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E ducation ISD 197 Levy from page 1

technology will allow students to access up-to-theminute research, interactive maps, videos, audio files and real-time photos. If the technology levy fails, the district foresees delays in computer and other tech device upgrades and maintenance. The district’s strategic goals are contingent on implementation of a consistent digital curriculum across all grades levels and schools. If the technology levy passes, the purchase and implementation of the devices at the high school and middle schools is planned for the 2015-16 school year. Professional development of teachers and staff would begin in the 2014-15 school year.

Question 2 Question 2 combines construction of a new $7.2 million Early Learning Center and the addition of $3.2 million in security upgrades to district schools, which brings the total amount of the building/security bond to $11.2 million. Why are these two seemingly distinctly different issues being combined under one question? The district’s facilities review identified several

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Tax impact The tax impact on owners of a home valued at $200,000 are: Question 1: Renew and increase technology levy to $1.7 million - $43/year or $3.58/mo. Question 2: $11.2 million building bond for early learning and security - $14/year or $1.17/month Combined total if both pass: $57/year or $4.75/mo. growing concerns in schools across the district. Updated security was one concern but so was rising enrollment and a shortage of classroom space. Part of that shortage is being created because Early Childhood learning programs are currently held in classroom space in Moreland Arts & Health Sciences Magnet School, Friendly Hills Middle School and Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School. In order to make room for a rising student population, those classrooms need to be freed up. The district contends that since security upgrades and early childhood instruction affect all schools, the two should be combined on one question.

Early Learning Center The new Early Learning Center would be next to Heritage Middle School and would combine birth to age 5 programs under one roof. This would free

up classroom space for the increasing enrollment in other schools. According to the District, enrollment has risen more than nine percent since the 2008-2009 school year, and enrollment in the elementary schools is currently at or slightly over capacity. Enrollment is projected to stay near or over capacity through 2022. The middle schools and high schools are expected to be at capacity by 2019. Heritage was chosen as the site of the new center because it is close to public transportation, the land is already owned by the district, and current and projected enrollment growth is concentrated in the northern part of the district. The district has a second Early Childhood Center that serves families in the southern portion of the district at Pilot Knob School. Current early childhood programs include  Early Childhood Family Edu-

cation (ECFE),  Early Childhood Special Education  (ECSE), Community Preschool, Early Childhood Kindergarten Screening, School Readiness, ECFE Building Bridges Family Literacy Program and more.

Security upgrades The district is requesting $3.2 million to make security upgrades, with the majority of funds used to construct secure entrances

at all schools. Each school’s front entrance would be remodeled or relocated to include a second set of doors that could be locked during the school day and re-direct visitors to a school’s main office. In addition, districtwide security improvements would include an expansion in the use of lockdown buttons to the middle schools, add the high school’s music wing to the school’s current lockdown system, increase the number of security

cameras at every school, upgrade door locks to allow staff to lock all elementary classroom doors from the inside, and improve public address systems. If the early learning/security bond passes, many of these security upgrades could be in place as early as this summer. Construction of secured entrances and the Early Learning Center would be planned for next year, opening fall 2015.


The Optimist Club of West St. Paul meets 5-6 p.m., the first and third Wednesday of each month at Dunham’s, 173 Lothenbach Ave., West St. Paul. Visitors and new members are welcome. For more information, contact Cheryl Bergstrom at or 651-450-7391. The Rotary Club of West St. Paul/ Mendota Heights hosts a weekly meeting at 7:30 a.m., Wednesdays at Southview Country Club, 239 E. Mendota Rd., West St. Paul. Each meeting features breakfast and a guest speaker. For more information, visit www.rotarywspmh. org. The Kiwanis Club of West St. Paul hosts a weekly meeting at noon, Tuesdays at Mattie’s Lanes, 365 N. Concord Exchange, South St. Paul. Each meeting features lunch and a guest speaker. The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, which serves the cities

of Eagan, Farmington, Lilydale, Mendota Heights, Mendota, Rosemount, Sunfish Lake and West St. Paul, hosts a monthly meeting called the “West Saint Paul/ Mendota Heights Coffee Break” 8-9 a.m. the last Tuesday of the month. This event is hosted at various chamber member businesses in West St. Paul and Mendota Heights. Each meeting allows an opportunity for networking and to learn more about the business hosting the event. For more information, visit or call 651-452-9872. Veterans’ meetings - West St. Paul VFW Post 4462 hosts monthly meetings at 1 p.m., the first Wednesday of each month at the West St. Paul Armory. For more information, call 651-437-4481. American Legion Post 521 also hosts monthly meetings at the Armory. Meeting times are 7 p.m., the fourth Tuesday of each month.

{ VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES } Neighborhood House in St. Paul is looking for volunteers to assist in the food shelf, with tutoring, youth services and other areas. For more information, contact Anders at 651-789-2524 or Neighbors, Inc., a social service agency serving Northern Dakota County, has a number of volunteer opportunities to assist local residents, including work with the food shelf and thrift store. For more information, contact David at 651-3062145 or at DARTS, a nonprofit organization in West St. Paul, has several volunteer opportunities to assist families and individuals with transportation and in-home services. For more information, call 651455-1560 or visit Guild Incorporated, a social service agency based on the West Side that serves people with mental illness, has a number of volunteer opportunities, including drivers, phone buddies and help with administrative tasks. For more information, contact 651-925-8456 or volunteer@ St. Paul Senior Chore Service is looking for senior clients age 60 and over, as well as volunteers to help these clients with basic home and outdoor projects. For more information, call 651-6495984. Ramsey County Community Human Services has volunteer opportunities for people age 16 and older. For more infor-

mation, contact 651-266-4090 or Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for men, especially Latinos, to mentor boys ages 7-12 in St. Paul. Volunteers are asked to commit just a few hours a month. To volunteer, call Jean Setley at 651-789-2479 or visit Cerenity Senior Care–Humboldt is seeking volunteers to transport residents to activities. It also needs Spanish-speaking volunteers to assist with one-onone visits. Volunteers may work weekly, monthly or at a special event. Located on the West Side, the Cerenity Residence at 514 Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care and transitional care, and the Cerenity Care Center at 512 Humboldt provides nursing care. To volunteer, contact 651-220-1789,, or visit Minnesota Literacy Council is seeking people to teach, tutor or assist in a classroom 2-3 hours per week to help adults reach their educational goals. Training and support are provided. For more information, contact Allison at 651-251-9110, or St. Paul Public Schools needs people to tutor elementary students in reading and math. Under the guidance of a classroom teacher, volunteers assist students one-on-one or in small groups. For more

information, contact Connie at 612-6177807 or Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible for free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. St. Paul Public Schools Foundation is seeking tutors to assist one hour a week at schools and community organizations throughout the city. Orientation and training are provided. For more information, contact Neighborhood House and Ellen Nikodym at ellen.nikodym@ or at 651-325-4205. The Minnesota Reading Corps is seeking reading tutors. The program provides free, one-on-one tutoring to children age three through third grade. Minnesota Reading Corps members receive a living stipend, reimbursement for college (up to $5,350), and health insurance for full-time members. For more information or to apply, visit or call 1-866859-2825. Volunteers of America is looking for volunteers age 55 and over to assist children who are struggling with homework and reading. Time commitment ranges from three to 12 hours a week. To volunteer or receive more information, contact Gil Zamora at 651-470-7416.

Building Blocks Tutorial ALC needs volunteer tutors to work with students doing activities that support reading, math and writing skills. Tutors volunteer one or two days each week on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 3-5 p.m., at Riverview Elementary, 160 E. Isabel St. Volunteers must be age 16 or older. Orientation and training are provided. For more information, contact Jill Jackson, program director, at 651-228-1378 or buildingblocks@ Riverview Elementary needs volunteer tutors to assist students in grades kindergarten through fifth in math and reading, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Volunteers are asked to tutor at least one hour a week during the school year. Training, orientation and support are provided. To apply, contact Areanna Egleston at or call Riverview at 651-239-8665. St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 23

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