The district calendar for the current year and when available the next school year.
As we bring this school year to a close starting Tuesday, May 28, students will not be able to charge lunch. If a student’s account is at $0.00 or a negative balance they will be offered a sandwich and a carton of milk. Lunch account balances and transactions may be viewed on the “Ties School View” section of the district’s website. Any student's negative lunch balances need to be reconciled. Deposits must be received before 9:00 a.m. to be recorded that day.
Also, if there is a positive balance in your student's lunch account and they are a graduating senior or do not plan to return to District 885 schools in the fall, please notify us. We will either transfer the balance to a sibling's account for the following year or issue a refund. Please call Dolores at 763-497-6537.
Eli Guillou, STMA senior, is a finalist for the MN DOT / AAA "Buckle Up and Pay Attention, Teens!" video commercial challenge. Here is the link to view his video (30-seconds) and to cast your vote for Eli's "Nightmare" video. (I’ve been told you don't have to fill out the short survey. Just go to the bottom to cast your vote.)
What happens if a family in one community pays $3.50 for a gallon of milk while another family in a neighboring community pays $10.50? What if the family pays three times as much for most of their everyday necessities? Obviously, the quality of life for that family is greatly diminished. This scenario plays out today in schools all across Minnesota.
Back in the 1980s, many school districts struggled to provide a quality education for their students. The state funding per student was inadequate, and schools were forced to rely on voter-approved school levies just to provide the very basics. Because the taxpayer cost per levy dollar was based on the individual property wealth of a school district, those districts with significant commercial or industrial development held a distinct advantage. The larger tax base lowered the cost for all. Taxpayers in districts with mostly residential development paid two or three times as much for each levy dollar, and were unable to support sufficient levy revenue for their schools. As a result, Minnesota’s education system became one of “haves” and “have-nots,” with the quality of a child’s education dependent mainly upon their zip code.
Please view the full press release for more information.
Jeanette Aanerud, Principal Fieldstone Elementary
At Fieldstone Elementary, the staff and families are working together to help our students be successful. Everyone has high standards and we are striving to reach “Every child, every day, every opportunity” (Anonymous).
Please view the full article for more information.
The St. Michael-Albertville School District has the following Minnesota Reading Corps positions available for the 2013-2014 school year beginning August 1st: Applications are submitted online to Minnesota Reading Corps.
As a Reading Corps Member, you’ll receive extensive training, support, and professional development opportunities. In addition, you’ll receive a modest living stipend, an education award, and may be eligible to receive other benefits. It is your chance to serve in your community, connect with students, and create lasting change – both in your life and a young child's life.
To read more about the program, including full position descriptions and to apply, visit www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org - click on Become a Tutor.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-859-2825
Sometimes lost in the whirlwind of adolescent life is the importance of the middle school years in a child’s education. A report compiled by ACT, The Forgotten Middle, identifies the impact the years spent in middle school may have on the future success of students. It is important to note that college readiness may also mean career readiness as not every high school graduate plans to attend college. However, a majority of the fastest growing jobs that require a high school diploma require knowledge and skills comparable to those expected of the first-year college student.
Please view the full article for more information.
Increasing state equalization aid is among the top legislative priorities for STMA for the 2013 legislative session that begins January 8. The state established equalization aid to make taxpayer costs for school levies whether referendum levies that support teaching and learning or bond levies for building and remodeling schools the same across the state, regardless of the amount of commercial and industrial property in their districts. It works but the formula used to equalization calculations has not been adjusted since 1993. As a result of this outdated formula, taxpayers in low property wealth school districts like STMA have to pay more than homeowners in districts with high commercial property wealth to raise the same amount of school levy dollars. This is not only an unfair and unequal property tax system for taxpayers but results in the ability of some school districts to raise more money for their schools than those who live in low property wealth school districts and more educational opportunities for students in high property wealth school districts.
If you wish to learn more about equalization aid and how it affects STMA, click on the links below.
Bob Driver, STMA High School Principal
The best way to describe the high school experience for students and staff revolves around the theme, "On any given day." Every day around 1700 students, teachers and support staff enter the building. That is an impressive number when you consider that the majority of cities within our state have smaller populations. Moreover, when that many people congregate in one building, it leads to a highly dynamic and energetic environment. So, on any given day, before school, during classes, or after school, thousands of impactful interactions occur among our students, staff, parents and community members.
Please view the full article for more information.
Middle School East Kicks up Kindness to Promote Positive Behavior and Prevent Teasing, Bullying, and Harassment
Ben Bakeberg - Assistant Principal - STMA Middle School East
October has arrived and Middle School East is in full swing. Students at one time nervous about locker combinations or class schedules are completing these once daunting tasks with ease. This is an exciting time of year as our staff strives for excellence in helping our students be their best.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal of this nationwide campaign is to raise awareness about bullying and educate students, families and the community on prevention initiatives. Some have historically viewed bullying as "a childhood rite of passage" or believed that bullying "made kids tougher." The reality is that bullying, and harassment can have devastating effects on students such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression.
During the month of October, Middle School East promoted positive behaviors and the elimination of teasing, bullying, and harassment. Seventh grade students took part in the annual Courage Retreat put on by Youth Frontiers. During this retreat, students were encouraged to identify one act of courage they plan to carry forward. Following the Courage Retreat, we observed a positive response during this transition year from our seventh grade students.
We are excited about a new initiative called Kickin' up Kindness with 1,000 Random Acts of Kindness lead by Abby Nesbit, STMA High School Junior, and ten Middle School East WEB leaders. The goal of the program is to have students and staff recognize others for kindness. If a student receives an act of kindness, he or she records that act by writing it on a paper sock and adds it to the giant shoe in the atrium. The goal is to collect one thousand random acts of kindness during October.
The STMA School District and Middle School East are aggressively working on the prevention of teasing, bullying, and harassment and recognizing the positive behavior our students display. This is done in an ongoing basis throughout the year through our character education curriculum and the teaching of school wide expectations. Students are continually recognized by teachers, support staff, bus drivers, and administration with our Knights' Honor Cards for showing Knights' Honor. We have daily, weekly, and monthly recognition of students culminating with a group of students being invited monthly to the Knights' Honor Lounge during their lunch period.
Last year the district developed a common definition for teasing, bullying, and harassment. This definition further helps in correctly identifying and addressing teasing, bullying, and harassment concerns. These definitions can be found on pages 8 and 9 of the student parent handbook in your child's planner.
We believe as a district and a school that in order for students to be their best, they must first feels safe. With that in mind, we have but in place a number of avenues to promote positive behavior and to help with the elimination teasing, bullying, and harassment. If you have a concern about teasing, bullying, or harassment of your child, or have an idea to promote positive behavior, we want to hear from you. Our goal is to create a safe environment where we can encourage students to be their best!
Parents/guardians can sign their children up for excess student accident insurance coverage for covered injuries related to school accidents. Several options are available including school time accident coverage, 24 hour accident coverage, football coverage, and dental coverage. The cost of the premium paid by the parents/guardians is based upon the coverage and benefit level. Parents/guardians can get information by going to the school or district web site, clicking on http://goo.gl/qhWpE. Insurance may be purchased by entering the student and contact information and selecting the payment method. The insurance site provides insurance plan coverage details and lists an insurance agent for questions.
STMA school district does not provide medical coverage for school related injuries due to an accident or for out of pocket expenses from family health insurance coverage. This accident insurance coverage is provided through Sentry Insurance Company as an option for parents/guardians to purchase.
By: Steve Scherber
STMA High School is off to a tremendous start to the 2012-2013 school year as it welcomes our largest freshmen class of 441 students, bringing the total enrollment to 1,548 students. In addition, the high school welcomed eight new licensed teachers to the staff. The staff of ninety-five (95) certified members is focused on creating a rigorous curriculum delivered in a positive and safe learning environment. Teachers meet bi-weekly in department meetings to review common assessment results that monitor student achievement on state standards and improve teaching and learning.
STMA has 190 junior and senior students enrolled in one or more Advanced Placement (AP) courses while another 85 students are enrolled in College in the School (CIS) courses. Both of these opportunities enable high school students to earn college credit while simultaneously earning high school credit. STMA High School was recently recognized by the College Board as one of only 14 districts in the state to increase participation in AP classes, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher. In addition, the high school students scored exceptionally well on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in Reading, Math, Science, and Writing averaging 10.7% higher than the state average.
STMA High School is proud to announce that high school English teacher, Charlie Bakker, has been selected by his colleagues as the Leadership in Educational Excellence Award (LEEA) recipient for the 2012-2013 school year. Charlie and a guest are invited to attend the awards banquet in St. Cloud later this month. Congratulations Mr. Bakker! In addition, our Technology Education & Engineering Department (formerly called Industrial Tech) received the Minnesota Technology and Engineering Educators Association “Program of Excellence Award” for their exceptional work with the Project Lead the Way program, as well as, the vast array of other course offerings. Congratulations to Roger Bovee, Scott Danielson, and Kris Rue for their hard work and visionary leadership!
During our Fall sports season STMA has over 450 students participating in extra-curricular activities, with girls' tennis, girls' soccer, and boys' soccer already clinching Mississippi 8 Conference championships. Other teams are still pursuing conference titles. Our fall musical rehearsals for, “Wizard of Oz” are well under way with 58 high school students and numerous little munchkins preparing for three public viewings November 15, 16, & 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.
And finally, congratulations to Maddie Sjelin and Thor Holstad for being crowned homecoming queen and king respectively during coronation on Monday, September 24th.
The Minnesota Department of Education is promoting its new "Ready, Set, Go" website to help high school students prepare for higher education. With sections for educators, parents and students, the site discusses getting college credits while in high school by taking Advanced Placement (AP), concurrent courses, Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEP), and looking at career and technical education.
View the full article for more information.
STMA students outperformed their Minnesota counterparts on reading and math MCA tests. STMA averaged 9.1 percentage points higher than the state average of proficient students and 2.0 percentage points higher on math. STMA recorded 85.1% of students proficient in reading compared to the state average of 76%. The percentage of district students proficient in math was 67.4% compared to 65.4% for the state.
Superintendent Jim Behle reported several highlights. STMA’s reading scores showed an increase in the percentage of proficient students in reading for the sixth year in a row. Another first is that every grade recorded more than 80 percent of its students proficient ranging from 81.6% in seventh grade to 89.1% in tenth grade. State averages ranged from 71.4% in seventh grade to 80.4% in third and tenth grades.
View the full article for more details.
St. Michael-Albertville School District qualified as Top Workplaces according to a StarTribune survey of key factors that make up top workplaces. STMA joined 60 other Minnesota companies that met national work place standards based upon a confidential survey of employees conducted by Workplace Dynamics in partnership with the StarTribune. The results represent the third year the StarTribune conducted the research of Minnesota places to work.
Jim Behle, Superintendent said that STMA was invited to participate after an employee nominated the district. Employees could voluntarily agree to complete a survey rating the district on factors that are determined to contribute to a desirable place to work. There was no charge to the district or employees, nor were they compensated. Employees respond to question around six areas that cover factors such as career, pay and leadership as well as factors associated with the company heading in the right direction, communication and employees’ feelings of making a difference.
View the full release for more information.
Starting on Monday, April 9th, 2012 there will be a new look and feel for parents when they access our Parent Portal. Parents have been notified of the change through the district's Blackboard Connect system.
Check out our SchoolView Changes page to see what the difference will be!