives to keep your coverage. Be on the lookout for a letter from Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. The letter may say that you need to fill out a form to renew your coverage. Fill it out and mail it in right away to help avoid a gap in your coverage or your child’s coverage. If the letter says that you and your children were already renewed, you’re all set!

PARENTS should respond even if you don’t think you’re eligible—your kids could still be eligible!

Easy ways to inform families include an email, take-home flyer, home-to-school communication apps for teachers/parents/students, or a conversation during back-to-school nights, curriculum nights, PTA meetings, or parent-teacher conferences. A helpful link is to Minnesota Department of Human Services website: Be prepared to renew. Your health insurance needs to be renewed periodically. Avoid losing your Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare by being prepared for your renewal

Please click the "One Stop" link below to update your info for this school year. This info needs to be updated annually.