Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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Two area arts organizations announced plans to raise the money to build a black-box theater in the new high school planned to open in Woodbury in fall of 2009. The Woodbury Community Theatre and Arts Connection, formerly known as the Woodbury Arts Connection, announced at the District 833 School Board Jan. 25 meeting they will be attempting to raise roughly $2.5 million so a theater can be added to the new high school. The Arts Connection has been in Woodbury for 31 years and has been trying to create interest and financial backing for a freestanding center for quite some time.
If School District 833 and Cottage Grove can reach an agreement, boys and girls hockey teams from the third high school would share a home rink with the Park High School Wolfpack in an expanded city ice arena. The new school is being built at Bailey Road and Pioneer Drive in Woodbury. District and city officials met on Thursday, Feb.
School District 833 will host four meetings in February and early March to give residents information about the third high school and the school-naming process. At last week's regular meeting, Jan. 25, the school board approved a process for finding a school name with a school board decision expected in late April. Community meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, at Oltman Junior High School in St. Paul Park; Tuesday, Feb.
If all goes as planned, School District 833 will break ground on a third high school in Woodbury during the first week in July, according to a report from Mike Vogel, project manager and assistant to the superintendent for operations. At a joint meeting of Woodbury and school district officials, Jan.
In the early 1970s, School District 833 became aware of the needs of highly intelligent elementary-age students. The first gifted and talented program began in 1973 with testing in third grade. The district added "cluster programs," or programs that grouped gifted kids together in one class and offered them advanced assignments, but still kept them among other students. While the program was going well, it didn't get the funding to expand until last year.
If District 833 schools are going to open in the fall of 2009 with a new grade configuration, planning has to begin now. On the "to do" list is getting a planning team picked, getting teachers certified, and tackling other decisions such as start times, end times, school schedules and after-school opportunities. Finding a name for the third high school is beginning Jan.
A few more students could be added to the district's bus routes this fall. The District 833 School Board is expected to approve busing for Spanish immersion and Gateway students at its meeting Jan. 25.
It appears that the District 833 School Board won't be waiting until a planning team and new principal is on board to choose a name for the third high school. The new school is slated to open in Woodbury, near Bielenberg Sports Center in 2009. The board is expected to approve the suggestion by Dave Bernhardson, principal on special assignment, at the regular meeting of the board, Thursday, Jan. 25. "We can't keep calling it 'the third high school' or 'the new school,'" Bernhardson said.
It would be easier to name the Park High School one-act plays that did not come in with highest honors in state competition than to list the ones that did. Since 1998, Park's plays have starred at state, the highest honor given. In the other years, the Park High School drama department was second and third in regional competition. Play directors Denise Atkinson and Steve Estenson are continuing the Greece theme this season by performing "The House of Artreus," adapted by John Lewin from the trilogy "The Oresteia" by Aeschylus. The play will be performed once for the public at 7 p.m.