School Board Notes 4.3.2023

April 3 Meeting Highlights

The minutes from the April 3 2023 meeting will be reviewed and approved by the School District 197 School Board at the Monday, April 17, 2023 meeting. For more information about meeting agendas and minutes, please CLICK HERE.

Action Item - Approval of Agenda
The motion carried (5-0)

Action Item - Approval of Consent Agenda
The motion carried (5-0)

Listening Session Report
Board member Schwab stated that one individual attended the Listening Session to talk about class sizes.

Two Rivers High School Principal Dr. Al Johnson introduced students who have received the National Academic All-American Award from the National Speech and Debate Association – juniors Arina Axinia, Quinn Hendel, and Grace Lyles. There are 141,000 student members in the National Speech and Debate Association and fewer than 2% receive this honor. Coach Ben Geiger stated that all three students have been instrumental in growing the program. They often help fellow competitors with coursework and push the whole team to be successful as a group.

Student Representative’s Report
Student Representative Elise Buzzell presented the student report. The boys’ basketball season ended in the section tournament. Winterguard will have their last performance this weekend.  Many spring sports host their first games this week.  The track team had their first invitational with a first-place finish in the triple jump by Claire Stein and a second-place finish in the high jump by Taylor Taurinskas. The speech team had 29 students at sections making it the largest team in over 15 years. At the tournament, they had 3 state qualifiers: Grace Lyles in discussion, Allie Karon in extemporaneous reading, and Tommy Larson in great speeches.

A group of students have organized the first boys’ volleyball team in the school’s history. They will compete at club level against teams from across the state. ALMAS visited the state Legislators to promote three anti-tobacco bills. The students finishing their filming and production of an anti-vape PSA and it is being aired on Town Square TV.  Seniors in the AP language and composition class finished up a capstone project with many hours of researching and writing. The average paper was 16.7 pages and the longest was 31 pages. 

Orchestra, band, and choir students traveled to San Diego to perform.  25 German students visited Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.  AP exams start May 1. Mendota students hosted a craft fair and sold their products to the community. Moreland 3rd grade students participated in Pollinator Possibilities where they learned about science poetry and visual arts. Garlough Principal Sue Powell spent the night on the roof of the school during a 25-degree night after the students raised over $4,000 through their kindness week activities. Students and teachers at Somerset dressed up as their favorite book character during their annual book character parade. Pilot Knob 3rd grade students learned how to skate in gym class. Friendly Hills 6th grade students visited the James J. Hill house and the MN State Capitol. Heritage 7th and 8th grade students presented their models of human body systems during their annual science night showcase.

Superintendent’s Report
Superintendent Olson-Skog stated that the final quarter of the school year is underway. Seniors are preparing for their college and career journeys. Students in grades three and up are taking their MCA tests. Students and their families in the transition years (K, 5, 9) are getting ready for their next step by visiting schools, and talking with older students about what to expect and how to succeed.  A Special Education Parent and Guardian Night was held which is for district parents and guardians who care for a student identified as needing special education services to support their learning. It was a great turnout and they will try to meet monthly for the rest of the school year. The new Warrior Hall of Fame, an all-inclusive collection of former Warriors who have distinguished themselves in the area of athletics, activities, fine arts, academics, and/or service while at Henry Sibley/Two Rivers High School, is taking submissions through May 1. Individuals can find more information on eligibility, the nomination process, and how to submit a nomination on the Two Rivers website.

Curriculum Advisory Committee Update
Kate Skappel, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, and Miles Lawson, Secondary Curriculum Coordinator, presented an update on the Curriculum Advisory Committee (CAC). According to Minnesota statute, school districts must establish an advisory committee to ensure active community participation in all phases of planning and improving the instruction and curriculum affecting state and district academic standards. The 23-member committee includes teachers, parents, support staff, students and other community residents.  So far this year, the committee has reviewed and advised on the World’s Best Workforce Annual Report; the local literacy plan; high school course offerings; rigorous course grants; CTE Advisory Committee update; community surveys; and social emotional learning.  They also conducted curriculum reviews for K-12 science, K-12 social studies; K-12 math; and career and technical education. Next year, the committee will review and advise on the World’s Best Workforce Annual Report, the local literacy plan, and the rigorous course grant.  They will also conduct a curriculum review for social studies implementation and K-12 math resource review.

Gifted Talented Advisory Committee Update
Miles Lawson, Secondary Curriculum and Gifted and Talented Coordinator, presented an update on the Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee.  The mission of this committee is to promote and enhance the goals and objectives of gifted education programming, and to build positive partnerships among schools, teachers, administration, parents and the community to support gifted education services. This year, the committee has reviewed and advised on GT specific areas and curriculum related topics. They advised on topics within the curriculum review as it relates to social/emotional programming; science implementation in grades K-8; K-12 social studies year 2 tasks and timelines; and K-12 math year 1 tasks. Next year, the committee will continue to review and advise on GT specific areas, curriculum related topics including new course proposals at Two Rivers High School, tasks related to the middle school schedule review and an expansion of the rigorous course grant. They will also advise within the curriculum review process for math standards, K-12 Social Studies, and CTE curriculum review.

The motion carried (5-0).