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National School Breakfast Week

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools comment Leave a comment

It’s National School Breakfast Week, and we’d like to take a moment to thank all of the hardworking staff that help to get our students’ days off to a great start!

 

Did you know that students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory? Students who participate in school breakfast also show improved behavior and test scores. In fact, students who eat school breakfast score an average of 17.5% higher on standardized math tests!

 

The ISD 318 Food and Nutrition Department makes a wide range of healthy breakfasts available to kids. Every school day, our breakfast program offers students a healthy breakfast that they need to get set for a busy school day. Items like yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal are available regularly, and students at GRHS can even purchase smoothies on their way in the door. Every school breakfast served meets federal nutrition standards limiting fat, calories, sodium, and research shows that the quality of foods children eat actually impacts cognition.

 

650 breakfast meals are served daily district wide. And over 111,000 breakfast meals will be enjoyed by students this year - 71,000 in the elementary schools and 40,000 in the secondary schools.

 

Thanks to our Food and Nutrition Department for helping to support our students’ learning. At ISD 318, students are making the grade with school breakfast!

 

 

 

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Elementary Security

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category Safety comment Leave a comment

Safety and security of students and staff is a top priority at ISD 318. That’s why we’re excited to announce that new secure entrances are live at all of our elementary buildings.

 

All Grand Rapids and Bigfork schools now have one entry point that is monitored. Visitors to schools are asked to enter at the front door of the school. There, they will find a call box, which initiates a call through the phone system to the front office. Visitors must provide their name and reason for their visit to front office staff.  The person answering the call qualifies the visitor and grants access if appropriate.

From there, they are allowed to enter after being granted access from staff inside the building. These entry points will be continually monitored.

 

Kids entering the buildings at normal times won't notice any change. Doors will be open as usual before and after school starts, but once kids are in class, the doors will be locked and visitors will need to be buzzed in.

 

Visitors are always welcome in our buildings, but this will add a layer of protection to children in our schools. After visitors are granted access to the building, they will need to check in the school office, where they must sign in and present a picture ID. Parents, volunteers, and visitors will then be issued a “Visitor” badge that must be worn in the building. The IDs will remain in the office until visitors pick up them up when exiting the building.

 



 

 

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The Power of the PTC

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools comment Leave a comment

Today we’re focusing on our Parent Teacher Committees. It’s amazing what these volunteers do to bring new opportunities to kids. Beyond just fundraising, these groups also coordinate school events and volunteers, artists-in-residence, awards and incentives for students and help create the elementary yearbooks annually.

 

The work that these groups do can provide playground and gym equipment, field trip opportunities, special project supplies, and celebrations like Grandparents' Day and Fun Days to our elementary schools.

 

At Southwest Elementary, the PTC is working hard to team up with teachers and increase funding opportunities. One great event they’ve created combines health and wellness in a fun new way and is bringing in money for new playground equipment. In the Tiger Stripe Fun Run, kids received a white t-shirt to collect their tiger stripes. Kids ran as many laps as possible in 15 minutes, receiving a different colored tiger stripe on each lap. The run was such a success, the PTC has planned to make it an annual event.

 

The Forest Lake PTC reached a milestone goal last spring when they purchased new playground equipment for the school. The new playground equipment was chosen by the 3rd and 4th graders at Forest Lake and installed with the help of great volunteers! The Forest Lake PTC also helped support teachers by contributing to a needed update of the staff lounge.

 

The Cohasset PTC benefits both its students and local businesses with its fundraising events. Cohasset wreath, flower, and pizza fundraisers utilize only local businesses! That money is used to purchase classroom supplies for teachers and students and provide donations to field trip costs. The Cohasset PTC also organizes parent volunteers to help the Wellness team with Fruity Fridays and celebration smoothies.

 

At Murphy Elementary, the PTC is proud of its efforts to purchase school supplies. The PTC was able to donate $4,000 to the school to be used for supplies, bringing the student supply list from over 20 items down to just a few. The Murphy PTC also encourages the music program by donating instruments to the classroom.

 

And don’t forget Bigfork Elementary. This fall, the Bigfork PTA organized a Back Pack Giveaway for students. Each student received a backpack filled with supplies for the coming year. PTA members also work to engage the community in the schools with the annual Family Fun Night.


 

At ISD 318 we count ourselves lucky to have such an outstanding group of volunteers working to raise money to benefit our schools and students. Thank you to all the hardworking PTC members and the families that back their efforts through fundraisers, box top and label collections, and volunteering!

 

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21st Century Learning

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools, Technology comment Leave a comment

At ISD 318, highest student achievement is our primary aim. To achieve that goal we are constantly improving how education is delivered to our students. One way we are preparing students to be successful is with 21st Century Education.

 

Twenty-first-century learning means that students master content while producing, synthesizing, and evaluating information from a wide variety of subjects and sources with an understanding of and respect for diverse cultures. These outcomes move beyond simply understanding reading, writing, and arithmetic to a deeper level of learning that encompasses critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, digital literacy, and problem-solving skills. These are all skills that schools need to teach to help students thrive in today's world. It embodies an approach to teaching that joins content to skill and offers opportunities to connect the future with the cornerstones of the past.
 


 

Highly effective teachers see that education reform requires much more than lists of skills. We need classroom leaders setting an ambitious vision, rallying others to work hard to achieve it, planning and executing to ensure student learning, and defining the very notion of teaching as changing the life paths of students.

 

The School Board of District 318 recognizes that no longer does learning have to be one-size-fits-all or confined to the classroom. The opportunities afforded by technology should be used to re-imagine 21st Century Education, focusing on preparing students to be learners for life in a global classroom.

 

 

 

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Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

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American Indian Ed trip to D.C.

date 06/15/2016 author ISD #318 category In Our Schools comment Leave a comment

The following is an excerpt from a post created by Colleena Bibeau, Indian Services Student Advocate and Tutor at GRHS. Colleena and American Indian Ed students traveled to Washington D.C. to see the installation of the Capitol Christmas Tree and perform at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

 

 

From Our Home to Capitol Hill
When I saw the U.S. Capitol holiday tree from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe on Capitol Hill, I was amazed and I said to our students, “look there is the tree!” As a tutor in American Indian education, I worked along with many Native American and non-Native American leaders from northern Minnesota to make this trip a success for our youth from all over Minnesota–Leech Lake reservation to urban, suburban, and rural areas alike. Simultaneously in the early 1900s, my great grandfather and great great grandfather made their living by timber logging and resided near Ball Club lake on Leech Lake reservation. I have a sacred spiritual and familial connection with Leech Lake as a place I call my home. Moreover, the history of my Ojibwe grandfather’s work in forestry a century earlier interestingly relates to the 2014 holiday tree along with the crucial roles of the Chippewa National Forest and the Leech Lake Band serve in taking care of our sacred land today.

This rewarding experience was a once in a lifetime chance for 135 Native American students to see our 88 year old, White Spruce tree on Capitol Hill. Our youth visited the United States Capitol headquarters, danced at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and viewed several monuments. I had the pleasure to chaperon a handful of well behaved and intelligent Grand Rapids High School students. I think the students were most excited when the Holiday tree was finally lit at the official ceremony and the U.S. Navy played music to accompany the delightful cheers and laughter of our group of over 200 elders, children, and adults. Along with the tree ceremony, our students were so happy to join together in celebrating our Anishinaabe traditions in a dance performance at the National Museum of the American Indian.

You can view photos of the student’s trip on our Facebook page.

 

 

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Questions, comments, and observations can be shared by posting a comment below. Please note that there may be a short delay before your comment is public. Comments on this blog are subject to our Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy. Please see the Social Media Comment Policy for complete details.

 

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