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Board sets legislative priorities to improve student success Decisions made in St. Paul have a major impact on what we can do for our students. That’s why our Board of Education recently met with area state legislators to share its top three priorities for the current legislative session. Funding formula: State funding for schools has not kept pace with inflation for several years, let alone provided adequate funding to meet the challenges of increased childhood poverty. Board members are asking legislators to restore the inflationadjusted general education formula to the level of the 2003 Fiscal Year. They are also requesting that the state adequately fund special education so that increasing amounts of general fund dollars aren’t required to pay for these mandated services. Full-day kindergarten: Our students live in a highly competitive, knowledge driven, globalized economy. To prepare them to flourish, ISD 191 has made a commitment to provide a high quality full-day kindergarten program for all students at no cost to their families. Not only is this educationally sound, but it also makes sense financially because money invested early saves on costs for academic remediation at later grade levels. The time has come

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 strives to keep residents informed and involved in their public schools.

for the state to fund a full day of kindergarten for all students instead of just a half-day. Integration fundDr. Randy Clegg ing: Since being identified by the state as racially isolated in 2007, ISD 191 has received integration funding to provide students with greater opportunities for interracial contact and to develop programs and activities that boost the academic achievement of all students. There has been discussion about ending integration funding, which would make it difficult to address the needs of a highly diverse student population and to close the achievement gap. The Board hopes that integration funding continues so it can be used for innovative and integrated learning programs such as magnet schools, initiatives that promote family involvement, professional development for staff, and increasing opportunities for students to access college and career readiness programs. For more information on the Board’s 2013 Legis-

To get news, pictures, events and more delivered to you where you want them, “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us through a new online community portal called Our Common Place. Residents may also sign up for the District 191 e-Newsletter or any of our school-specific e-Newsletters.

D I S T R I C T C O N TA C T I N F O Phone: 952-707-2000 Web: E-mail: Welcome Center: 952-707-4180

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER This newsletter is sent periodically to all residents in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 to provide information about schools, which are a cornerstone of the community. If you have comments, send them to Ruth Dunn, district communications director, at or call 952-707-2020.

NON-PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID TWIN CITIES MN PERMIT NO 32254 100 River Ridge Ct. Burnsville, MN 55337

BOARD OF EDUCATION SANDY SWEEP, Chair.................................(952) 250-7097 JIM SCHMID, Vice Chair............................(952) 882-1651 BOB VANDENBOOM, Clerk ....................(651) 454-9516 DAN LUTH, Treasurer ...............................(952) 440-1290 RON HILL, Director....................................(952) 440-1016 PAULA TEIKEN, Director...........................(952) 846-4106 DEEDEE CURRIER, Director.....................(952) 882-7746 ALEX JENSEN, Student Advisor Randall Clegg, Superintendent............(952) 707-2001 School District 191 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, age, family care leave status or veteran status.


Your Schools

Your Community


Classroom Technology:

Measured approach ensures tech investments are

Nicollet Junior High students Zizi Hansen and Mackenzie Carrane use an iPad to edit a video book review they created.


Considering the development of powerful, personal, mobile computing devices, there’s little doubt that some technologies have the potential to enhance teaching and student learning in today’s schools. Finding out which technologies provide the most benefit and how best to use them is the driving force behind a major initiative in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 this year. With the Improving Student Achievement Through Improving Student Achievement Through Technology Technology (ISATT) initiative, the District is working to ensure it doesn’t get caught in the snare of simply buyingOverview: Teams of teachers are using “shiny new toys.” Instead, teachers are developing actionvarious technologies, including iPads, to research plans that layout how they will use technology,improve teaching and learning, measuch as iPads or social media, and how they will measuresuring their results, and sharing those the impact on student learning. results with colleagues. “It’s not about the iPad,” explained curriculumWhy this approach? By remaining coordinator Rachel Gorton. “It’s about what the iPad canfocused on student achievement, the do for student achievement.” district avoids ineffective and unsustainRead more about the District 191 ISATT programable investments in technology. online at

District 191 makes AP Honor Roll again Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 is one of only 11 school districts in Minnesota and one of 539 in the nation to be placed on the College Board’s 3rd Annual Advanced Placement Honor Roll. District 191 is one of only four Minnesota school districts to achieve the honor for multiple years. The prestigious recognition is given to districts that simultaneously increase students’ access to Advanced Placement (AP) coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Since 2010, District 191 has increased the number of students participating in AP courses by 13 percent while maintaining the high percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or more at 70 percent.

Spring 2013

More than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit, advanced placement or both for a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an AP Exam — which can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition. “This AP distinction is recognition for what we have been trying to do, which is get more students into AP classes and have them take AP exams,” said Superintendent Randy Clegg. “Students who experience the rigor of college level courses by taking Advanced Placement classes at Burnsville High School and our three junior highs are more prepared to succeed in college, university or any other course of study they pursue after graduation.”

Achievement: We are focused on learning and we get results STUDENTS SUCCEED

BHS seniors earn national academic

 Burnsville High School juniors Hannah Keirstead and Jack O’Brien were selected as the school’s ExCEL Award winners this year. ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) is a unique recognition program honoring juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities, and are model citizens. “Both Hannah and Jack are excellent representatives of what Burnsville High School is all about,” said Jeff Marshall, activities/athletics director.

TEACHERS ACHIEVE  Cara Slattery, a sixth-grade teacher at Rahn Elementary School of Arts and Technology, and Carla Staffa, a social studies teacher at Burnsville High School, have been named 2012 TIES Exceptional Teachers and were honored during the TIES Education Technology Conference in December. They are among teachers selected for modeling best practices in using technology in their classrooms to engage students in learning. School districts participating in the TIES Exceptional Teacher Award program are members of TIES, an education technology consortium of 47 Minnesota school districts.  Leanne Banks, a special education teacher at Eagle Ridge Junior Carla Staffa, top, High, was honored with the 2012 and Cara Slattery District 191 Inclusive Education Practices Award. The award recognizes staff members who are fostering meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities in classrooms and extracurricular activities. The parent who nominated Banks for the award commented that she encourages pride in her students by recognizing their talents, strengths and abilities.

Reach Families

Congratulations to top-scoring BHS students, front row, from left, Jason Dorow and Savannah Lim; back row, from left, Sarah Davidson, Laura Garbe, Brianna Westbrooks and Ryan Allison.

Six seniors at Burnsville High School (BHS) are among the most academically-talented scholars in the country based upon their performances in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship program. Approximately 1.5 million students across the country took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), and 50,000 are now being recognized for their outstanding scores. “These students have earned significant academic recognition – the

type that is noticed by admission offices at colleges and universities,” said Erin Broviak, a guidance counselor at Burnsville High School. “They can take great pride in this accomplishment.” BHS students Jason Dorow and Savannah Lim are among fewer than one percent of students who are named as National Merit Semifinalists. They will now be under consideration for National Merit Finalist status, a list that will be announced at a later date. In addition, three BHS students

have been named Commended Students, a designation that goes to fewer than 3.5 percent of those who took the test. They are Ryan Allison, Sarah Davidson and Laura Garbe. Another senior, Brianna Westbrooks, is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Participants in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. She scored among the top 3 percent of more than 160,000 Black Americans who requested consideration in the 2013 National Achievement Program when they

Harriet Bishop earns elementary chess title Elementary students who share an enthusiasm for chess competed in the annual chess tournament in BurnsvilleEagan-Savage School District 191 on Dec. 15 at Metcalf Junior High. Harriet Bishop Gifted and Talented Elementary School earned its first district championship title. The school also has the biggest chess club in the district with well over 60 members coached by teacher Jessica Perry. Runner up was the team from Sioux Trail Elementary, coached by teacher Mark Kleven, while third place went to the Sky Oaks Elementary Team coached by teacher Scott Nemetz. The new district individual champion is Zander Gorton, a sixth grader at Harriet Bishop, while Jackson Reichert, a sixth grader from Rahn School of Arts & Technology placed second.

Nicollet speller is 2012 District 191 Molly Olander, a seventh-grader at Nicollet Junior High in Burnsville, took home the huge championship trophy for winning the 29th annual District 191 spelling bee on Nov. 29.

Molly Olander

Hibah Hassan, an eighth-grader at Eagle Ridge Junior High in Savage, was the runner-up. The bee went 19 rounds and 239 words. The winning word was “grievance.” Thirty-one

students in grades 5-8 participated. Neill Elementary School teacher Jim Condon was the pronouncer. Judges were Superintendent Randy Clegg and principals Elaine Mehdi-

Bernie Bien is named state’s top nurse Bernadette “Bernie” Bien knows that healthy students make better learners. Her dedication to students and their academic success has been the focus of her 21-year career as a health care professional in BurnsvilleEagan-Savage School District 191. It’s a major reason that Bien was selected by the School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM) as the 2012 Minnesota School Nurse of the Year. “This honor recognizes one licensed school nurse annually who embodies the organization’s ideal,” said Mary Jo Martin, chair of the SNOM


selection committee. “Nominated by her peers, Bernadette Bien is most worthy of this honor.” Bien, who is the school nurse at Hidden Valley Elementary School in Savage, responds, “It is rewarding to work with kids and families in an educational environment and support the learning of our students.” Bien welcomes the award as an opportunity to highlight her profession. “School nurses work behind the scenes,” said Bien. “People are aware of the first aid and care we provide to ill children but school nurses do so much more.”

Bernie Bien

Community Connections: Together everyone achieves more ‘Top 20’ seminars coming to District 191 The BurnsvilleEagan-Savage School District 191 community is invited to attend three seminars presented by Foundation 191, a not-for-profit organization that supports District 191 students and schools. Paul Bernabei and Tom Cody, directors of “Top 20 Training,” will present the sessions. Their work provides training and materials that empower youth, parents and teachers to de-

velop their potential and the potential of others. Bernebei and Cody have spent more than 35 years teaching, counseling and coaching in Twin Cities schools. The seminar schedule is: Jan. 28 – Living Above the Line: Understand “above the line”

thinking that serves your best interests, and recognize when your thinking goes “below the line” and how you can recover. Feb. 4 – Knowing How to See Things Differently (The Frame): Understand how your perspective affects the results you are getting in your life.

Feb. 11 – Learning from Mistakes and Moving Outside the Comfort Zone: Better see what beliefs keep you and your children from moving outside your comfort zones and find effective ways to responding to your mistakes and the mistakes of others. All seminars will take place in the Upper Commons of the Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway, and will start

Wilderness calls to elementary students thanks to

You can read a book to learn about birds and wildflowers and how their adaptations help them survive the Minnesota climate. But that’s not how biologists do it, and that’s not how students at Vista View Elementary are doing it, either. Thanks to a partnership with the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Vista View students at all grade levels are getting a chance to learn about the world around them by looking with their own eyes and touching with their own hands. Active learning opportunities dominate the experience. During one trip this fall, students moved from one bird feeding station to another, using a tool that simulates one style of bird beak to see how certain adaptations connect birds to their habitats. This winter, students in all grade levels will be snowshoeing through the refuge looking for animal tracks. “Being able to experience the outdoors is a big deal for many of our children who don’t have exposure to these types of experiences in their daily lives,” said Jodi Dempsey, Vista View’s science specialist who helped secure the partnership. At left: Fifth-grade student Lucas Volk examines milkweed plants.

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PARTNERS IN EDUCATION Students benefit when individuals, businesses and organizations in the community join in partnerships with Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. There are many ways to become involved in the schools and/or to make contributions. All partnerships are greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact Communications Director Ruth Dunn at 952-707-2020 or rdunn@  Experienced potters are invited to support the District 191 “Empty Bowls for Full Bellies” event by throwing bowls on the potter’s wheel on Feb. 23. Participants can drop in as their schedule allows between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Burnsville High School, 600 E. Highway 13, in the school’s clay lab (Room H108). Creations will be sold at the April 18 Empty Bowls event with proceeds supporting Brainpower in a Backpack, a Burnsville High School volunteer project that provides weekend food to local elementary school children who might otherwise go hungry. Learn more at  Are you looking for a way to stretch your grocery dollar? Save up to 40% on groceries when you purchase packages of fruit, vegetables and frozen meat at Fare For All Express at Diamondhead Education Center. Fare For All winter and spring dates include Feb. 13, March 13 and April 10 between 3-5 p.m. Diamondhead Education Center is located at 200 W. Burnsville Parkway, Burnsville.

KEY COMMUNICATORS WANTED  Do you talk with neighbors over the picket fence or at soccer games? Do others come to you for information? Are you connected to the community grapevine? Then we would like to add you to the key communicator network in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. This network is another way to expand two-way communication with residents from all walks of life including parents and those who don’t have children attending our schools. We look forward to conversations with key communicators, both in person and via email. Please join the network by emailing your contact information to Ruth Dunn, communications director, at

COMMUNITY EDUCATION Register now for Winter/Spring classes!

Cooking and nutrition class provided through U of M A partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension brought a cooking-based nutrition program to Sky Oaks families for free this fall. Cooking Matters was a hand-on class that taught participants how to prepare healthful and tasty meals on a limited budget, as

well as providing meal planning and other nutrition information. Classes included a cooking demonstration component, educational time, practice cooking time, and an opportunity to sample what’s been made. Participants also received a

bag of grocery items so they can try the recipe at home. “The families were very happy to have had this opportunity, and they learned a lot about nutrition and making nutritious meals,” said Sky Oaks parent liaison Heidi Grant. “The kids loved to be able

Learning Buddies matches older volunteers with

Students in several classrooms in BurnsvilleEagan-Savage School District 191 have the opportunity each week to work with older adults who are part of a program that has made a positive impact on elementary students in Dakota County for 16 years. Gideon Pond, Sky Oaks, Vista View, William Byrne and Rahn elementary schools participate in the DARTS Learning Buddies program. Learning Buddies connects trained older adults with elementary students to work together on classwork, share experiences, and learn from one another. Each volunteer is assigned to a classroom to help enhance students’ reading, math and science skills. Studies have shown that intergenerational programs such as Learning Buddies benefit chilLearning Buddies volunteer Justine Mills works with a dren’s social development, too. “Becoming a DARTS Learning Buddy stems student at Rahn Elementary School of Arts & Technology. from my interest in reading and I enjoy passing this Funded by Flint Hills Resources since 1997, the interest on to students as they begin their educational Learning Buddies program has nearly 90 volunteers journey. This is why I enjoy volunteering,” said Dale in schools throughout Dakota County. Volunteers Turnham, a DARTS Learning Buddy volunteer. have served more than 37,000 students and logged


The Winter/Spring 2013 Community Education catalog has arrived! Online registration is now even easier with the digital edition at Look for these and other class titles for adult learners. • Frankly Speaking - Amp up your public speaking skills • American History - Focusing on the American Revolution or the Normandy Campaign • Dare to Curl – The sport not hair! Learn how stones and brooms, delivery and sweeping work on the ice. • iPad classes – For the new or not so new iPad owner For our younger students: • Skit-els Theater Arts Class - Learn about the stage, acting and teamwork by learning and performing a short skit. • Go Solar! - A workshop to build a solar station • Lego Animation Nation - Build and film your own digital animation movie. This is just a sample of the learning opportunities available! For more information call 952-707-4150.

District 191 Newsletter - Spring 2013  
District 191 Newsletter - Spring 2013  

The print newsletter of Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 highlights student achievements, staff accomplishments, community partne...