SPRING 2015 www.edinaschools.org IN THIS ISSUE Countryside math students choose how they learn best 2 News in Brief 3 Facilities Referendum 'Living in beta' proves rewarding for teachers and students 4 Superindendent’s Perspective 5 Student Voice 6 The Bottom Line 7 Grade Configuration cont. 8 Countryside Math cont. 9 City Beat 10 EPS Snapshot 11CES Books-in-a-bag 12 Next Gen Video It started with a “what if…” question. “We had all heard student voices complain that they are always in the same math group,” said Mark DeYoung, one of four fifth grade math teachers at Countryside Elementary School. “And they would refer to them as the ‘smart’ group or the ‘dumb’ group,” added colleague Katie Sweeney. No one is sure who on the math team spoke the words, but someone eventually asked, “What if we let the students choose their own math group based on how they like to learn?” That was last fall, and since then, Countryside fifth graders have had a say in how they learn math. It has created excitement and 8SHE]EVIEHIVXSQSVVS[EPIEHIV Partners in Pediatrics supports reading for children of all ages as an important part of their well-being. We decided it was on us to adapt our teaching to fit their learning style. ownership of learning among the students, made it easier for the teachers to differentiate their teaching styles, and produced higher student engagement and achievement. According to the teachers, the process they have created is “organic” and they are adapting and adjusting as they go along. It is also a prime example of personalized learning, one of the core strategies of the district’s Next Generation of Edina Public Schools Strategic Plan. The team — classroom teachers DeYoung, Sweeney, Nathan Monseth, and Jenny Rydeen, along with math learning specialist Sue Johnson — quickly realized that letting students select their own learning group made sense given the different concepts covered. “In fifth grade math, one unit might be about multiplication and the next about fractions,” said Monseth. "By letting students pick their group, they are able to learn at their own pace and in a way that works best for that particular unit." The teachers put a process in place to help students discern the learning style best for them. At the end of each unit, about every three to four weeks, there is an assessment. The teachers go over the tests with their students and encourage them to think about whether they chose the right learning group. CONTINUES INSIDE NEWS IN BRIEF All for All The mission of Edina Public Schools, working in partnership with the family and the community, is to educate all individuals to be responsible, lifelong learners who possess the skills, knowledge, creativity, sense of selfworth, and ethical values necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing, culturally diverse, global society. EPS School Board [email protected] Randy Meyer, Chair Leny Wallen-Friedman, Vice Chair Regina Neville, Clerk Cathy Cella, Treasurer Sarah Patzloff, Assistant Treasurer David Goldstein, Assistant Clerk Lisa O’Brien, Assistant Clerk The cost to produce Experience EPS is largely offset by a contribution from Partners in Pediatrics. For more information on this publication, contact the Communications Department at [email protected], or call 952-848-3919. South View students put the 'physical' in 'Contempo Physical Dance' When Lori Volding’s ninth grade physical education students showed up for class on Feb. 25, they didn’t know what to expect. They did know, however, that class would be completely different. That was their first day with Marciano Silva dos Santos, a professional dancer who came to South View Middle School for a two-day dance residency with one goal in mind: help students break out of their shell through music, movement and dance. The residency is made possible by a partnership with the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. “We were interested in bringing a new dance experience into our curriculum and explore a new dimension of wellness,” Volding said. "It was a great experience for the kids". Read full articles and get more news at www.edinaschools.org Hornets continue tradition of excellence A sampling of recent student accomplishments • JANUARY - Congratulations to Arvind Veluvali, EHS junior, 2015 Minnesota State High School League LincolnDouglas Debate State Champion • FEBRUARY - Congratulations to the State Champion EHS boys’ alpine ski team • MARCH - Congratulations to the EHS Math Team, second-consecutive State Championship Fifth graders turn media center into a ‘makerspace’ At Concord Elementary School, most students head outside during recess to play with friends and take a break from class. However, a group of 5th graders have decided to spend some of that time elsewhere. More than 50 students at Concord decided to forgo recess to learn how to use a 3-D printer. Groups of about five students take turns using the printer, which is set up in a temporary makerspace in the media center. After creating their designs on the computer, which taught them basic engineering principles, the students brought their designs to life with the printer, all with the help of Concord technology paraprofessional, Ryan Clausman, who is working with media specialist Laurie Holland to create additional lessons for the kids. District begins planning for secondary grade configuration changes Transition and program redesign expected to take two years a fall 2013 community survey that showed 65 percent of residents rated a comprehensive 9-12 high school as a top or high priority, with an additional 22 percent citing it as a medium priority. “There is a strong desire by the community for the reconfiguration of grades at the secondary level,” said Superintendent Ric Dressen. “The community has asked for this.” “Discovery gatherings” are providing secondary teachers an opportunity to give input as planning for new grade configurations for the district’s middle and high schools begins. The planning and transition process will occur over two years and involve four key phases: discovery, design, development and implementation. The goal is to complete the change to two grade 6-8 middle schools and a grade 9-12 high school in fall 2017. The school board approved the new configuration in June 2014. The decision, which was a key conversation of community members during the development of the district’s 2012 strategic plan, followed several years of research and analysis. Additional data was gathered from various student, staff and community conversations and surveys, including A core strategy of the district’s Next Generation of Edina Public Schools Strategic Plan is to ensure coherent and comprehensive learning experiences for students. The district’s secondary program study concluded that to deliver such an experience would require a different configuration for secondary grade levels, and a move toward the more traditional grade formations for middle and high school. graduation requirements, and the district’s educational competencies. In addition, ninth graders would benefit from increased access to high school educational options, athletics, arts and activities. “To include ninth graders as a part of our campus provides the opportunity to create a new, comprehensive high school program in which we can welcome these young people into the high school culture of new expectations, leadership opportunities and academic exploration,” said Bruce Locklear, Edina High School principal. “Their life transcript begins in ninth grade. Ninth grade ‘counts’ differently than middle school grade levels and this shift will help transition students into the high school experience sooner.” The district explored a variety of options for grade configuration — including maintaining the current grade 6-9 middle schools and grade 10-12 high school. In the end, the board approved the grade 6-8, 9-12 option, citing it as the best learning experience for future students. While options had their benefits and challenges, the new configuration includes better alignment to Minnesota academic standards and World’s Best Workforce legislation, courses and credits included on high school transcripts, CONTINUES INSIDE SUPERINTENDENT'S PERSPECTIVE Design thinking, 'simplexity' keys to continuous improvement Maintaining our strengths while also creatively exploring options for advancement define this Edina Excellence, which says that we are strongest when we: Edina Public Schools is driven by our educational mission, which has framed the district’s commitment to continuous improvement for over 25 years. The last nine words of our mission statement challenge us to educate all individuals to “thrive in a rapidly changing, culturally diverse, global society.” We’ve responded to this challenge by making improvements at every level—from districtwide initiatives to daily classroom lessons—as we prepare our students for a future very different from our present. Edina Excellence Our recipe for success is to stay true to our mission and core values, focusing our efforts on defined areas of “educational excellence.” Insights from students, families, staff and community members have helped us to better • Focus all actions on what is best for all students; • Hold high expectations for success of all learners in academics, arts and extracurricular activities by providing choice, options and intervention supports; • Value partnerships and personal relationships between and among our students, families, teachers and community members; • Provide quality professional learning for staff; • Ensure our graduates are prepared for postsecondary and/or career success; and • Commit to continuous improvement through intentional planning and research. Advancing Excellence Our ability to advance our Edina Excellence is supported by our desire and need to collaborate. I am continually impressed by the passion and hard work of the entire EPS community as we work together to support the needs for our current and future learners. This team effort allows us to address the educational challenges we face and make the changes necessary to encourage growth and improvement. To help frame our work, we have been using Stanford University’s “design thinking process.” This process allows us to understand the experiences of those involved, accurately define the “problem,” and to explore a variety of ideas and possible solutions. Through the development and assessment of options and pilot projects, we are able to transform our thinking and ideas into action. Continued engagement of stakeholders then allows for the refinement of options, creating a more successful solution in the end. To assist us in this work, we have been using Stanford University’s “design thinking process.” This process allows us to understand the experiences of those involved, accurately define the “problem,” and to explore a variety of ideas and possible solutions. By continually refining the options and adjusting implementation plans as needed, we end up with a result that is a more successful solution, built on engagement of all stakeholders and a philosophy of continuous improvement. Yet, such actions will inevitably involve change, which can be difficult. Educational researcher Michael Fullan encourages “simplexity” when problem-solving and working through transformational change. He stresses the use of common sense and clarity in the solutionseeking process (simplicity), while also promoting the importance of understanding the depth and dynamics of the changes necessary to ensure positive results (complexity). This simplexity concept aligns well with our design thinking approach and is part of our district’s continuous improvement efforts. We know that we cannot simply apply a change and expect a given result. But by working through a thorough design process, acknowledging the various levels of a change proposal, and listening to all voices, we will be able to ensure our that our next generation of learners are ready for the changing world that awaits them. Ric Dressen, Superintendent [email protected] TECH BYTE STUDENT VOICE Images gives student artists, writers an outlet By Audrey Sheehy, EHS junior Technology & Learning Showcase - Sat., April 18 See how technology is transforming learning in Edina Public Schools (EPS) at the 4th Annual Technology and Learning Showcase, on Saturday, April 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. Students, teachers and technology specialists will share the learning they’ve experienced with real-life demonstrations about activities happening in EPS classrooms. Come learn about Animoto, screencasts, ePortfolios, and WeVideo, and more. The event is free and open to the public. It’s all happening in the 3rd Floor Atrium at the Edina Community Center. Images, an Edina High School student club, has been publishing student artwork for almost 50 years. Advised by English teacher Rachel Hatten, the club concludes each school year by publishing a book featuring student art in many forms, including short stories, poems, photography, paintings, and pottery, among others. artists have never had their work displayed in public before. The book provides a larger audience of people interested in viewing their work. Student-written poetry for example, which doesn’t have many public outlets at EHS, is often submitted to Images. “I’ve posted my work on Twitter, but having it in Images is a huge step up from that, and I am excited,” said junior Cole Mauer. “The main goal of Images is to recognize, showcase and celebrate the outstanding artistic talent in our community,” said Managing Editor, junior Nate Saunders. These artists find inspiration all around them. “Depending on my feelings, those can hugely inspire my writing, as well as events in my life,” said senior Anna Norris, who has had poetry published in Images since her sophomore year. The club receives a little over 100 submissions, which it narrows down to approximately 70 selections. “It’s a lot harder to get into the book than people think,” said junior Patricia Jackson. “We spend a lot of time critiquing each piece. It has to be meaningful.” The staff, selected by application, is split into three sections: public relations, creative and layout. Each has their own specific jobs, however the whole staff comes together to discuss each piece, the creator of which is anonymous during the selection process. They base their decisions on elements and principles of art and design, aesthetics, style, technical mastery, proficiency, and composition. “It’s more of a discussion of each piece individually, what works, what doesn’t and why,” said Saunders. For the artists, Images provides the opportunity to share their talents. Most of the published Look for the 2015 issue of Images to be published in mid-May. It will be sold for $15. Students are able to purchase the book by completing forms available in the office or via online ordering system that is to be determined. For adults in the community who want to purchase a copy, vist the club at the Edina Art Show in June. In addition, this year Images constructed a Facebook page called EHS Images, where the order form will be posted for easier access. THE BOTTOM LINE BY THE NUMBERS 51 AVERAGE AGE IN YEARS OF EPS SCHOOLS (based on original construction date) 2003 YEAR OF LAST BUILDING REFERENDUM 8,558 PREK-12 STUDENTS CURRENTLY SERVED IN EPS 332,685 SQ. FT. NEW OR RENOVATED SPACES PROPOSED IN THE BOND REFERENDUM District continues efforts to better align budget to learning Plans for 2015-16 include continuing to explore ways to ensure return on investments In March, administration presented a “cost neutral” budget plan to the school board that advances the district’s commitment to better align financial resources to learning. reductions, carry-overs and fund reallocations that could offset the new funding requests. The decisions, she said, are all filtered through the mission and strategies of the Next Generation Strategic Plan, targeting available resources on educating students and advancing learning for all. “While the proposed budget plan for 2015-16 does not include significant adjustments given the district’s current strong financial position,” said Margo Bauck, district business services “The overall theme of this year’s director, “we are continuing to look at how enhancements was to look at where we are we can better target dollars to programs and with our strategic program studies and pilots services that align with our strategic goals and determine how to advance that work,” and help achieve Bauck said. We continue to look at how we the results we The net of proposed can better target dollars desire.” adjustments for 2015to programs and services According to 16 is $176,500, which that align our strategic goals Bauck, there Bauck said would be and help achieve the was not a “target covered by anticipated results we desire. number” this additional state funding year by which and the district’s the district financial reserves. needed to reduce the budget, however there The majority of the proposed enhancements were numerous needs and requests for are one-time budget expenditures directly enhancements. In order to accommodate the related to advancing the strategic plan, enhancement requests, a budget alignment including new positions and professional task force, comprised of building and staff learning opportunities. The cost of these leaders, was charged with identifying enhancements would be offset by proposed one-time reductions, including accessing budget reserves, reallocating expenditures out of the general fund, and carrying-over of dollars that were budgeted for but not spent this year, such as snow removal and utility costs. Bauck added that a number of ongoing reductions will have long-term financial benefits for the district, including realignment of some custodial duties, retiree savings, and a change of some of vendor contracts, such as liability insurance, which saved the district $25,000. Administration will now refine the budget adjustment proposal for board action in April, with a preliminary budget scheduled for board approval in June. GRADE CONFIGURATION cont. STAFF SPOTLIGHT Lana Davis If you have visited the Edina Public Schools Welcome Center or Edina Resource Center, or called the district office, you likely have met or talked with Lana Davis, Welcome Center and Edina Resource Center specialist. Lana has been with the district for 22 years and in that time, has seen many changes. One thing, however, never changes — Lana’s mission to help people find answers to their questions. Lana described this as the “best part of my job.” She answers a variety of questions to connect people with the information they need. From questions about Community Education programs, to new families looking for enrollment help, to community resources and support for all family circumstances, Lana will point you in the right direction. Likewise, the reconfiguration will lead to a true middle school experience, which is a better fit for the “transitional age level” of those students, according to Beth Russell, principal at South View Middle School. “Kids are coming from a smaller elementary school environment and are just beginning to think abstractly during these years,” she said. “By having a smaller middle school we can better design programs, curriculum and social activities aligned to where they are developmentally, and we can better assist students at this age in making meaningful connections, good choices and decisions.” The new middle school model will focus on integrated curriculum and opportunities for kids to explore a variety of subjects, and provide a good transition between elementary and high school. While the reconfiguration will reduce capacity concerns at the By having a smaller middle school, we can better design programs, curriculum and social activities aligned with where students are at developmentally. middle schools, it creates a space issue at Edina High School. The grade reconfiguration factored significantly into the Next Generation Facilities Plan developed by a task force of parents, students, school staff and community members last fall. Approval of the May 5 facilities bond referendum would support the grade level reconfiguration plan with additional space at EHS and redesigned space at the middle schools, but the reconfiguration does not hinge on its passage. “We are committed to creating these cohesive educational experiences for our students through the reconfiguration of our secondary schools,” Dressen said. “With the involvement of staff and the support of our board and community, Edina students will experience a world-class learning environment that will meet the needs of the next generation of learners.” Read more about the district’s grade reconfiguration at edinaschools.org/GradeConfiguration COUNTRYSIDE MATH cont. If they scored well, was the learning style challenging enough? Were they bored? If they were frustrated or struggled, would a different learning approach work better for them? “So often school is done to the kids, where we tell them what they are capable of," said Monseth. "This process gives them input into their own learning, and we want to respect that.” Before starting a new unit, students take a pre-test on subject matter that they will learn, so they have an inkling of what is ahead. Then they each complete the Math Learning Style Survey, designed by the teachers, which describes the learning approaches they can choose from: “We do see some students making decisions based on what their friends are doing,” Rydeen said, “but that can be motivating too.” And if a student is already taking other accelerated classes and wants to choose a math section that is not super-accelerated, where they can just ‘get it,’ "that shows they know themselves and are thinking about how they can balance their workload,” said Monseth. • Two lessons a day at a faster pace with sixth grade math lessons • One lesson a day at a faster pace The fifth graders say they like being able to choose and • One lesson a day with modeling, generally feel confident that discussing and practicing they are making the right • One lesson a day in a smaller choice for themselves. Jack, It's like going to the mall — group with modeling, discussing who was usually in the faster we might drive there using and practicing paced classroom decided different streets, but we'll that for the next math unit get there just the same. Interestingly, the four sections end up he would try the two lessons pretty evenly divided. The teachers a day with sixth grade math say they “99 percent” honor the lessons. “I wanted to try this students’ choices and only occasionally need to have a to help get ready for next year,” he said. His neighbor at mini-conference with a student if they feel that perhaps a the table, Cody, said he always chooses the accelerated wrong selection is being made, but it is important that the learning style. “I like a faster pace,” he said. “And if I don’t students learn from their choices. know something, I just learn it.” At the start of the year, the teachers agreed that if the selection process led to lop-sided sections, that they would figure it out without making students change sections. “We decided it was on us to adapt to their learning style choices,” DeYoung said. Elena decided to slow down the pace for the math unit on area and volume. “The pretest was harder than others have been for me,” she said. “I usually go at a faster pace but I decided not to this time.” Caleigha has tried a few different approaches, which has helped her decide how she likes to learn best. "I want to be a doctor, so it is important that I really learn math well," she said. It is important to note that at the end of the year, all of Countryside’s fifth graders will land in the same place mathwise. “It’s like going to the mall – we might drive there using different streets, but we’ll get there just the same,” DeYoung said. “Here, we are all teaching the same curriculum and the students all take the same test at the end of every unit, they just get there by a different route. What’s important is that they all arrive.” Lifelong lessons are learned at Braemar Golf Course CITY BEAT By Lauryn Grimes, City of Edina Communications Intern The junior golf program at Braemar Golf Course has grown to be a gem among recreation programs in Edina. The program began in 1978 with 75 participants. Last year, between lessons and leagues, the program boasted 750-800 participants. "[Golf] is a great game for kids to learn. It’s a lifelong game ... that trains good values," said Joe Greupner, head golf professional. "If I’m on the course with someone who is an honest player, I might want to do business with them." Students, ages four and up, are taught the basics of golf during lessons. Participants move up through the program as their skills improve and eventually transition to league play, where they have minimal instruction, but have access to professionals when needed. Gary Soule, junior golf coordinator, says he’s seen a number of kids move through the program and end up playing on collegiate teams. Edina 2" x 10.5” ad 6-4-14.pdf 1 6/4/14 11:04 AM "There’s an opportunity for any child … at any level,” said Mary Woodridge, facility coordinator, who praised the juniorfriendly atmosphere that can be found at Braemar. Woodridge stressed that the golf course is a facility that enjoys youth and that golfers can play the executive course as young as six with adult supervision and at age 10 without. Junior rates are also available to encourage more play. Phil Ebner, varsity golf coach at Edina High School, utilizes the course for home matches and practice and knows how accommodating Braemar is to its junior players. “My kids grew up going to Fred Richards or the Braemar [Executive] Course,” he said. “The [driving] range and putting green is usually full of kids.” “Braemar has one of the strongest junior programs in the Twin Cities and it’s only going to get better with upcoming improvements to the practice facility in 2015,” said Joseph Abood, Braemar Golf Course general manager. “The expansion of the driving range and the updates to the par-3 course will make Braemar a premier location for juniors to improve their game.” At press time, most lesson programs and leagues were still open for registration. Executive course leagues and Junior Development have reached capacity. For more information or to register, visit www.BraemarGolf.com or call 952-903-5750. Illness and injury can’t wait for an appointment. At Partners in Pediatrics, no appointments are needed… just come on in. CALHOUN • France & Excelsior • 952.562.8787 CALENDAR APRIL 2015 13 School Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Edina Community Ctr., Room 349 16-18EHS Spring Play, 7 p.m., EPAC 18 Technology & Learning Open House, 9-11 a.m., Edina Community Ctr. 20 Referendum Community Meeting, 7 p.m., Edina City Council Chambers * sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Edina 23-24 SVMS Spring Musical, 7 p.m., SVMS 25Student Wellness Challenge, 9 a.m. - 12 noon, SVMS SVMS Spring Musical, 2 p.m., SVMS 29-30EHS Current Jam, 7 p.m., Fick Auditorium MAY 2015 1 EHS Current Jam, 7 p.m., Fick Auditorium 2 EHS Current Jam, 1 p.m., Fick Auditorium 4 School Board Workshop, 5 p.m. 5 REMEMBER TO VOTE! 2015 Bond Referendum Election 15-16EHS Choirs Happenin' Concert, 7 p.m., 18 School Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Edina Community Ctr., Room 349 20 End of Second Semester (EHS Only) 21 May Term Begins (EHS Only) 25 Memorial Day - No School 29 Last Day of School 31 Commencement, 7 p.m., Univ. of Minnesota, Mariucci Arena JUNE 2015 15 School Board Meeting, 7 p.m., Edina Community Ctr., Room 349 Please visit www.edinaschools.org/calendar for details and a complete list of events SNAPSHOT EPS Edina High School College Fair About 120 colleges and universities participated in the Minnesota Education Fair in the Edina High School gym on March 18 during collaborative time. More than 700 students took advantage of the opportunity to start their college search by talking with representatives from schools coast to coast. By pre-registering, the students could obtain a personal bar code with their contact information, making follow-up with schools easy. EHS hosts a college fair every two years. COMMUNITY EDUCATION Books-in-a-bag help ready youngest learners for kindergarten Edina Family Center program helps parents work with their students to gain essential literacy skills School readiness and personalized learning are at the heart of a new initiative happening in the Early Childhood Kindergarten Prep class. Books-in-a-bag, with activities focused on literacy, are helping ensure that children who will be kindergarteners next year will be on par with their peers and ready to learn. The literacy bags grew out of a similar program begun five years ago with a grant from the Edina Education Fund, according to Mary Streier, school readiness coordinator. Those kits, for three- and four-year-olds, include a broad range of learning activities about shapes, colors, counting and letters. The Kindergarten Prep classroom of fourand five-year-olds is a microcosm of the globe — of 18 children in the class, 10 languages are spoken. Given the diversity of languages, Streier and the classroom teachers, Joanna Taylor and Megan Luke, felt that some students needed an extra boost with literacy. A large zip-lock bag includes a book with four or five activities, such as letter identification, letter sounds, or picture cards that help students retell the story from memory. Early childhood staff selected the books, researched and developed the activities for the kits. The bags can be taken home or used with small groups in the classroom. There are currently four bags of six different books in circulation now, including “The Snowy Day,” “The Big Red Barn,” and “Shiver Me Letters,” which appeals to young pirates. There are plans to develop bags around eight more titles. Illustrated instructions assist parents who may be English language learners themselves and there are notes to parents about how to approach reading a book for the first time. “We tell them to explore the front and back covers, note the names of the author and illustrator, look through the pages and talk with your child about what they think the story will be about,” Streier said. “All of this helps a child be interested in reading.” Naturally, the children are excited when they get to take home an activity kit, but the kits have also been a hit with parents. “Parents tell us ‘I had no idea my child needed to know this before starting kindergarten,’” Streier said. “This is a wonderful way to engage them in their child’s learning.” And according to the teachers, students often keep them past their “due date.” Luke said,C “Students often will say ‘I didn’t bring my bag M back today because it is so much fun'.” Y Registration for next fall’s Kindergarten Prep CM class is now open. Go to the district’s Community Education Services website and click on the MY Preschool and Childcare catalog, pages 10-11. CY CMY PIP PSA-1 2.5" x 1" ad 6-4-14.pdf 1 Illness and injury can’t wait for an appointment. CALHOUN • France & Excelsior • 952.562.8787 SPRING 2015 ISD 273 5701 Normandale Road Edina, MN 55424 edinaschools.org STAY CONNECTED @edinaschools /photos/edinapublicschools To learn more about the 2015 Bond Referendum, visit www.edinaschools.org/referendum2015 /EdinaPublicSchools [email protected] or contact the 2015 Referendum Hotline at [email protected] | 952-848-4038 EdinaPublicSchools REMEMBER TO VOTE TUESDAY, MAY 5. Great stories happen everyday. Sign-up for the Edina In the Know weekly eNewsletter at edinaschools.org/know and stay connected.
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