Osseo Schools: Back-to-school changes include implementing digital learning, all day kindergarten and more

Osseo Area Schools will welcome students back for the first day of the 2014-15 school year on Tuesday, Sept. 2. The district continues to pursue its mission to inspire and prepare all students with the confidence, courage and competence to achieve their dreams; contribute to community; and engage in a lifetime of learning as they implement the digital learning plan, district-wide all day kindergarten and more.

DIGITAL LEARNING PLAN LAUNCH

Osseo Area Schools is launching some important elements of its digital learning plan, including 1:1 iPad initiative in selected grades; Schoology, a learning management system; and training for staff.

Learning leaders in new positions at Osseo Area Schools this year include, from left to right: Garden City Elementary Principal David Branch, Osseo Senior High Assistant Principal Michael Lehan, North View Junior High Principal Diana Bledsoe, Fernbrook Elementary Prinicipal Todd Tischer, Maple Grove Senior High Assistant Principal Heather Miller-Cink, Park Center Senior High Principal John Groenke and Park Center Senior High Assistant Principal Jill Knutson.

Learning leaders in new positions at Osseo Area Schools this year include, from left to right: Garden City Elementary Principal David Branch, Osseo Senior High Assistant Principal Michael Lehan, North View Junior High Principal Diana Bledsoe, Fernbrook Elementary Prinicipal Todd Tischer, Maple Grove Senior High Assistant Principal Heather Miller-Cink, Park Center Senior High Principal John Groenke and Park Center Senior High Assistant Principal Jill Knutson.

About 7,300 students will receive iPads by the end of the first trimester of school. About 1,800 iPads were distributed to teachers this summer, along with some initial training. Effective use of iPads can promote more active, self-directed learning; offer more learning opportunities through education-focused apps and resources; and build collaboration skills that are key to success in the 21st century workplace. Providing increased access to digital devices and resources is part of the district’s work to ensure equitable student achievement.

DISTRICT-WIDE ALL DAY KINDERGARTEN

All day kindergarten is available in every elementary school this year, and all kindergartners will participate in it. On a temporary basis, some elementary schools in the district have created additional classroom space to accommodate all day kindergarten without physical additions to their buildings. In 2015-16, the district’s grade spans will move to pre-kindergarten/kindergarten to fifth grade in one building, sixth to eighth grade in another building and ninth to 12th grade in another building. The sixth grade will move from elementary to middle school, which will help alleviate the space crunch in elementary schools.

NEW LEADERS

Several District 279 schools will welcome new principals or assistant principals. Many of these leaders were already employed within the district elsewhere.

Principals include:

•  Garden City Elementary (Brooklyn Center): David Branch

•  Fernbrook Elementary (Maple Grove): Todd Tischer

•  North View Junior High (Brooklyn Park): Diana Bledsoe

•  Park Center Senior High (Brooklyn Park): John Groenke

Assistant principals include:

•  Basswood Elementary (Maple Grove): James Donovan

•  Brooklyn Junior High (Brooklyn Park): Megan Havelak

•  Crest View Elementary (Brooklyn Park): Dmitri Russell

•  Maple Grove Senior High (Maple Grove): Heather Miller-Cink

•  Osseo Senior High (Osseo): Michael Lehan

•  Park Center Senior High (Brooklyn Park): Jill Knutson

ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR ATHLETICS & ACTIVITIES

Students in grades seven to 12 can now register for fall sports and activities through an online registration/payment system called FeePay. The system is accessed through each family’s SchoolView account and will allow for greater flexibility and added convenience in the registration and payment process. More info is available here: http://d279.us/feepay.

BROOKLYN JUNIOR STEAM EXPANSION

Last year, Brooklyn Junior saw an expansion of its STEM program to a STEAM (STEM plus Arts) program for some grade levels. This year, the STEAM program will be integrated into all grades at the school.

 

 

Back to school… and basics

As children head back to school, this is an opportunity for parents and other trusted adults to help review the basics of personal safety. Whether kids are walking to school, at the bus stop or home alone after school, they should use the following “top ten” list to help review back to school safety:

1. If teaching a child about “strangers” does not work, then tell the children to use caution around people they do not know well or persons that parents have not approved of.

2. Reiterate with children the Golden Rule for Safety, which is “We never go anywhere without first asking permission and telling someone.”

3. Teach children about safe places. Safe places are areas that children can go where there are people to help them and a phone, not a secret hiding place.

4. Teach children about trusted adults. Trusted adults are persons parents approve of and can be: teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, grandparents, aunts, uncles, police officers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses.

5. Tell children it is okay to drop whatever they have in their hands (such as a backpack) and run, yell and scream to get away from a dangerous person or situation.

6. Teach children that adults or teens that they do not know well should not ask young children for help, such as finding lost items or carrying something. Adults should always ask other adults or the police for help.

7. Teach children never to go into another person’s home without their parent’s permission, even if it is someone they know like a friend or neighbor, unless it is an emergency.

8. Teach children about answering the door safely. Tell them not to answer the door to anyone when they are home alone. Doors should always b locked.

9. Teach children to use the phone wisely if they are home alone. It is okay to say that your parents cannot come to the phone right now and take a message. Never tell anyone that they are home alone.

10. Always call 911 immediately if anyone makes a parent or child feel unsafe.

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