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March 16, 2018
Minnesota Department of Education approves Plan for ISD 318 Elementaries and Activities

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has approved the ISD 318 Elementary Facility Plan. Based upon the department’s analysis of the school district’s plan, Commissioner of Education, Dr. Brenda Cassellius, has provided a positive review and comment. The means that the MDE agrees with the educational and economic viability of the plan.
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February 16, 2018
ISD 318 Joins Districts throughout the State in Celebrating School Board Recognition Week February 19-23

 The Minnesota School Boards Association has set February 19-23 as School Board Recognition Week in Minnesota. 

“It takes strong schools to build a strong community, and these men and women devote countless hours to making sure our schools are helping every child learn at a higher level,” said Joni Olson, ISD 318 Superintendent. “They make the tough decisions every month and spend many hours studying education issues and regulations in order to provide the kind of accountability our citizens expect.”
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February 8, 2018
Ag2School Credit Offers Tax Relief in ISD 318 Referendum

The 40 percent agricultural bond credit known as Ag2School took effect in 2018. This credit benefits owners of farm land and some timber land. If the ISD 318 ballot questions are successful in April, the Ag2School credit would apply to 11.5% of the property value of the district. 

In ISD 318, Ag2School will reduce 2018 property taxes by $78.90 annually on agricultural or timber land with a value of $500,000. This will total an estimated $151,541 of tax relief annually for qualified land owners in ISD 318. That tax relief would apply each year until the bonds are paid off.
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January 24, 2017
School Board Sets April Ballot Questions and Amount

At the January 22 School Board meeting, the 318 Board unanimously approved two ballot questions. On April 10, voters have the opportunity to vote on a plan to build two new neighborhood K-5 elementary schools in Grand Rapids, to remodel and expand Cohasset Elementary to address severe and long-standing elementary overcrowding and to add in-demand early education and community activity and fitness space, and to make health and safety improvements to activity and athletic facilities at Bigfork High School and throughout the district. For the owner of a home valued at $150,000, these improvements are calculated at $8.30 per month.
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November 14, 2017
ISD 318 Chooses April for Public Vote on Elementary School Plan

At the School Board meeting on November 14, ISD 318 Superintendent Joni Olson recommended that the Board target April 10, 2018 for a referendum vote on the facilities plan developed by the Elementary Facilities Taskforce, rather than a February date that was under consideration. 

“I believe we have an excellent plan for increasing and modernizing our elementary schools in Grand Rapids and Cohasset,” explained Superintendent Olson. “However, there are a few minor details to finalize, and two more months will allow our residents the opportunity to look more carefully at the plan.”
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October 2, 2017
The clubs are in!

Two boys reading togetherStop by RJE Middle School or Greenway High School any day after school and you’ll see a laughing group of kids working on projects together, smaller teams working with a tutor on their homework, or exploring leadership skills, thanks to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway.

Boys and Girls Clubs are dedicated to transforming the lives of young people, ensuring that success is within reach of every youth who enters their doors. These centers opened the doors on the first day of school and have served a combined average of approximately 110 students per night between the two sites. Intended for youth ages 6 through 18, the out-of-school programs will be open every day after school until 8:00 pm and are scheduled to be open 10:30 am - 5:30 pm on weekdays when school isn’t in session.
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September 29, 2017
Message of Kindness Coming to Grand Rapids

Small acts of kindness and acceptance can make the largest changes in a person’s life. That’s the essential message of Rachel’s Challenge. The nationally recognized program will be in Grand Rapids on October 10 with assemblies and workshops at RJEMS and a community presentation at the Reif Center.

"It is so important for Rachel's Challenge to come to our school because our students deserve to hear messages of kindness,” said RJEMS teacher and student council advisor Carol Digby. “Here, at RJEMS, being kind and caring are more important than anything else. We are educating our students to become great people!"
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September 22, 2017
Grand Rapids students are making an impact in Africa

GRHS students hold completed kitsMembers of the Grand Rapids High School Interact Club spent last school year working to make a difference for high school girls in Senegal, West Africa by partnering with the organization Days for Girls.

“After my trip to Senegal last year with Teachers for Global Classrooms, I heard about this wonderful organization that provides girls the opportunity to stay in school,” explained GRHS Social Studies teacher Brielle Carlson. “In many developing countries around the world, girls don’t have feminine products so they must miss days of school each month when they have their periods.”
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September 21, 2017
GRHS students recount experiences in Nicaragua

Students on a service learning trip in NicaraguaBY: Nicole Sorenson and Lily Canella, seniors at GRHS

In June 2017, less than a week after school let out, a group of students and teachers from Grand Rapids High School set out on an adventure. The destination was Nicaragua and Costa Rica. For five days, we partnered with the Me to We non - governmental humanitarian organization to work on a service learning project of building a preschool and working on the school grounds. During this portion of the trip, we participated in activities with our Me to We coordinators as well. These activities were often in the evening during our down time, and they helped us develop team building skills.  We dug trenches, hand mixed concrete, constructed re-bars, planted trees, established a school garden, and finished the base foundation of the school. We learned to work hard and as a team to get as much done as we could. We also played and danced with the children when we weren't working. The community was very gracious and welcoming to us.
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September 14, 2017
Kat Perkins Brings Message of Bravery to RJEMS

Kat Perkins arms lifted in cheer before audienceOver 1,200 cheering and screaming middle school kids were inspired to “Dream it, do it” when Kat Perkins capped off the first week of school with a personalized visit. Perkins, a semi-finalist on season six of NBC’s The Voice, shared her story of fearlessness, encouraging kids in the audience to try for the same.

“I was so excited to have Kat speak to our students,” said 7th grade teacher Carol Digby. “She is so successful and inspirational. What a great way to end our first amazing week back to school.”
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