287 News

  • WEC Teacher's essay published Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/teachingwithheart_cover.jpgOur own West High School Language Arts Instructor, Hannah Cushing, is featured in the book - Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach (2014). 

    The Center for Courage and Renewal published Teaching with Heart. Educators submitted poems and essays that focus on “How poetry can help to sustain the courage to teach.” A diverse group of ninety educators describe the complex of emotions and experiences of the teaching life – joy, outrage, heartbreak, hope, commitment and dedication. Each heartfelt commentary is paired with a cherished poem selected by the teacher. More than 400 educators submitted essays and poems.

    Hannah submitted her own reflections about the poem - Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye and the intimate interconnectedness of pain and loss with learning to be a kind and empathic person; and how our difficult moments have the capacity to draw us together. Read Hannah's essay.

    “This is a doubly humbling because it reflects both the opportunities I've had to learn from some of the strongest and most resilient kids throughout my career, as well as the honor to be chosen for a Parker Palmer project,” Hannah said recently. “Mr. Palmer’s work is largely responsible for me finding myself in the classroom.”

    Congratulations Hannah!

  • The National Anthem turns 200 Saturday, September 27, 2014

    This weehttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/FLAG.jpgkend marks the 200th anniversary of the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Over the years, many debates have surrounded the national anthem including its meaning, its quality and the circumstances under which Francis Scott Key came to write it.

    What we know is that Daniel Stewart, who attends North Education Center, did not leave a dry eye when he sang the Star-Spangled Banner for our Back to School event this fall.  Listen to Daniel again.

    To read more about the history of our nation's anthem, click here.

  • Meet Jonas Sjoberg, September employee Recognition winner Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/Employrecog/Jonas_SandyL_web.jpg Jonas Sjoberg received the Employee Recognition Award this month during Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski's Java report. (see photo at left) He is the Network Building Engineer in our District 287 Information Technology Department.

    The following is his nomination: "Jonas is responsive to the individual needs of all programs across our district, and he goes above and beyond by giving 1000% of himself to ensure that our technology infrastructure is secure and reliable for staff and students. Jonas does a large portion of his work at the least disruptive times for our staff and students, which means that he is often working in the middle of the night and on weekends. Read more.

    Congratulations Jonas!

  • Our Classroom staff keeps learning & innovating Friday, September 19, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/CurricDay1web.jpg On Thursday, we held our first Curriculum Group meetings of the school year. It is a late start for students so that our classroom staff can work together on many aspects of classroom learning.

    Licensed Staff, Early Learning Center Educators, and Instructional Administrators met in their assigned curriculum and professional groups such as art, science or math. See photos.
    (read more)

    According to Dr. Jon Voss, Director of Teaching and Learning, this year’s curriculum groups will have 3 parts to their meetings, and the other professional groups will have a 2-part meeting (omitting #1 below):
    1. Professional Learning: Presentation by a Reading specialist on the background and resources for the district’s initiatives in literacy and learning intentions.
    2. Peer Review and Evaluation: Presentation by a Peer Coach on the background and process for peer review this year.
    3. Curriculum improvement: Continuing the work of your group to share resources and collaborate on curriculum or other resource needs through the Curriculum Hub. We will ask that each group review and update their outcomes for the year.

    Our education assistants participated in a workshop presented by Nancy Riestenberg, from the Minnesota Department of Education. She is School Climate Specialist and talked with Education Assistants about the effects of maltreatment on the brain during stages of development. She also identified practices in the classroom; hallway and office that help promote resilience in students.

    Great sessions everyone!

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  • Bus Safety art competition winners go to Twins game Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Three North Education Center students received top honors for the 2014 Minnesota School Bus Safety Poster Contest sponsored by the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportahttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/TWINsGame_web.jpgtion and the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association. Two of the school bus safety poster winners were guests of the Minnesota State Patrol at a Twins game this summer.

    Students Leo (right) and Eric (left) attended the Tigers-Twins match up on August 21 where they met Lieutenant Brian Reu with the Minnesota State Patrol. Their exciting day included walking on the field while their posters were projected on the big screen and their names announced.

    “Be Smart. Be Seen. I Wait In A Safe Place” was this year’s theme for the 173 young artists’ competition. Our students took First, Second and Third in their category. The First Place poster goes on to national competition.

    Certificates were presented to our students by Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski and Transportation Coordinator Amy Tiedens who was instrumental in working with classroom teachers to prepare and submit entries. See posters.

    What a great way to wrap up the summer!

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  • Congratulations Sherry and Sam: Above and Beyond Employees Monday, September 8, 2014

    Sherry (Scharrhttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/Employrecog/Sam_Kast_Sherry_Krause_WEB2.jpgel) Krause and Sam (Sandra) Kast were surprised to be a part of the Back to School event. Sherry and Sam were recognized as August’s Above and Beyond recipients for their work to create a unique Mentor Program for education assistants at the North Education Center.

    Many of the new education assistants that are hired for NEC come to orientation already knowing who their assigned mentor is and Sherry and/or Sam have already connected with them. Sherry (left) and Sam (right) put new staff’s needs first and make sure they feel welcomed and supported from the moment they are hired. That is above and beyond what they are asked to do coordinate as Mentor Leads. The Mentoring Program is their passion and that passion is evident in everything they do to make it such a success at NEC!   (read more)

    Additionally, they have served as a resource to another Mentor Lead in the district this year.  The other Mentor Lead had not experienced as many new hires throughout this school year as she had in previous years. Since Sherry and Sam have much experience with this they were the perfect people to provide support and guidance. Read more about Sherry and Sam.

    Congratulations Sherry and Sam!

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  • Welcome Back Students Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Classeshttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/welcomebackstudentssec.JPG officially started throughout the district today.https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/SECA_firstday_web.jpg

    Starting at 7:15 a.m. students started arriving with expectations for their new school year. These photos were taken at the South Education Center.

    See video from North Education Center. The title is "Images of the first day back to school at NECA."

    Have a great school year everyone!

  • Welcome Back highlights are here Saturday, August 30, 2014

    Chehttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/video_icon.jpgck out the new video featuring the back to school staff events on August 25. https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/B2S2014/BS7sm.jpg

    This selection of clips is a condensed version of the entire day. If you would like to see the entire session, please contact Linda Rees for a DVD. See video.

    We also have the information from Brave New Workshop. See handout.

  • Our staff Welcome Back Photos are posted Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Click HERE
    to check out the new event photos.

    There are THREE pages of staff photos.

  • Another great welcome back staff day! Monday, August 25, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/Daniel.jpg All staff events at the North Education Center featured the national anthem sung by student Daniel and improvisation innovation.

    The programs began with Daniel (photo at left) who performed the national anthem followed by standing ovations.

    School Board Chair Ann Bremer and Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski presented the "official Welcome Back" and district news.

    The main event was the Brave New Workshop Creative Outreach Team who used improv to create innovation. Watch for more details later.

    This week we will post more photos from today.

    Welcome Back Staff! Have a great year!

  • Welcome Back Staff! Sunday, August 24, 2014

    clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/2014postcardstory.jpgWe are looking forward to seeing staff on Monday. Here is the schedule for the district-events.
    Date: Monday, August 25, 2014
    Location: North Education Center Gym
    Times: Please note building and program times.
    Session 1:
    8:00 AM: Bus pick up at Northwest Tech Center and Edgewood Ed Center
    8:45 AM: Program begins for NWTC, Edgewood, Northland and NEC
    Session 2:
    12:00 PM: Bus pick up at District Service Center, West Ed Center and South Ed Center
    12:45 PM: Program begins for Itinerant and other District Service Center, West Ed Center, South Ed Center, HTC Pathways, Gateway and Care & Treatment
    Questions: Contact your supervisor
  • Welcome New Staff Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/new_staff_acad_web.jpgThe New Staff Academy (NSA) began this morning. This is another sign that we are preparing for students to return on September 2.

    The NSA is held every year to welcome new staff including para professionals, teachers, support staff and others who are new to District 287. They meet the administrative team, talk with human resources and discover programs other than their assignments. It is a busy two days.

    If you see our new staff, please WELCOME them to our organization.

  • ALC teams go to school to help students go to College Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/SECA_at_AVID_CONF_Aug_2014.jpg As a result of many student success stories, our staff spent part of their summers preparing  for the 5th year of using AVID in our Area Learning Center Programs.

    According to Lea Dahl, Academic Operations Principal, this AVID work included attending a national training session (see photo of SECA team) that featured workshops, team building and brainstorming for more than 4,000 educators. It also was intense for individuals. (read more)

    “Each attendee went to a specific training strand for three days of professional development,” Lea said. “We also spent time in sessions preparing site-specific 2014-2015 programs.”

    In case you are not aware of AVID, it is “Advancement Via Individual Determination.”  AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Lea adds to those goals by how AVID works for our students.

    “It helps underrepresented populations learn how to apply and go to college, and plan for their futures, Lea told a group of teachers. “In some cases, students are generally first generation high school grads often from diverse populations.”

    Recently we have featured students who were attending college fairs, preparing for entrance exams and developing financial aid plans.

    Congratulations AVID teams!

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  • A new model for psychiatric hospital education Thursday, July 31, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/PrarieCare_groundbreaking_2web.jpgDistrict 287 partners with PrairieCare to deliver education services to two of their psychiatric hospital settings, Maple Grove and Edina. The team has worked to hone what is now a nationally recognized model. A new video showcased the team and how they created the model.

     https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/video_icon.jpgWATCH parent and staff videos                (read more)

    On July 28, PrairieCare had a groundbreaking ceremony at its new site in Brooklyn Park. This site is an expansion to PrairieCare's ability to serve more the 1800 children and adolescents each  year who require psychiatric treatment. This will in part, fulfill their vision to transform access capacity and delivery of services to Minnesota youth and beyond. PrairieCare has been expanding psychiatric services for children and adolescents since 2005.

    Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski, Director of Special Education-Jennifer McIntyre, Director of Mental Health & Partnerships-Tina Houck, and Assistant Principal of Care and Treatment-Janet Joslin were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Click on photo above.)

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  • Summer VOS programs Celebrated Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Students, parhttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/VOS_Summer/VOS5web.jpgents, community partners and staff gathered to celebrate another great summer of Vocational Outreach Service. The celebration featured the work of 28 students in the technology lab. (See more photos) Many of the projects for our classroom teachers and libraries were extensive; time to produce the materials during the regular school year would not be possible.

    This summary report was compiled by staff and students:
    Production: 562 hours; Technology Lab – production: 640 hours; and Technology Lab – creation: 768 hours

    The summer VOS program also placed 138 students in 26 non-profit worksites in the community. This group of students experienced jobs in organizations including the American Cancer Society, Golden Living Center and Ridgedale Library. See other worksites.

    Congratulations everyone on another great summer!

  • HMC Students named 2014 Minnesota Scholars of Distinction Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Four studenhttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/Alan_Chiang_HMC_2014_web.jpgts from the Honor's Mentor Connection Program have been named 2014 Minnesota Scholars of Distinction.

    The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction Program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated self-directed students. To earn this recognition, students must demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter and apply their knowledge to challenging projects. Students may pursue one or more area of focus.

    This year's Scholars of Distinction:
    Sweta Bhoopatiraju from Wayzata in the Science category; Project: "Effects of Betadine for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Patients Intolerant to Maintenance Chemotherapy"
    Paymon Rafian from Maple Grove in the Science category; Project: "Crowd Sourcing as a Method of Indoor Navigation for People with Low Vision"
    Thomas  Zhang from Wayzata in the Science category; Project: "The Fermat-Weber Problem: An Exploration of Continuous Variants"
    Alan Chiang (pictured above) from Wayzata was recognized in three categories including Science, Mathematics and STEM; Project: "Medicinal Hydrogels: Functionalizing Hydrogels to Monitor Glucose Levels in Diabetes"

    Interviews with the four winners describing the details of each project appears on the HMC website. Watch video.

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  • District 287 receives State Arts Board Arts Learning Grant Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/msab_logo_color_small.gifThe Minnesota State Arts Board awarded Intermediate District 287 an Arts Learning Grant for the 2013-14 School year. Artist in residence, Anne Krocak, worked with students from Edgewood, South Education Center, Epsilon and Omegon on public art projects using mosaics. 

    This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

    The arts program also collaborated with VSA Minnesota which is an affiliate of the National VSA organization started by the Kennedy family in the 1970s. This is the third year Krocak has worked with students to create a mosaic public art.

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/video_icon.jpgWatch the video to see students at Edgewood to create mosaics stepping stones in their community garden and talking about their inspiration for the mosaic hall tree.

  • Supt. Lewandowski Summarizes Legislative Session Outcomes Monday, July 7, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2014_2015_NEWS/Legislaturegraphicweb.jpgDuring District 287 School Board meetings this year, Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski provided updates on the primarily positive outcomes of the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Session with regard to intermediate districts.

    The following is summary of the state sessions.

    New revenue will be realized by the intermediates: (1) Being included in the increase in the safe schools and lease levies; and (2) Receiving teacher evaluation funding.

    A positive policy change to the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) Act will let high school students enrolled in full time dual credit program on college campuses such as the Hennepin Technical Gateway to College Program take remedial coursework.

    Other items of interest are
    (1) Funding to help provide the additional support services needed to operate recovery schools;
    (2) Intermediate districts being able to award diplomas; and
    (3) Building principals having the ability to direct students to enroll in an Area Learning Center (ALC).

    If you have any questions contact lkrees@district287.org.

  • President Obama visits Customer Service Class Monday, June 30, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/PresObamaScreenCaptureWEB.jpg Nine students and NECA instructor John Vittera got their 15 minutes of fame on Friday June 27th ….no…it was 20 minutes! 

    Watch the drama unfold!

    The students are enrolled in a ProjectCare course taught by Vittera at the HIRED Office in Minneapolis. He is teaching the Customer Service class as District 287’s part of a grant collaboration. ProjectCARE is a HIRED collaborative effort funded by the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services, Greater Twin Cities United Way Women’s Giving, and the Minnesota Visiting Nurses’ Association.

    According to Vittera when he arrived at the HIRED office on the Friday,  police and black vehicles filled the parking lot. 

    “I knew something was up,” said Vittera. “The students and I went through a security check and then we went to the classroom.” He added, “The real surprise came later when lots of cameras and President Obama entered, I was actually stunned!” 

    The President asked about the class and I thought it was best that the students tell about the class,” Vittera recalled. “The most compelling part of the visit for the teen moms was when President Obama shared with them that he was a child of a teen mom.  His mother was 18 when she had him and she raised him on her own.”

    Students reflected on their experience in talking with the President.
    Nou:“My kid will someday be like the president, successful.”
    Kenisha:  “I have a lot going on in my life and think a lot about what happened in my past. President Obama talking to me last Friday made me think, I am worthy!”
    Shanarea: “The first person I called was my grandfather and he said he was proud of me for meeting the president. He voted for Obama.”   

    Adolescent students who are parenting and receiving Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) funding requires young women under the age of 21 who have not graduated from high school or have a GED to be in school or an approved work activity. This Customer Service course is similar to one taught year round in the ALC programs at District 287.

    HIRED works closely with schools and social service agencies, to support students in obtaining their high school diploma, pursue higher education, and develop the work habits and job-search skills necessary to find and hold a job. It is a natural partner for District 287’s work.

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  • District named to Top 100 Best workplace list Tuesday, June 17, 2014


    A Message from Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski:

    The Star Tribune just rated District 287 as the 29th Best Workplace for large employers in Minnesota. I think that gives us a five star rating! Dedicated staff is what makes us a great district. Thank you!





    District 287 representatives were presented the prestigious Top 100 Best Workplace Award last week and the official announcement was made public in the Star Tribune this last weekend durhttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/TOP_100_adminlunch_web5.jpging the annual Top Workplaces Section.

    To qualify for the Top 100 Workplaces, survey information was collected from 58,600 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations. WorkplaceDynamics, an independent company specializing in employee engagement and retention, surveyed companies that were nominated by their own employees.

    During their regular District 287 School Board meeting on June 12, Chair Ann Bremer congratulated and thanked all district staff.

    “This award is another reflection of the great work we do at our sites, in our programs and with our students,” Ann said Thursday. “Congratulations everyone.”

  • Meet Wauneen Mgeni Friday, June 13, 2014

    Congratulations Wauneen Mgeni, June Above and Beyond Employee.

    Wauneen is the Exhttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Waun_BD_award_web.jpgecutive Assistant to Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski and our 12-member School Board. She was nominated by the School Board for her excellent attitude and working style.

    This is the nomination written by board member, Nancy Rowley:
    “Wauneen understands our need to share information about District 287 services with local Boards, administrators, staff, and community.  She provides information for us to share in print form, email attachments, videos, electronic links, and District 287 website navigation.  Wauneen is always available to consult with us about individual needs and her responses are always timely and thorough!”
    read more

  • Student field trip goes to DSC Thursday, June 12, 2014

    The recent remodeling and layout https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Art_Visit_SL_6_4_14_9.jpgchanges at the District Service Center resulted in some prominent places for student artwork to be displayed.

    Pieces on display right now include art from Ms. Kristie’s class at the North Education Center. Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski invited them to come over.

    Ms. Kristie shared with everyone how students spent their time in art class this year with artist in residence, Jesse Lesnau.https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Art_Visit_SL_6_4_14_2.jpg

    “Jesse led the students through many projects such as pop art drawings/paintings, and ceramics,” Ms. Kristie said. “We also studied various artists’ styles, and we did our own technique practice with Jesse sharing his skills too.”

    Students pointed out the “butterflies in motion” paper project, and the “spring pines” made with water colors. Following their tour, Sandy met with the students in her office where each student had two questions for her.

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Art_SL_Anna_flowers.jpg “The students had really thought about the visit,” Sandy said. “They had some tough questions, and plenty of information they wanted to share with me.”

    A government unit in their class is focusing on local governments. This visit gave the students the opportunity to ask Sandy questions about the school board, budgets and what she does all day. As students moved to our official School Board Room, they found their own name plates where our school board sits, which was very exciting.

    Questions in the Board Room included: “Do they know other people come here? How much time does the Board have to be in this room? Do they have lunch here? Who works on the Board?”

    “I’m not sure who learned more today, the students or me,” Sandy said as the students left to catch their buses at NEC.

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  • Welcome Back date announced Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Welcomebackartweb.jpgAs we begin summer break, please mark your calendars for the annual back to school events.

    Our district wide events will be held on Monday, August 25 at the North Education Center. There will be a morning and an afternoon session to accommodate all of our staff numbers. Be sure to watch your mail and the District 287 website for more details.

    For information that is program and site specific, please contact your supervisor or principal.

    Have a great summer, and we will see you in August!

  • Bus Safety posters take top honors in State contest Monday, June 9, 2014

    https://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Poster_threewinners_web.jpg Three North Education Center students received top honors for the 2014 Minnesota School Bus Safety Poster Contest sponsored by the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation and the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association.

    “Be Smart. Be Seen. I Wait In A Safe Place” was this year’s theme and was met by much enthusiasm by 173 young artists throughout Minnesota. The student entries were divided by grade level. First place goes onto national competition.
    Our winners are:
    1st Place: Leo
    2nd Place: Eric
    3rd Place: Cody

    Certificates were presented to our students by Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski and Transportation Coordinator Amy Teidens. Amy was instrumental in working with classroom teachers to prepare and submit entries. See posters.

    Nice work - students and staff!

  • Congratulations Gateway Graduates Thursday, June 5, 2014

    Hennepin Technical Gateway to Colhttps://asoft11122.accrisoft.com/district287/clientuploads/2013_2014NEWS/Gateway_Grads_2014.jpglege opened its doors to its first students in the Fall of 2013.

    The first graduating class received their high school diplomas on June 3, 2014 at a ceremony at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Center. 

    In a videotaped interview, four graduates expressed their reflections about their journey to reach the goal of graduating from high school while getting college experience and credits.
    See video

Media Inquiries

Linda Rees
287 Communications Liaison
Ph: 763-550-7185

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