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.
- Member for
- 3 years 11 months
It wasn't what she wanted to hear, but knowing that her father and aunt had colon cancer, it wasn't a surprise when a doctor told Katy McElwee Stevens that she had colon cancer. During a colonoscopy a month ago, a tumor was discovered and was surgically removed on March 7. Appointed to the District 833 School Board in January, she missed a board meeting that night but board members paused at the end of the meeting to wish her well. Her father was diagnosed when he was 72, but McElwee Stevens is 50.
Kevin Zittel and David Quebodeaux see firefighting as the ultimate puzzle.
The District 833 School Board has signed off on $2 million in budget cuts for the 2013-14 school year. The district plans to raise class sizes by an average of one student as it cuts 22.42 teaching positions, including some teaching specialists, to save $1.5 million. The board also approved increasing walking distances at secondary schools. The middle school walking distance will increase from 1 mile to 1.5 miles. High school students living less than 2 miles from their building won't have busing; the current high school walking distance is 1.5 miles.
It likely will be weeks, if not months, before a decision is made on the future of Crosswinds Arts and Science School. Minnesota Management and Budget said last week that it won't approve any plan to take over the Crosswinds building until it sees whether lawmakers pass legislation this spring that would give Crosswinds to the Perpich Center for Arts Education. An attorney said the state budget agency's position trumps the Perpich bill in the House that was amended to remove an April 1 deadline by which Perpich had to receive legislative approval in order to get the Crosswinds building. Per
Parents attending a public review of proposed School District 833 budget cuts told administrators they are opposed to extending the walking distances for secondary school students. At Cottage Grove Middle School Tuesday, Superintendent Keith Jacobus reviewed the district's hybrid $2 million budget-cutting plan that would include $160,000 in savings by adding one-half mile to the one-mile walking distance at middle schools and going from one-and-a-half miles to two miles at the district's high schools. The budget plan, to be acted on by the School Board at its meeting Thursday evening, March
School District 833 fifth- and eighth-graders next month will take the second year of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment III tests online. Students, traditionally in 10th grade, when they take final exams in biology, will also take their science tests.
If you were in chess club in middle school and moved on to play "Dungeons and Dragons," "Pokemon," "Magic: The Gathering" or "YoGoOh," you qualify to join Park High School's Nerd Club. The word "nerd" appeared in the Dr.
The gap is closing now, but several years ago sixth-grade boys were as many as 12 points below the girls on Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment reading tests. The gap continued into seventh grade. By the time both groups got to 10th grade, there was no difference. I wondered why.
With most of the Park High Robotics Team graduating last year, it's a whole new ball game. Last year, the Park Data Bits robot hurled basketballs at targets in various competitions, ending with a state title at the first Minnesota State High School League-sponsored competition. This year, the robot is tossing Frisbees. After a state title, there were many more students interested in the robotics team this year. With about 20 new members, it was like "herding cats," said Jim Huber, head technical advisor for the team.
The new Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) reading tests this spring will be longer and trickier, but Grey Cloud Elementary School and other District 833 students won't be ambushed. They're being prepared for a new focus. When the Minnesota Department of Education reading standards were released about two years ago, District 833 schools were already preparing.