Insight News

Feb 14th


Six schools selected for Target-sponsored reading initiative

Understanding that approximately 6,000 K-3 students in Minneapolis are not on track to reach the critical academic milestone of reading proficiently by the end of third grade. Target recently announced plans to donate $6 million to Minneapolis Public Schools over the next three years to support reading initiatives. As part of this donation, Target convened the University of Minnesota Center for Reading Research and Minnesota Reading Corps to launch a pilot literacy intervention framework called Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) in six Minneapolis schools this fall.

Teachers in Minneapolis Public School district become STEM-certified

Minneapolis Public Schools teachers will become STEM-certified through a custom training partnership with the National Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Elementary Education at St. Catherine University.

In June, a cohort of 20 teachers from across the school district will begin the graduate certificate program created by St. Catherine University. The comprehensive, graduate-level teacher preparation programs to improve STEM teaching skills are among the first in the nation for teachers at public/private and Montessori schools.

Jenny Lind Elementary School: Minneapolis, MN

Jenny Lind Elementary School: Minneapolis, MNJenny Lind Elementary School is a public school in the Minneapolis Public School District in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were the honored recipient of a VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant in the Fall of 2009. This wonderful program gave us 36 quality string instruments for our students to use.

School principal, Aura Wharton Beck has the vision for all students in first through fourth grade to play a string instrument. During the first year of having our new instruments, I taught group violin lessons to all first graders. This school year we now have all the first and second graders taking violin lessons! Jenny Lind Elementary is an 87% free and reduced lunch school. We feel our students deserve to learn to play an instrument but realize that renting one from a store is not an option. Having the VH1 Save The Music grant is an incredible gift to our students and our community because it gives our students beautiful sounding instruments that will help them be successful string players.

National graduation rate rebounds; 1.2 million students still fail to earn diplomas

WASHINGTON—June 7, 2011—A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that the nation’s graduation rate has increased significantly, following two consecutive years of declines and stagnation. With this dramatic turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate stands at 72 percent, the highest level of high school completion in more than two decades. The report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate about 145,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. These new findings offer reason to believe that the past decade’s unprecedented efforts to combat the nation’s dropout crisis are starting to produce results.

Walmart launches Solar Schools Program in four Minneapolis schools

Walmart launches Solar Schools Program in four Minneapolis schoolsAs part of  a $1.2 million dollar Walmart Foundation donation to the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED), four schools in Minneapolis are now equipped with solar panels. As part of the Solar Schools Program, Pillsbury Elementary School, South High School, Seward Montessori School and Floyd B. Olson Middle School were outfitted with solar panels.

“We are honored to have been chosen as a recipient of solar panels through the solar schools program,” said Laura Cavender, Principal of Pillsbury Elementary.  “We are committed to being good stewards of our natural resources, and providing tools for our young people, to see how they can make a difference in the world,” she said. 

The Destination College Savings Sweepstakes gives parents have a chance to win $1,000 towards college

The Minnesota College Savings Plan launched its 3rd annual Summer Reading Program Sweepstakes, Destination College Savings, on a special day this year, May 29, 2011 – or 5-29 Day.

The Minnesota College Savings Plan is Minnesota’s official Section 529 plan, administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. As of May 25, 2011, the Plan has helped over 55,000 families save close to $900 million toward a child’s future college education.

Kudos to Minneapolis families

As I near the end of my first year as superintendent, I have been reflecting on the work we have done together. I was inspired, as I began the year, by the actor Danny Glover, who dedicates every performance to someone. It might be Nelson Mandela or the old man who guards the stage door, but he is always working for someone other than himself. This focus gives his acting purpose and makes his work more meaningful.
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