Backpack Online -September 16, 2022
September 16, 2022
Boundary meetings recap
With enrollment growth in portions of the district - Blaine, Champlin and Dayton - attendance boundary changes are needed to balance student enrollment to ensure operational efficiencies and quality education for all students. Anoka-Hennepin Schools is coordinating a process for public review and input into draft proposals, which would be approved by the school board in November and put in place for the 2023-24 school year.
Changes are being proposed at the elementary level across the district and at Roosevelt and Northdale Middle School attendance areas. There are no other middle school or any high school attendance boundary changes being proposed.
Community meetings will allow interested persons to review draft proposals, discuss considerations with school and district leaders and provide feedback for the school board as new boundaries are finalized. These meetings will focus on the areas served with the high school boundaries where the meetings are hosted. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. with a brief presentation at the following dates and locations:
Tues., Sept. 20 at Anoka High School.
Wed., Sept. 21 at Blaine High School.
Thurs., Sept. 22 at Andover High School.
Community meetings were held at Champlin Park and Coon Rapids cluster schools Sept. 14-15. Watch the Champlin Park cluster meeting, watch the Coon Rapids cluster meeting.
Office Depot supplies students at Monroe and Evergreen Park with backpacks
Office Depot donated backpacks filled with school supplies to every student at each school
Through Office Depot’s Start Proud!® Program, all students at Monroe Elementary School - Mathematics, Science and Children’s Engineering and Evergreen Park Elementary: STEM School of Innovation received backpacks filled with school supplies.
Office Depot distributed 1,000 backpacks stocked with notebooks, composition books, crayons, pencils, highlighters and more last week and held a special event at Monroe on Sept. 9. The donation and event were facilitated by the Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF).
“This donation was meaningful to our school community because it made starting school stress free from a financial perspective of having to provide school supplies,” said Amy Oliver, principal at Monroe. “I took many calls from families who were excited to hear that supplies and a backpack were being provided for their student(s).”
Community Meetings for Superintendent Search input set for Sept. 27
The Anoka-Hennepin School Board is seeking community input as they begin the process of hiring a new superintendent. Community input meetings are set for Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at both Champlin Park High School and Coon Rapids High School. Stakeholders can select the meeting site that is the most convenient, they will both follow the same format.
Dr. Kenneth Dragseth and Dr. Antoinette Johns from the firm School Exec Connect will organize the meeting to determine the strengths, challenges, and the characteristics or skills to search for in the next superintendent. Additionally, anonymous written feedback can be provided to the consultants by completing a survey at ahschools.us/superintendentsearch. This information will be used to develop a profile of the desired skills and characteristics in the next superintendent. All replies will be anonymous. Please submit feedback by Oct. 4.
The Anoka-Hennepin School Board will conduct interviews and complete the superintendent hiring process by early December. The new superintendent will begin service with the 2023-24 school year.
Four district seniors named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists
Four Anoka-Hennepin seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, and each are now in the running for one of the 7,500 scholarships of up to $2,500 for college.
The students: Andover High School senior Eleanor Fredine; Blaine High School senior Adhithya Anandaraj; Champlin Park High School senior Maura Wahl; Coon Rapids High School senior Jesse Ariston B. Co.
The four Anoka-Hennepin students join approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationally who have the opportunity to become National Merit Scholars.
To become a semifinalist, high school juniors entered the National Merit Scholarship program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
Device Protection Plan available to students assigned Chromebooks
New this year, families have the option to enroll in the Device Protection Plan.
Families can opt-in to the Device Protection Plan when completing their back-to-school verification and pay for the coverage in SchoolPay.
- 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 ($30 for families). If the student qualifies for free school meals, the cost will be reduced to zero.
Parent Engage 360 back-to-school podcast
Episode 26: Back-to-school with Dr. Kate Maguire
It is officially back-to-school season! In the latest episode of the Parent Engage 360 Podcast, Interim Superintendent Dr. Kate Maguire joins host Liz Burgard, Anoka-Hennepin parent involvement coordinator, to discuss all things back to school.
Maguire began serving as interim superintendent in July and shares in this podcast what she has learned in just two short months at Anoka-Hennepin. With nearly 40 years of experience in education, Maguire provides tips and recommendations for parents and guardians to help their children have a successful start to the school year while also sharing about the district’s theme this school year, Live Well, Lead Well, Learn Well.
Students benefit from media center improvements at Sand Creek Elementary
CTN in Coon Rapids recently visited Sand Creek Elementary School to see the new media center improvements at the school. As part of the Fit for the Future plan, district schools received media center updates and this summer, 15 schools received those updates. Next summer, another 13 schools will see media center improvements.
National Suicide Awareness Prevention Month resources
September is National Suicide Awareness Prevention Month, a time to reinforce that suicide is preventable and an effort that benefits from a community-wide approach.
Last January, the Parent Engage 360 Podcast, a tool used by Anoka-Hennepin to provide parents and guardians with knowledge from experts and tools needed to support their children, featured the topic of suicide awareness.
In this episode, host Liz Burgard, Anoka-Hennepin parent involvement coordinator, sat down with Janet Casperson, an Anoka-Hennepin parent, and Julia Messenger, assistant director of student services for mental health and emotional wellness, to provide additional awareness around the topic of suicide.
You will hear one mother’s story and how she has become an amazing advocate and resource in our school community through the loss of her son, Sam. Listen to this episode of the Parent Engage 360 Podcast.
For those who need immediate support, you are not alone. 24-hour support is available by phone by calling or texting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or on the Crisis Text Line by texting MN to 741741.
Two Anoka High School students win amateur talent contest at the state fair
Two seniors at Anoka High School - Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (AHS) placed first in the teen division of the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest.
Seniors Ashley Wongbi and Olivia Buxton were members of a vocal group that took home the top prize with a cover of Ex-Wives from the musical, Six.
“I’ve spent time singing in choir and doing theater since sixth grade at Anoka Middle School, and my love for it has really pushed me into performing,” Wongbi said.
“My time at Anoka High School helped me to be prepared because I was aware of how to perform from choir,” said Buxton. “My choir teacher taught me how to work with others well, as well as how to use my vocal talent to its fullest.”
Apply for educational benefits for the 2022-23 school year
All Anoka-Hennepin families are encouraged to apply for the educational benefits program for the upcoming school year. A new application must be submitted each school year.
By completing this application, students may receive free or reduced fees for transportation, meals, academic, and co-curricular activities. Please visit ahschools.us/freereduced to set up, or log in to your SchoolCafe account and complete an application for free or reduced-price meal and other benefits. The educational benefits program not only ensures that students have access to nutritious meals, it also provides critical federal funding for schools.
As a reminder, the federal subsidy to provide free school meals for every student will no longer be available this school year. Only one application is needed per household. Please contact the child nutrition department with any questions or assistance at 763-506-1240 or staff.CnpEnrollment@ahschools.us.
Important update regarding transportation for fall activities
As experienced during the 2021-22 school year, the nationwide shortage of bus drivers continues to affect the availability of transportation services. Anoka-Hennepin transportation has been working diligently to ensure that bus routes to and from school and activities are covered. While the bus companies are making progress in adding drivers to address the shortage, the district anticipates that there will be continued issues this fall. Anoka-Hennepin is committed to keeping planned athletic and activity events this fall season. The main goal is for student-athletes to continue to compete despite the driver shortage and transportation issues.
Putting 'U' in Community Education: Ana's Story
Upcoming events and important updates
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This e-newsletter is published by Anoka-Hennepin Schools. It's sent to Anoka-Hennepin families and community members who subscribe on a weekly basis during the school year, excluding breaks (and periodically during the summer). Questions, comments or concerns about the Backpack Online e-newsletter? Contact us.