Insight News

Oct 07th


Nettie & Friends: Increasing learning opportunities for students

Nettie & Friends: Increasing learning opportunities for students“It tickled when the goat ate food out of my hand.” With wonder in his voice, a young kindergarten student told his Dad about the experience which was part of the first field trip he’d ever taken. Luckily for Dad, he helped chaperone that trip so he could be part of that magical moment for his son.

Food for the goats, chaperones, treats, even the bus ride to the apple orchard came complements of Nettie & Friends, a small non-profit that works to increase the learning opportunities for students at Maxfield Elementary School and Maxfield Learning Center in St. Paul.

Last year, Learning Center students went to the Horse Expo. That was a chance to come face-to-face with a real live horse. (Those animals are really big, especially when you’re only three feet tall yourself.) Students have built gingerbread houses, carved pumpkins, published the stories they wrote and taken swim lessons. Kindergarten students sewed the cover for a pillow they took home to their families. For any student who needs it, there are warm jackets, snow pants and boots so they can join their classmates on the playground during recess.

Connecting with our families

Connecting with our familiesWe value the dedication that our families have to our schools and students and we are always looking for ways to strengthen that connection. Three times a year, we hold conferences with our families and their children to check in on each student’s academic progress. The most recent parent – teacher conferences were November 4 and 5. Conferences serve as a great opportunity for us to come together to recognize each student’s strengths and needs. By connecting, our teachers and our schools can work with families to assess how we can build on student strengths and best support student needs in the classroom and at home.

Florida Memorial University Board of Trustees selects new president

 Florida Memorial University Board of Trustees selects new presidentThe Florida Memorial University Board of Trustees has selected Henry Lewis III, Pharm.D. to serve as Florida Memorial University’s new president. The announcement was made during an afternoon meeting attended by nearly 300 faculty, staff and students anticipating an introduction of the new president-elect by Charles W. George, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

After being introduced to the campus family, Lewis expressed his appreciation to the Board for their confidence in his leadership and stewardship, and his enthusiasm to instill confidence and competence in each prospective Florida Memorial graduate. “I see a diamond in the rough in Florida Memorial University, and I am confident that the institution can be the greatest institution it can be,” he stated.

Department of Education establishes new student aid rules to protect borrowers and taxpayers

The Obama administration recently released a broad set of rules to strengthen federal student aid programs at for-profit, nonprofit and public institutions by protecting students from aggressive or misleading recruiting practices, providing consumers with better information about the effectiveness of career college and training programs, and ensuring that only eligible students or programs receive aid.

“These new rules will help ensure that students are getting from schools what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.

Let’s make North High School a lesson for the greater good

Let’s make North High School a lesson for the greater good Over the past weeks, the proposed decision by Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bernadeia

Johnson to close North High School in 2014, and perhaps by next summer if enrollment continues to dwindle, has sparked heated debate on both sides.

The school district points to dwindling enrollment which is currently hovering at 265 students; soaring per pupil expenditures because of the low enrollment at a school designed for over 1,000 students; and academic underachievement. The community’s response is that the plan to close the city’s oldest high school seems calculated as feeder elementary and middle schools were closed in recent years, school boundaries redrawn, and little effort was made to determine why parents in growing numbers were sending their children to other schools and limited strategic actions taken to address concerns about the long term educational viability of the school.

Whither North High

From where we stand, the furor and angst over the possible closure or North Community High School is a good thing.

It is good because it brings to light deep and passionate concern about the education of Black children.

It breaches the gates of civility that dam the wellspring of dissatisfaction with the condition of structural marginalization.

MPS and Way to Grow announce “Great by 8”

The Minneapolis Public Schools and Way to Grow, an early learning program serving children from prenatal through kindergarten age, announce “Great by 8,” a pilot program that increases Way to Grow’s services to include children from kindergarten to third grade or age 8.

The partnership expands a long-term existing collaboration between MPS and Way to Grow. The Minneapolis Public Schools provide School Readiness funding and Early Childhood Family Education services to Way to Grow, which has been one of the preeminent early learning programs in the Twin Cities for over 20 years. In addition, Way to Grow has been an active member of the Minneapolis School Readiness Collaborative and is working with MPS and other community partners to develop the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ).
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