Spring Lake Park High School
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NOVEMBER 8, 2023 - NEWSLETTER
The winter athletic and activities season will be starting soon. I encourage students to get signed up, if not already, for the activities, clubs, and athletics of interest. There is still time for students to get connected with co-curricular and extra-curricular activities like affinity-based clubs, like Robotics and Knowledge Bowl, to name just a few.
Yesterday, we hosted the first Minnesota State High School League (MHSL) Math Meet of the season. There were six schools competing and our math team finished second. One of our Mathletes, sophomore Sam Kretzschmar, will be competing this weekend in the Harvard-MIT Invitational Math contest as a member of the Minnesota All-State Math team. Congratulations and good luck, Sam!
In our last pulse check survey, there were a handful of questions about how we are approaching coverage for classes when teachers are absent. I want to provide some information about the approach we are taking this year. We are encouraged by the results so far.
Many of us grew up in an environment where substitute teachers were abundant. That is no longer the case. Since 2020, schools across the metro, have experienced a significant decline in the number of available substitute teachers. Last year, our average daily fill rate for substitute teacher requests was 60 percent. This is not great for learning or for daily school operations.
This year, at the high school, we are trying a different approach. Our goals is to more intentionally support learning when teachers are absent and also reduce the daily challenges that occur when substitutes simply aren’t available.
First, we are prioritizing the placement of any available substitute teachers with students groups or classroom environments that have the highest support needs – based on either the learners or the learning environment as well as 9th grade core content classes. For all other classes, We are managing teacher absences proactively in the following ways:
- Students transition, for the identified class period, to one of our flexible learning spaces or higher-capacity spaces. For example, we might have three course sections in the Fine Arts Center with approximately 60 students in a space for 800+.
- Supervisory, non-teaching staff are present in these spaces to supervise, answer questions and provide support and classroom management.
- Students are provided asynchronous (on-demand) learning, designed by the teacher who is absent (if the absent teacher has not been able to design that learning, the subject area’s curriculum leader will do so). These learning experiences are aligned to the course unit plans and designed to extend the student learning based on the course trimester overviews.
While we continue to adjust our practices based on what we are learning, we are encouraged by the results so far. For the most part, high school students are able to work very well independently for a class period. We are seeing a higher rate of work completion this year using this model than when we relied solely on substitute teachers. There is also reduced stress in the daily operation of our school as we have an intentional approach that does not just rely on what has become a substitute teacher lottery. We will continue to monitor and refine as we go. If you have questions, please reach out.
Tomorrow evening, Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m., we’ll test our emergency notification system. See more information in the newsletter and make sure you’re getting information how you prefer. We want to make any updates before the snow flies.
Thank you as always for your ongoing support and partnership. One school, one community, #SLPPantherProud!
Test of district’s notification system to happen tomorrow, Nov. 9
Winter weather is soon upon us which means it is time to check Spring Lake Park Schools’ emergency notification system. The district will be testing the system on Thursday, November 9 at 6:30 p.m. Depending on your communication preferences, you will receive an email, text message, voicemail and/or push notification from the SLP mobile app.
If you do not receive the message on your preferred device or if you need to update your phone number or email address, visit the Stay Connected page and click on the Notification System accordion to find directions.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID Booster and Flu Clinic - Thursday, Nov. 16
Spring Lake Park Schools, in partnership with Cub Pharmacy, is hosting another vaccine clinic on Thursday, November 16, 4-7 p.m. at the Spring Lake Park School District Services Center (1415 81st Ave NE, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432). This clinic is open to anyone in our community. Sign up for a time slot.
2-Way Texting with School Staff Coming Soon
This month, we will begin using a tool called "Talking Points" to text with parents and guardians. We will start using the tool specifically to follow up on student absences and attendance. We expect to expand the use of this tool to teachers for classroom communication as the year progresses.
Talking Points supports real-time translation. Families can text in their native and/or preferred language and communicate with staff using their preferred language.
There is nothing parents and guardians need to do to receive messages as basic SMS text messages. If you choose to, you may download the Talking Points app. The app and website are not required to receive and send text messages with school staff. Please know that if you download the app, you will no longer receive SMS texts, but will receive messages through the app instead.
Our school staff look forward to the ways this form of communication can help support more real-time connections to support student learning and success. You can learn more about Talking Points on their website. If you have questions, contact email@example.com.
- Thursday, November 9 - Native American Parent Advisory Committee event, Woodcrest Spanish Immersion School (in the Piña Room), 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, November 15 - Evening Conferences, 3:30-6 p.m.
- Thursday, November 16 – COIVD booster and flu shot clinic, District Services Center, 4-7 p.m.
- Monday, November 20 - Grupo de Padres Hispanohablantes de SLP reunión, District Services Center, 4-7 p.m.
- Thursday, November 23-Friday, November 24 – No school, Thanksgiving Break
- Thursday, November 30 – End of Tri 1
- Friday, December 1 - No school for students
- Monday, December 4 - No school for students
- Thursday, December 7 – Live on 65: After Hours Big Band (holiday show), 7 p.m., FAC – purchase tickets
Construction Trades students working hard
Our Introduction to Construction Trades students have been deeply engaged this trimester designing projects that are now coming to life! They have envisioned and followed through on creating builds such as: dog houses, hunting stands, and chicken coops. In addition, our students have been practicing their career and life skills with peers and building staff, in preparation of an open house where they will share their projects and learning with in field professionals from SMC Construction, which is owned by Sinan Music. SMC Construction has donated four truckloads of materials in support of our students having this authentic learning experience.
National Signing Day
National Signing Day at SLPHS! Congrats to our four soon to be college student-athletes!
- Breanna Weilert - Soccer, Bemidji State University
- Ashlyn Peterson - Softball, Concordia University, St. Paul
- Olivia Kesti - Basketball, Augustana University
- Jacob Birdwell - Golf, University of Illinois
Senior Meeting - November 14
Our next Senior Meeting is November 14, 8:10 a.m. Seniors won't want to miss this meeting.
We are asking students to choose a session:
- Session 1: Apprenticeship, Employment, Enlistment. Not planning to go to college but want to start your career? Head to Room B138 with Mr. Vanbrocklin and Ms. Godber to learn more and ask questions.
- Session 2: FAFSA, Scholarships and Upcoming Events for Seniors. If students are applying to attend any 2-year, Tech School, or 4-year college, they don't want to miss this session. Learn about the NEW FAFSA, scholarships and future help sessions.
Cap and Gown Ordering is Open
Graduation for the Class of 2024 is June, 7. It is important that your student's cap and gown order is placed early to ensure proper sizing and availability. Early bird pricing is until December 17. After December, prices will go up due to shipping.
Cap and Gown information can be found here. They are found under - Graduation A La Carte, Grad Products, Grad Essentials - scroll to the bottom. Cap and gowns will be delivered to SLPHS and distributed in the spring.
Election results: Four members elected to school board
On November 7, 2023, voters elected four residents to serve on the seven-member school board of Spring Lake Park Schools. Amy Hennen, Tony Easter, Allie Schmidt and Kelly McClellan were elected to serve. Read more about the election and these school board members.
Winter Market & Gift Shop, December 9
The Winter Market is back! Join us Saturday, December 9 from 10 a.m.-noon at Spring Lake Park High School, door 29, for some holiday cheer. All are welcome.
- K-4 Gift Shop: Students in grades K-4 can register for FREE to shop for family members in our Gift Shop. Children will be paired up with high school and adult volunteers to shop in our shop so that the gifts can be kept as a surprise. Spots are limited so sign up early. Sign up to shop.
- Panther Store Pop-up: Shop at our Panther Store pop-up and give the gift of Panther apparel and accessories this holiday season. Holiday discounts will be available.
- Entertainment & Treats: Guests will be treated to live music and treats provided by the Panther Foundation
- Kid Activities and Crafts: Young guests are invited to get creative at the activities and crafts table.
- Vendor Tables: Guests will be able to shop various vendor tables. If you are interested in hosting a vendor table to sell items such as baked goods, handmade products, etc. please contact us today.
Panthers for a Purpose Week of Giving and Party Save the Date!
Mark your calendars for February 18-24, 2024 for the Panthers for a Purpose Week of Giving celebration. To top off the week, the biggest Panther Party celebration will be held on February 24, 2024 at Bunker Hills Event Center in Coon Rapids. Tickets will go on sale the first week of January. Want to help Spring Lake Park Schools? The Panther Foundation is collecting item donations for the annual silent auction fundraiser. Please see our Silent Auction Wishlist to donate items and experiences for our community to bid on during the fundraising week.
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