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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Most District 833 school board members said Superintendent Tom Nelson met or exceeded expectations in his first year leading the district. Nelson's performance evaluation was part of a recent school board retreat held at the River Oaks Golf Club in Cottage Grove.
The following description could have been written about the 21st Annual Ice Cream Social at the Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park held last week. "We held it on the church grounds. There was a cake walk, sundaes, pie, games and old fashioned fun." In truth, it was written about the social held July 28, 1988, and recorded in the church's history. The event is usually held on a hot, sunny day. Church members and friends start the evening with hamburgers, brats, hot dogs and pop.
A new course in Family and Consumer Science was recently approved by District 833 officials in response to an increase in student interest in housing and interiors. Housing and Interior Design will be offered during the 2007-08 school year at Woodbury and Park high schools. The course will be offered in conjunction with Inver Hills Community College with an option for high school students to receive credit if they achieve a grade of B-minus or higher. The housing and interiors field is a rapidly growing industry with numerous career opportunities in interior design, real estate and housing
District 833 officials recently approved a $132.4 million budget for 2006-07, with no new school taxes to be levied. The new budget climbed 7.44 percent over that of 2005-06, partially due to expected rises in operating expenses, and the decrease in class sizes by an additional one-half student. The average elementary school class will have 28 students.
The appeal by Grey Cloud Township to stop the annexation of 300 acres of land bordering on the Mississippi River was denied last week by Washington County District Judge J.E. Cass. After a decision by Administrative Law Judge George Beck last October supporting Gordon Nesvig's petition to have St. Paul Park annex 300 acres of his land west of County Road 75, township officials appealed the order to district court. Nesvig has a contract to sell his land to developer D.R.
All parents want their children to be safe, but they can't always cover every bit of information kids need to know in an increasingly complicated world. Safety Camp comes to the rescue. Area youngsters, fourth- through sixth-grade, attended a three-day camp hosted by the Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation Department, last week at Hamlet Park.
Grey Cloud Island Township resident Dave Jasper thinks property owners have a "fundamental right" to choose their government. Some residents on Geneva Avenue and Grey Cloud Trail in Cottage Grove think he has a good idea and half of them signed a petition circulated by Jasper. The six people who signed Jasper's petition lived in Grey Cloud Island Township until it was annexed to Cottage Grove in the early 1980s.
Stymied at first, District 833 officials have found a way to introduce foreign languages to elementary students. Officials are adding after-school classes this fall in Chinese-Mandarin. The language will be offered through Community Education in before- and after-school sessions on days that match up with the availability of activity buses. "Chinese is the language of the future," Assistant Superintendent Linda Rull said, anticipating questions of why Chinese-Mandarin was chosen as the language to be offered.
Snack foods and drinks will still be available for School District 833 junior and senior high students this fall, but stricter federal regulations and district concerns about curbing child obesity mean some vending machine offerings will change. The new rules, explored and discussed by an advisory committee, and the new wellness policy recently approved by the school board, mean vending machines at secondary schools must have 60 percent healthful foods and 40 percent less-healthful offerings. Elementary schools do not have vending machines. Healthful drinks include those with 100 percent ju
Some might assume teachers in the Above and Beyond program would be touting the successes of 80 percent of the children who attend two-and-half week summer programs. But Above and Beyond Director Laura Loshek also focuses on the 20 percent who do not seem to be getting the same benefit. For the past five years, students in first through third grade who are lagging behind their classmates in school were referred to the program. The reason to offer the extra help, funded by Community Education and other state money targeted for services, is that students at grade level and above are likely t