Crosswinds may appeal to you
Did you know that Crosswinds School has been available as a free public school option with bus transportation for south Washington County sixth- to 10th-graders for almost 15 years? If not, I'm not surprised. The school is not listed on the district's website or in its catalog. Would you be interested?
A year-round calendar eliminates the need to review previously learned material after a three month hiatus, gives stability to learners who need a consistent routine and solves families' dilemma about what their kids will do for three months while they are at work. Shorter breaks keep learning fresh.
Crosswinds' International Baccalaureate program, currently only available at Park High School in Cottage Grove, emphasizes intellectual challenge and teaches students to become creative, critical thinkers, and make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world.
Not every child is interested in being an athlete. Some clearly prefer music, visual arts or drama. Others love the challenge and wonder of science and math. Many would love to attend a school where it's cool to be the principals in the orchestra, the best saxophone player in the band, sound and lighting director for the school play and champions of Lego league.
Some kids just want to learn in a more diverse environment that looks more like the real world or where becoming a responsible citizen is valued more than having the "right" shoes or purse.
Crosswinds, which is funded by the East Metro Integration District and currently attended by about 45 District 833 students, is being considered for addition to South Washington County Schools. Superintendent Keith Jacobus said: "For whatever reason it has not been a program that is attracting a significant number of our kids." He and the School Board are not sure they need these programs.
If Crosswinds is something your family would like to investigate for your child, please visit the school website at www.emid6067.net/crosswinds/index.html, drop in, observe, and talk to the staff and students. Find out why its families joke that it is the best-kept secret in the east metro and that there are kids who actually love middle school.
Please contact the District 833 office at 651-458-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Jacobus at kjacobus@ sowashco.k12.mn.us, to inquire about openings in this public school for next year. I think more than 45 students should be interested.
LeBlanc is a parent involved in the East Metro Integration District
GOP needed to be held accountable
About two years ago, I began writing to the Bulletin every month. I did so because I saw what local Tea Party/Republican activists and Republican legislators were doing and these acts in my mind were wrong.
These acts included complaining about government spending on a new City Hall in Cottage Grove but supporting Republican legislators who were willing use public funding on a new Vikings football stadium; complaining about government overspending while the state Republican Party went into massive debt; Republican legislators starting to actively campaign against a Democratic incumbent just two months into 2011; a gerrymandered map proposed by Republican legislators to protect local vulnerable incumbent Republicans and oust targeted incumbent Democrats, which thankfully was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton; local Republican officials supporting Tim Pawlenty for president after Pawlenty gave funding to a local Republican candidate in 2010; Tea Party activists in 2012 trying to portray Ron Paul -- who has made statements to end unions, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and public education -- as a moderate.
Most importantly was local Republicans receiving thousands of dollars from out-of-state and Republican-biased political action committees for 2010 campaigns and then complaining about union spending on Democratic campaigns in 2012, even though this area has thousands of local union jobs that would have been threatened by Republican-backed, anti-union legislation.
I also want to point out that I and many Democratic activists went after House Republican candidate Derrick Lehrke vigorously, for he not only supported Pawlenty and then Paul as presidential candidates but is a strong Republican activist who has had a history of distorting records and smear campaigning, including against 2010 House Democratic candidate Jen Peterson.
As it was, accountability prevailed this year because Katie Sieben was re-elected, Dan Schoen was elected to the House and Jen Peterson was vindicated by being re-elected to the Cottage Grove City Council.
I plan to keep an eye on what happens at the Capitol even though the Democrats are in control because I consider myself a moralist and it was never about left and right to me but right and wrong.
South St. Paul
Labovitch is the DFL Senate District 54 affirmative action officer