Our mission is to provide a supportive and challenging learning environment that assures lifelong success and high achievement for all community learners.
The ISD 197 community is committed to excellence. The following represents the vision that ISD 197 will strive to achieve and maintain.
All learners seize opportunities to achieve academic, co-curricular, and personal success.
Curriculum and programming are based on current research and best practices.
A wide range of educational options are available to meet the needs of all learners.
The staffing, facilities, technology, and financial resources are committed to enable ISD 197 to offer exemplary programs.
ISD 197 celebrates and actively addresses the changing demographic needs of community learners.
The community of Independent School District 197 values the creation of a learning environment that is characterized by:
a staff that is well trained, highly competent, and demonstrates a caring and committed attitude toward all learners
a community that values life long learning and is supportive and involved in the School District
a decision making process which is data driven and reflects research based “best practices”
a practice of communication that is frequent and meaningful between home and school and community and school
a recognition of the global nature of our community
a community of learners that are passionate and committed to learning and demonstrate a focus on high achievement and a sense of being valued as individuals
a facility that is safe, healthy, well maintained and a reflection of the pride of the community
a celebration of the diversity represented by all learners
an implementation of curriculum that is progressive and integrates technology
an appreciation and support for collaboration at all levels
School and Department News
• Moreland’s annual carnival was Friday evening, Feb.25, and it was a wonderful community event with many families attending. Principal Carolyn Hartwigsen wants to thank School Board member Mary McGrory-Usset and her daughter Emily, who were volunteer “hair painters,” and the many Moreland staff members who donated their time to help the PTA committees.
• Here ‘s a great item from Matt Kraft, the Henry Sibley Activities Director, who tells us that Sibley Boys ‘ Basketball Head Coach Tom Dasovich received a nice commendation this week from the
Mendota Heights Athletic Association (MHAA)for the tremendous impact his team had on the community this past Saturday. The fourth-grade boys who played basketball through MHAA this season were being introduced and called up to get their trophies when in walked the whole Sibley basketball team. They lined up and high fived every boy that was introduced and then Trevor (Sibley’s
sophomore basketball sensation) handed them their trophy. “It could not have been better,” writes Amelia, the MHAA president. Isn’t it great to see our high school students being supportive role models for our younger students?
• Principal Susan Larkin at Friendly Hills reports lots of exciting things in classrooms this week. Last weekend the school’s French students went to the Concordia Language Camp outside of Bemidji and had a great time. Many fifth graders went to the Minneapolis Art Institute to wind up their art adventure series. Mrs. Ready’s fifth-grade class read the story “Because of Winn-Dixie” and then went to the theatre to view the movie. Mr. Nelson’s class invited Dr. Garr, a cardiologist, to come and discuss information about the heart, and he brought in sheep hearts for the students to examine. These are all great examples of teachers going the extra mile to arrange great opportunities for learning.
• On Monday and Tuesday last week, students at Garlough were treated to several Science Museum of Minnesota grade-level assemblies provided through a grant from General Dynamics Advanced Systems. Students in kindergarten and 1st grade learned about dinosaurs and even reconstructed a life-sized dinosaur puzzle. Second graders examined air properties related to daily weather. They made clouds, lighting, ashes and tornadoes inside Garlough. Antarctica’s amazing wildlife and physical features were the focus of the presentation for third graders. Sparks flew, hair stood on end, and students were “shocked” during the fourth–grade electricity assembly. A special thank you to Malti Sridhar, Garlough parent, for arranging this grant through her employer.
• On Saturday, March 12, Garlough third and fourth grade ELL (English Language Learners) students will be performing at the Family Resource Fair at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights. The Resource Fair is sponsored by the Integration Programs of Inver Grove, South St. Paul and West St .Paul/Mendota Heights in collaboration with Community Education. The Fair is a free event to provide families with information from health and social service agencies. Garlough ELL teacher Ruth Delgehausen will be directing the children as they sing “De Colores ” and “Hello to All the Children of the World.”
• Mendota Principal Steve Goldade reports that kindergarten registration will begin on Thursday; March 10.Tonight Mendota parents will be visiting Friendly Hills, courtesy of the Mendota PTA and Friendly Hills School. This week Mendota students are busy preparing for spring concerts.
• Pilot Knob students met the challenge of reading around the school. The challenge was to read a book and fill-out the details on a Dr. Seuss hat that could be hung in the hallway. If there were enough hats hung side-by-side to reach al l the way around the school by Wednesday, March 2, Principal Byron Schwab would buy everyone a treat. The 1,463 hats in the halls of Pilot Knob were more than enough to reach all the way around the school, so students enjoyed a tasty ice cream treat on Friday while their teachers read aloud to them.
• Pilot Knob had an excellent turn-out for the “Read Around the School Breakfast” on Friday, March 4.Students and parents enjoyed green eggs and ham, mini donuts, juice, milk and coffee. A number of guest readers read to students after breakfast.
• Moreland’s musical programs this week were lots of fun with an animal theme for first and second graders and “the groovy 60 ‘s ” for third and fourth graders. Many thanks to music teacher Deb Nass for her great work.
• On Friday, Henry Sibley started one hour late so teachers ‘ curriculum teams could work collaboratively on establishing common assessments, reviewing data about students, developing rubrics or norms, or participating in any number of collegial activities that could enhance student achievement. Students played basketball in the gym, lifted weights in the fitness center, caught a movie in the auditorium, studied in the IMC, or chilled in the cafeteria for that hour. Others arrived at school just prior to the start of the first class at 8:35 a.m.
• Somerset has been “Reading Across America” all week. Sibley students read to students on Monday, and local celebrities read to students on Wednesday morning. “Guest readers ” such as Lili Pan, Managing Director of CAAM, Jearlyn Steele, WCCO Radio host and performer, and Mendota Heights Mayor John Huber demonstrated the value and importance of reading by telling students about themselves, explaining how they use reading in their daily lives, and sharing with a class what their favorite books were when they were in elementary school. According to Diane Rappath ,Somerset IMC coordinator, students and staff have three main objectives for the Guest Reader Day: to provide students with a rich language experience as they listen, learn and interact with an adult reader from the community; to encourage students to continue to read so they will become better readers; and to demonstrate to students the lifelong importance of reading by introducing them to a variety of people with different careers. Friday was “Read Me” day, where everyone was encouraged to wear something that could be read. The week also featured mystery authors and Dr. Seuss games in phy-ed.
• Heritage Family Bingo night on Thursday, March 3 drew over 100 students and parents. This free, fun activity is one of a series of events sponsored by the Heritage PTA to build community and family involvement at the middle school. Participants won prizes such as donated posters and books.
• Heritage ‘s African American Parent Breakfast last Monday morning celebrated both Black History Month and Heritage Spirit Week. Speakers were Retired Deputy Sheriff of Dakota County Jerry Cotton and the district ‘s own Mia Phillips-Gill .This first-time event featured a great turnout, a great message, and lots of fun!
• Since March is Food Share month, Somerset students and staff have started collecting – with over 300 items last week, hey are off to a great start.
• The Test of Emerging Academic English (TEAE) tests ELL students in grades 3-12 in reading and writing. TEAE test scores can be used to show individual student progress from year to year and for school and district-level program evaluation. The Minnesota Student Oral Language Observation Matrix (MN-SOLOM)is a rating scale that teachers can use to assess their students ‘ command of oral language on the basis of what they observe in a variety of situations – class discussions, playground interactions, and encounters between classes, for example. The TEAE and SOLOM were given to 399 of our students in October; 233 had test results from 2003-2004 which gave us the ability to track progress. We found some positive trends: 81%of ELL students showed improvement in their reading scores, and 60%showed improvement in writing. On the MN-SOLOM, 82%of students showed progress from last year. When looking at this year’s overall l TEAE results, 19 LEP students were proficient in reading,26 LEP students were proficient in writing, and 53%of students showed proficiency in the SOLOM. What this tells us is that we are serving the right students and that the students we serve are making progress.