Insight News

Aug 02nd


Help with college choices

For many high school students, choosing the right college has always been a tough decision to make. There are so many questions to consider: What do I want to major in? Which colleges are known for my major? Do I want to go out of state or in state? Do I want to go to a large school or small school? What can I do to stand out of the crowd and get into the college I want? 

As a rising sophomore in high school, I am finding that it is not too early to start answering the questions listed above. The hard part is where to begin.

The easiest place to start is the Internet. This place is also one of the hardest spots to find information. The problem that arises is that you are given an infinite number of websites to explore and not all of them will have the answers you are looking for. Some of the websites may even give the wrong information.

Walker West preserves legacy of musical excellence

Walker West preserves legacy of musical excellenceWalker West Music Academy

Music is alive on any given weekday afternoon in the modest building situated on the corner of Selby Avenue and Avon Street in the historic African American Rondo Community of Saint Paul. Children are keying chords on a grand piano, exercising vocal chords, or practicing an instrumental on horn. This is the location of the historic Walker West Music Academy, a 501c(3) non-profit community school of music, and one of the only African American arts organizations in the nation with a 20 plus year history, that is still in operation.

Over the years Walker West has produced decades of musical phenoms with international appeal, such as recording artists and musicians Larry Waddell and Stokely Williams of Mint Condition; jazz performing artist, songwriter and music teacher Paris Strother; and song writer, performer and recording artist Nikki Jean. Students and their parents come to Walker West in throngs because of its ability to produce skillful musicians; for the guidance and credibility of its dedicated founders the Rev. Carl Walker and Grant West; curriculum focused on music performance and instruction strongly influenced by the African American experience; and the commitment of accomplished staff. A portion of the school’s mission reads as follows:

Destination 2010 event celebrates nine-year journey of Minneapolis and Saint Paul public school students

Destination 2010 event celebrates nine-year journey of Minneapolis and Saint Paul public school students On Tuesday, June 15, about 450 people gathered to celebrate 150 Minneapolis and Saint Paul public school students and the culmination of Destination 2010, a student achievement and scholarship initiative sponsored by The Minneapolis Foundation.

Launched in 2001, Destination 2010 enrolled 364 third-graders across seven struggling Minneapolis and St. Paul district public schools in a nine-year student achievement and scholarship initiative. ”D2010” was designed to help these students, the majority of whom were low income and of color, graduate in 2010 and pursue higher education -- and to share the lessons learned along the way. As third-graders, these students were promised that if they graduated from high school and did not move out of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul school districts, they would be given a $10,000 scholarship for a four-year college or a $5,000 scholarship for a vocational/technical school. The celebration, which was held at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, honored the journey of these students and their families, their academic achievements and, for most, the beginning of their post-secondary education.

Saint Paul Public Schools provides free summer meals as part of USDA program

Free meals will be made available this summer to all children 18 years of age and under, and persons 19 years of age and over who have a mental or physical disability (as determined by a State or local educational agency) and who participates during the school year in a public or private non-profit school program (established for the mentally or physically disabled).

The Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), begins Monday, June 21 and ends Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. Meals will be available at over 75 sites throughout the city, including community sites, recreation centers and schools. Meals may include breakfast, lunch, supper or a snack, depending on their hours of operation. For information about specific sites, call the Saint Paul Public Schools Nutrition Services Department at (651) 603-4950 or visit

The Summer Food Service Program is an effort to ensure that children in lower-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during school vacations. More information about the program is available at

Minnesota LTAP announces Roads Scholar Program graduates

Minnesota LTAP announces Roads Scholar Program graduatesThe Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) announces its fifth graduating class from the Roads Scholar Program, which includes Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) northwest region superintendent Dewayne Jones.

According to Jones, who has worked 23 years for Mn/DOT, the LTAP Roads Scholars Program has been helpful to his career. "The LTAP classes provided me with new technology and ongoing research that I can use to achieve my greatest goals in my job," he said.

Khai Clardy goes to Washington D.C

Khai Clardy goes to Washington D.CKhai Clardy, a sophomore at Highland Park Senior High, was recently nominated to represent the state of Minnesota as a National Scholar at the National Young Leaders Conference (NYLC) to be held in Washington D.C. this summer. She will attend the conference July 24 - August 2.

Her nomination places her among a select group of the nation’s top high school students. Less than 1% of all high achieving students are presented with this opportunity, and many alumni of the program report that it is a life changing experience.

With members of the United States Congress serving on the Honorary Congressional Board of Advisors, the National Young Leaders Conference is the premier leadership program in the country, designed for the nation’s best and brightest high school scholar.

Bill Green refl ects on leaving Minneapolis school post

Bill Green refl ects on leaving Minneapolis school postJune can be a bittersweet time for many of us at the Minneapolis Public Schools. Our students wrap up the school year and a mixture of sadness and excitement is in the air. Our principals, teachers and all staff are proud of the accomplishments our students have made. Our schools are all hosting annual celebrations, carnivals, performances, recognition activities and commencement ceremonies. A special congratulations to our graduating seniors who are ready to tackle the ‘real world.’

June 30 will be my last day as Superintendent of Schools and I feel mixed emotions myself. Serving the Minneapolis Public Schools’ students, staff and community has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I hope you will feel, at the end of my term, that all of our students’ lives and educational experiences have been as enriched as mine has been in serving them. I know that change, while it may be unsettling, is essential for growth. It helps us expand our understanding and our experience. We are committed to building a lifelong passion for continuous learning in all of our students and learning to cope and even thrive with change is part of that education.
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