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With new classes, district aims to ‘grow its own’ future teachers Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District 191 is not alone in having a teaching staff that doesn’t look like its student population. Across Minnesota, only 4 percent of teachers are people of color, while 31 percent of students are. The district’s new partnership with Normandale Community College is designed to address that disparity and open the teaching pathway to more students of color. Next fall, Burnsville High School seniors will be able to take two education courses and earn seven college credits through Normandale, all without leaving the high school.

Hidden Valley Elementary students were asked by Google to try out a new app.

Google asks elementary students to try out new app


tudents at Hidden Valley Elementary did some beta testing for a new Google Expeditions app recently. The school was among a selected few asked to try out a new augmented reality mobile application that is being developed as part of the Google Expeditions education product line. The new app brings visuals into the classroom, functioning similar to Pokemon Go. For example, students could use the app to view

3D renderings of the planets up close as part of a unit on the solar system. Jenn Carlson, the school’s digital learning specialist, appreciated the opportunity for her students in kindergarten through grade 5 to test the app. “Students are enthusiastic about

The courses, “Introduction to Education” and “Multicultural Education and Human Relations in School,” are being made possible thanks in part to a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Although the school is actively recruiting students of color to participate, the classes are open to any senior who meets academic requirements or gets a recommendation from a teacher. These classes will give students a jump start, both in terms of earning college credit and in having a better idea of what’s involved in education and whether it’s a good fit for them. The approach aligns with Burnsville’s Pathways model, which helps students think about and prepare for their futures by providing real-world opportunities right in the school, many of which lead to professional certifications or college credit.

technology and eager to try new things,” she said. “Tools like this enhance our curriculum and the learning experience of our students.”

Solar panels installed on several schools Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of five buildings in District 191 which are estimated to save at least $1 million over the next two decades. Solar arrays were installed at Pates Stadium, Marion W. Savage Elementary, Burnsville Alternative High School, Sioux Trail Elementary and River Ridge Education Center.

William Byrne Principal Lyle Bomsta conferred recently with BHS students who are working on a special technology project for his school. They are, from left, Garrett Riedesel, Fiona Chow and Josh Johnson.

High school students tackle real-life learning projects


tudents at Burnsville High School are working on real-life projects that prepare them for the workplace and careers. For example, Fiona Chow, Josh Johnson and Garrett Riedesel are putting together an augmented reality sandbox for William Byrne Elementary. They designed the most efficient mount for the projector and camera, and they are programming the software and calibrating the equipment. “An augmented reality sandbox is an awesome interactive learning tool for a STEM school to have because it combines science and technology,” said Principal Lyle Bomsta, who turned to the BHS students for technical support. “It’s hands-on learning about water use, erosion, landforms, weather, and concepts like cause and effect, and much more.”

“It’s very important for students to have the experience of working for a client other than themselves or me as the teacher,” said Orion Patrie, who teaches engineering classes at BHS. “This gives them perspective on what clients expect and how to work with others on a professional level. It’s real-world experience that prepares them for work and careers.” Other examples of real-life learning: • Students are designing an improved case for Chromebooks, • Students in the Geek Squad run the computer help desk, • Students helped create the credit union at their school and now run it.

To qualify, schools must receive power from Xcel Energy and be structurally able to handle the extra weight of the panels. Not only will energy and money be saved, but the project will be connected to school programs as a way for students to learn about alternative energies.

Students earn college credits right at Burnsville High School Students earn college credits right at Burnsville High School (BHS). One way they do this is through the College in the Schools (CIS) program. For several years, BHS has been Number 1 in participation and credits earned through the CIS program at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. During the 2016-17 school year, BHS students earned 2,871 credits valued at $1.4 million. BHS students can also earn college credit at their school through Advanced Placement classes and dual enrollment courses (offered in partnership with colleges). Collegelevel courses are embedded in the school’s Pathways, which help students prepare and plan for future success in college and career.


Fiona Chow, a senior at Burnsville High School, is among recipients of a Minnesota Aspirations in Computer Award presented to young women for their technology-related interests and achievements. Honorees are awarded prizes ranging from tech devices to job shadow experiences and mentorships to paid summer internships and more. Ross Waataja created a mobile computer application as an assignment in his Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles Class at Burnsville High School. It won first place in the 2nd U.S. Congressional District as part of the national Congressional App Challenge (CAC).

Markell Sutton is a talented BHS student who is recording his music at THE GARAGE.

Partnership with music studio opens doors for students


arkell Sutton’s musical performance at Burnsville High School last fall prompted a staff member to introduce him to THE GARAGE, a music venue and recording studio that partners with the city of Burnsville and Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Community Education to provide learning opportunities for students. Markell has a new opportunity for self-expression and the chance to pursue his passion and hopeful career pathway because of THE GARAGE. Markell sat down with GARAGE staff members, including studio manager Robb Frost, to develop a plan that matched his goals and ambitions. Just a few months later, Markell has released a four-song EP titled “Spoken Chronologically” along with a music video, and he has plans to release a full album. “Markell has done an amazing job of coming to

the program prepared and ready to take advantage of this great opportunity,” said Jack Kolb-Williams, executive director of THE GARAGE. “His work ethic, commitment, and dedication to the craft is inspiring to watch especially for someone his age.” Going forward, Markell is hoping to keep producing music and find opportunities to perform. “If I feel myself improving, that’s the best thing,” he said. “Just hearing people give comments, you learn from that.” You can hear Markell’s music at https:// THE GARAGE is run by Twin Cities Catalyst Music, with youth programming provided through the Burnsville Youth Collaborative. Learn more about THE GARAGE at

Alyse Dees, a junior at Burnsville High School, was elected to a leadership position during the Minnesota Youth in Government Model Assembly in January. She will be presiding officer of the National Issues Forum at next year’s model assembly. It’s one of just 16 major student roles for the entire state. Students at Burnsville Alternative High School raised over $700 for Colobus Conservation Limited, a notfor-profit organization designed to conserve, preserve and protect primates in Kenya. Hailey Erickson, an eighth-grader at Metcalf Middle School, created artwork that won the District 5 Lions Club Peace Poster contest and the regional multiple-district contest (which included Minnesota and Canadian areas) and then went on to international competition. Jessie Vogler, an 8th grader at Eagle Ridge Middle School, won the school’s spelling bee last fall, then finished in a tie for fourth place out of 42 spellers at the South Central Regional Spelling Bee recently in Mankato.

Tech director receives statewide recognition Doug Johnson, the director of technology in District 191, was selected as the 2018 Outstanding Central Office Administrator – Metro Award by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA).

Burnsville High School junior aces ACT in first attempt

The annual award honors two non-superintendent MASA members (one from a metro district and one from Greater Minnesota) who are central office administrators exhibiting excellence in leadership. Johnson was awarded for a willingness to take risks, possessing strong communications skills, being a progressive change agent, and having high expectations for himself and others.


Board member earns award

ill Trussell, a junior at Burnsville High School, received a perfect score of 36 on the ACT exam, an accomplishment that fewer than 0.1 percent of students nationwide obtain. What’s even more astonishing is that Will took the test just one time and didn’t do any special preparation for it. The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement exam consisting of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36. The composite score is the average of the four test scores. Will Trussell “Will is extremely motivated,” said Kristina Aars, American history teacher. “He is naturally, extremely intelligent, but he also works very hard. In AP/CIS American History, he completes the voluminous readings in advance, every time.” At Burnsville High School, Will is involved in quiz bowl and math league. He’s also in the marching band and theater pit band. He is considering applying to the University of Minnesota and is interested in studying engineering.

Dr. DeeDee Currier, who serves on the District 191 Board of Education, received the President’s Award from the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) in January. The award is presented to board members who have attended 300 hours or more of MSBA training programs. Currier will be one of only 14 school board members to earn the MSBA President’s Award in 2018. “Study after study shows that a well-trained school board is more effective in raising student achievement,” said MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind. “These board members receiving the President’s Award show their dedication to making sure all of their students succeed.”

Hopes and dreams of students

Summer theater opportunities for all ages Two productions are taking place this summer through Burnsville Summer Theater of District 191 Community Education: • “Beauty and the Beast Jr” for students in grades 5-9. Performances will be in June. • “Cinderella” for ages 5 to adult. Performances will be in August. All who register and audition for the productions will become part of the cast. The director of both productions will be Amy Stead, drama teacher and theater director at Burnsville High School. Register at


We love hearing the hopes and dreams of our students. Digital learning specialist Jenn Carlson gathered these responses from her students at Hidden Valley Elementary in Savage when she asked them what they want to be: • A police officer • A teacher. • A hair styler. • The best dancer alive. • A storm chaser. • A shopkeeper. • To go to Stanford and be a paleontologist. • A surgeon. • To play baseball • An amazing inventor • Become a good programmer and create an accurate physics engine. • A pilot, not just an ordinary pilot. I want to be recognized and helpful and nice. • That once I have the experience to be a vet! But not an ordinary vet. One that is recognized globally! I’ll work for what I love. I’ll help the world (and animals). That’s my dream.


Get more information about Community Education classes, events and opportunities at or call (952) 707-4150.

Marcus Thomas of Bolton & Menk and Hanane Kachman of Fairview Health Services taught a unit on appearance and ambition.

Students gain workplace skills from local business leaders


urnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 has joined with the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, Burnsville Promise and the Greater Twin Cities United Way to provide a five-week workplace readiness class for students at Burnsville High School. The goal is to set students on a path for workplace success. Using a curriculum called “Bring Your ‘A’ Game” developed by The Center for Work Ethic Development, the after-school class focuses on developing foundational behavioral skills for success in the workplace in the areas of attitude, attendance, appearance, ambition, accountability, acceptance and appreciation.

Students who complete the course will earn a certificate they can share when they apply for jobs. “I am excited to be partnering with District 191 to use a curriculum that is spot on with what employers are looking for,” said Jennifer Harmening. “It is critical to let these students know how much we value them in the workplace and how important these core skills are.” Facilitators of the course include representatives from the partner organizations and also from UTC Aerospace Systems, the Burnsville YMCA, Fairview Health Services, Bolton & Menk and the City of Burnsville.

Enjoy free summer concerts Wednesday in the Park offers free family-friendly outdoor music and fun during the summer in Burnsville’s Civic Enter Park, just east of Nicollet Avenue between 130th and 134th Streets. Activities at 6 p.m. followed by concerts at 7 p.m. Here’s the line-up: • July 11 Riverside Rockets • July 18 Alma Andina Latin Band • July 25 Rock It Man Entertainment • August 1 We Are The Willows • August 8 A Night at THE GARAGE

Library partnership expands resources to middle schoolers

• August 15 Family Fest : Activities for all ages start at 6 pm. Stay for the music at 7 pm with The High 48s.


iddle school students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 now have instant access to the vast resources of two county library systems — without having to worry about overdue fines. Both Dakota County and Scott County public library systems worked with District 191 to provide fine-free cards to students in grades 9-12 at Burnsville High School and Burnsville Alternative High School, beginning last May. The project has been going well so it was expanded to students in grades 6, 7 and 8 at Eagle Ridge, Metcalf and Nicollet Middle Schools in February. “Our students benefit from access to incredible library resources including online one-on-one homework help, research tools, e-books, audiobooks, movies/

TV DVDs, music CDs, electronic magazines and print books,” said Doug Johnson, director of technology for District 191. “Student cards will make public library resources a part of every student’s learning experience and leverage existing public resources to support student learning.” In return, the public libraries will be cultivating a new generation of library users and supporters, as well as encouraging more informed citizens, he said. The card can be used online and also in library buildings. The no-fine cards will expire when students graduate from high school. For more information, contact

Two extraordinary student volunteers receive recognition


wo students are among top youth volunteers honored by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Shrey Pothini, an eighth grader at Eagle Ridge Middle School, is one of two state honorees who will receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for national recognition this spring. Shrey has been passionate about community service since he collected new bath towels for a local homeless youth shelter when he Shrey Pothini Olivia Brammer was five years old. Next, he started a service club at his elementary school and he has organized a city-wide “day of service” for the past three years to mobilize community members to help others. Burnsville High School senior Olivia Brammer was among six Minnesota students named as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities. She has served as a member of her city’s parks and natural resources commission, the president of her school’s youth service advisory council, as a mentor for at-risk middle level students, and more.

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.

Connect With Us Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 strives to keep residents informed and involved in their public schools. To get news, pictures, events and more delivered to you where you want them, “Like” us on Facebook, or/and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

District Contact Info Phone: 952-707-2000 • Web: E-mail: Welcome Center (Enrollment): 952-707-4180

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Residents may also sign up for the District 191 e-Newsletter at

Wednesday in the Park is brought to you by Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Community Education and the City of Burnsville. In case of rain, concerts move to Diamondhead Education Center, 200 West Burnsville Parkway.

Adult Night Out Four unique experiences for adventurous adults will be offered this summer: Escape Room Escapade, Log Rolling, Ninja Warrior for a Night, Tapas Party & Cooking Class. Good for singles and couples. For more information, call (952) 707-4150.

Gifted & Talented Summer Institute The Gifted & Talented Institute provides opportunities for students to be challenged academically and grow through enrichment and specialized classes. Students who are entering grades 1-9 next fall and are enrolled in or identified as gifted are eligible to participate. Students may also enroll if they demonstrate a specific talent in course areas offered. Classes take place from June 18 to July 27. Learn more at

School calendars available for next two years Do you like to plan ahead? Then you should know that calendars for both the 2018-19 and the 2019-2020 school years are available at Calendars show key dates for both school years including when school starts, holidays, winter and spring breaks, and other release dates.

School District 191 Board Of Education Abigail Alt (952) 898-0243 DeeDee Currier (952) 882-7746 Dan Luth (952) 440-1290 Eric Miller (612) 239-3348 Darcy Schatz (651) 955-8301 Jim Schmid (952) 882-1651 Bob VandenBoom (651) 454-9516 Luke Haddorff, Student Representative Cindy Amoroso, 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.



Our Pathways attract attention, recognition


ur Pathways at Burnsville High School are getting a lot of attention in the short time they’ve been in place. Pathways are part of the Vision One91 redesign of the school district to better meet the needs of today’s learners Cindy Amoroso that began with the 2016-17 school year. Pathways help students discover and follow their interests to prepare for college and career success. “District 191 is quickly becoming a national success story of how career pathways can transform the high school experience,” wrote Meghan Barp, Senior vice president, Community Impact - Greater Twin Cities

United Way, in a letter to the editor recently. “District to make Pathways presentations at statewide, regional 191’s career pathway work facilitates the success of all and national conferences including at the upcoming students, enhancing the rigor and relevancy of student National School Board Association Conference. coursework to set all students on successful paths.” In addition, the Pathways program has earned local, The Minneapolis Star Tribune featured our Pathways statewide and national accolades and awards. in a front page story We’re so grateful for and also in its business our partnerships with area “District 191 is quickly becoming section. Education businesses and organizations Week, a major national that have helped us provide a national success story of how education publication, Pathways to our students. We career pathways can transform the published a story on ways could not do it without this high school experience.” that business partnerships community support. — MEGHAN BARP, GREATER TWIN CITIES UNITED WAY help us provide Pathways We’ve heard from students and relevant learning who have discovered their college experiences for students. and career passions through Pathways. We’ve also heard Closer to home, local newspapers, KSTP Channel 5, from students who have learned what they don’t want to Fox9 TV and MinnPost have also done Pathways stories. do – which is also valuable and important to know. Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Tina Smith recently toured Pathways are important because we want students the school and talked with students and staff members to graduate with a plan – not just plan to graduate, to learn more about our Pathways. Educators from other as Principal Helke says. In other words, it’s crucial that school districts have also visited Burnsville High School students know what their next steps will be as they to see Pathways in action. Meanwhile, Burnsville High leave our school district whether it’s to a four-year School Principal Dave Helke and Director of Strategic college or university, a two-year school, other training Pathways & Partnerships Kathy Funston have been asked or directly into the workforce.


visit where you can watch a video about Pathways and also take a look at the amazing course catalog for our secondary schools.

NON-PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID TWIN CITIES MN PERMIT NO. 32254 Independent School District 191 200 W Burnsville Pkwy Burnsville, MN 55337 CONNECT / isd191

ARE YOU NEW TO THE DISTRICT? Welcome to Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191! If you have school-age children, you can enroll them online at or at the district’s Welcome Center, upper level, Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Parkway. For more information, call the Welcome Center at (952) 707-4180 or email at We look forward to providing a high-quality education for your children!

IN THIS ISSUE Students test Google product . . . . . . . Real-life learning projects . . . . . . . . . . . Student follows musical path . . . . . . . . Perfect ACT score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Free summer concerts . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Enroll Now for 2018-19 Make sure your child is ready for school & that school is ready for your child! Will your child be 5 years old by Sept. 1? Now is the time to enroll in kindergarten!

¿Su hijo tiene 5 años para Septiembre 1? Ahora es el momento de inscribirse en el kinder!

Ilmahaaga ma noqon doonaa 5 sano jir 1da bisha Sebteembar? Hadda waa waqti kuhaboon diiwangeliska fasalka hoose!

Enrolling your child now helps ensure resources are in place when your child arrives at school next fall.

Inscribir a su hijo ahora ayuda a garantizar que los recursos esten en su lugar cuando su niño llege a la escuela el próximo otoño.

Qoridda ilmahaaga hadda waxay ka caawisaa hubinta in khayraadka u baahan yihiin loo haayo ilmahaaga ka hor inta aysan dugsiga bilaabin dayrta soo socota.

Enroll online at or at the District 191 Welcome Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy., (952) 707-4180.

Inscripción en línea en o en el Centro de Bienvenida del Distrito 191, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy, (952) 707-4180.

Ka-diwaangeli internetka cinwaanka www.isd191. org/enroll ama Degmadda 191 Xarunta Kusoo dhawaynta, kutaala 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy., (952) 707-4180.

Your Schools, Your Community  

The spring 2018 edition of District 191's print newsletter features stories about an augmented reality sandbox designed and built by Burnsvi...

Your Schools, Your Community  

The spring 2018 edition of District 191's print newsletter features stories about an augmented reality sandbox designed and built by Burnsvi...