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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The Washington County Board gave Sheriff Steve Pott the green light last week to hire five full-time dispatchers and a public safety answering point coordinator. The dispatchers will take care of the 15 percent increase in calls expected when the Cottage Grove dispatch center closes and the duties are transferred to Washington County. It's proposed that the five new positions with the county will be filled by displaced Cottage Grove dispatchers. "All five came to the department for orientation," Pott said.
With few questions from Washington County officials, a revised Lake Elmo Park Reserve Plan was approved last week and is on its way to the Metropolitan Council for approval. Plans to revise and amend the park plan, originally done in 1978, have been in the works for a year after the county hired Sanders Wacker Bergly Inc.
A new state-required course has District 833 Alternative Learning Center students learning what it takes for them to live on their own in this new century. They also got an eye-opening look at how the Friends in Need Food Shelf and the Stone Soup Thrift Shop are filling needs for people at the margins of our society. This year, high school students are no longer required to pass a class in sociology to graduate.
There is no perfect way to structure a building with the ideal number of grades to enhance education, according to experts. The District 833 School Board was recently given myriad research written by educators across the country about other districts' experiences. The board is pondering whether to move sixth-graders to middle school with seventh and eighth grades, and moving ninth-graders to high schools. Success seems to rest on providing a "quality education environment" when grade configurations are changed, educators say. The national trend is toward the middle school.
Park High educators are doing more than just crossing their fingers and hoping students will do better on Minnesota Comprehensive Achievement Tests. Through a concerted effort that includes tutoring, focusing on areas where mastery can be achieved and changing test environments, the teachers and administrators want to see the school shed its "One Star" status and get off the list of schools defined as not making "adequate yearly progress." Reading tests will be given to 10th-graders and math tests will be taken by 11th-graders this month. Finding educators who totally support No Child Left
Tired of eating thick soups and meat loaf? Have the winter blahs taken their toll, sending you out for high-fat fast food? Help is on the way. Make a salad to remind you spring is here. Add a baked chicken breast on top and you have main dish. That's what those who took the "Spring Salads" class learned on Gentle Saturday hosted recently by District 833 Community Education. Taught by Laurel Severson, students learned a lot more than how to make delicious salads.
If a third high school is part of this fall's District 833 referendum for more space, where would it be and who would go there? Those were among the key questions residents asked in last week's public forum held at Lake Junior High School in Woodbury. The last of four meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, at Oltman Junior High School in St. Paul Park. A third high school is one of the choices facing the District 833 School Board.
He navigates the KARE 11 newsroom with the ease of a veteran among heavy hitters. It is hard to believe Sven Sundgaard is only 25 years old and two years out of college when he confidently steps in front of the camera to tell viewers all they need to know about the weather. Sundgaard, a 1999 Park High School graduate, grew up going to Armstrong Elementary School in Cottage Grove. He attended Oltman Junior High and then ninth grade at the newly built Cottage Grove Junior High School. Most meteorologists know what they want to be when they are quite young.
Additional help in literacy for kids finishing first, second and third grades in School District 833 is on the way. Above and Beyond will be available this summer. The program, in its third year, is managed by Community Education, which contributes $78,000. Another $47,000 comes from the Minnesota Department of Education, targeting services for kids who need additional help. The only charge for the program is a non-refundable $25 registration fee, but financial assistance is available.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled last week that St. Paul Park adequately addressed the impact of the proposed River's Edge development for urban housing. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy in St.