Volume 5, Issue 3 | November 2017

Grand Forks Public Schools Awarded Career and Technical Education Grant

Grand Forks Public Schools has been awarded an $8,600 competitive grant from the North Dakota Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department to assist in funding non-traditional career activities for students in grades 7-12.

Non-traditional careers are defined as one gender comprising less than 25 percent of the workforce. Within Grand Forks Public Schools, several CTE classes are offered that are considered non-traditional courses.

The grant will help fund a number of opportunities throughout the district, including the development of “Girls Who Code” clubs at the middle school level, career exploration opportunities for middle and high school students, support the annual Northern Valley Career Expo, and sponsor an all-girls VEX Robotics team at Red River High School.

“The central goal behind all of these opportunities is to help encourage students to choose a career path based on interest, not on their gender,” said Eric Ripley, Director of Career and Technical Education. “The activities supported by the grant are designed around exposure and retention strategies.”

The grant was written by Ripley.

Students Volunteer Nearly 4,000 Hours through Helping Hands Program

Over 90 middle and high school students in Grand Forks Public Schools’ Helping Hands youth volunteer program completed approximately 3,988 hours of community service during the summer of 2017.

Each summer, the eight week Helping Hands program kicks off with students attending instructional sessions that focus on character traits, attitudes and behaviors, volunteer opportunities, interest surveys and discovering authentic community needs. The students are then assigned to a local agency where each student will volunteer. Agencies include thrift stores, non-profit daycares, nursing home facilities, schools, homeless shelters, and parks.

“The Helping Hands program creates wonderful opportunities for service learning. The youth develop valuable leadership, communication, and empathy skills that build character and promote a sense of community,” said Sarah Shimek, Character Education and Prevention Coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools.

Over the past 16 years, Helping Hands youth volunteers have contributed over 82,000 hours of community service to the greater Grand Forks areas.

Seniors Apply for College During College Application Month
Seniors at Central, Community, and Red River looked ahead to next fall and submitted their first round of college applications as part of College Application Month in North Dakota on October 25th. As an incentive to start planning early and participate in the activities, Bank of North Dakota paid one $35 application fee per student when they applied to a North Dakota college. Various community members volunteered to assist students at both schools during the event.
Grand Forks Public Schools Receives Grant from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Grand Forks Public Schools has received a $5,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC).

The funds will be used to purchase school supplies and gym uniforms, activity fee assistance, and reduced-price bus tickets for Native American students.

“Grand Forks Public Schools through the generosity of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will be able to assist Native American students further as they pursue their education,” said Chad Ward, Native American liaison for Grand Forks Public Schools.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the SMSC has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and causes since opening their SMS Gaming Enterprise in the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.

Grand Forks Public Schools Receives Grant for Innovation Awards

Grand Forks Public Schools have been awarded $12,000 in grants from the North Dakota Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department to assist in expanding the competitive VEX Robotics teams at the middle and high school level.

VEX Robotics is an innovative robotics design platform that transforms STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning for students and their teachers. Students create and program robots to operate both by remote control and autonomously.

“Last year was our first year competing with VEX Robotics teams, and our district was very successful with a team from Red River competing at the VEX World’s Competition,” said Eric Ripley, Director of Career and Technical Education. “This grant funding will help support the development of additional teams at each middle and high school allowing for more opportunities for students to participate and compete.”

Elroy Schroeder, Grand Forks Central, Nathan Twining, Red River, South, and Valley schools will receive $2,000 to expand the VEX Robotics Club at their respective school during the 2017-2018 school year. All enrolled students at the schools will have the opportunity to participate in the club, if interested.

In VEX Competitions, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The VEX Robotics projects encourage teamwork, leadership, and problem solving among groups. VEX Robotics Competitions are the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics competitions in the world.

Each school previously received game-specific elements and advisor training this summer from the Red River Valley Education Cooperative.

Students Receive New Shoes, Socks from Samaritan’s Feet

Approximately 375 students from Grand Forks Public Schools were recipients of new shoes as part of the 4th annual Samaritan’s Feet Back-to-School distribution on October 14 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.

Each recipient received a new pair of shoes and socks and had their feet washed by one of over 75 community volunteers, including University of North Dakota students and student-athletes.

“As a social worker for Grand Forks Public Schools, it is an honor to be a part of something that puts a smile on a child’s face while putting shoes on their feet,” said Pamela Elmquist. “This program makes a real difference for families and children.”

The event is part of the nationwide Samaritan’s Feet 2017 Back-to-School program with a goal of distributing over 35,000 pairs of shoes and socks to children.

Samaritan’s Feet is a humanitarian aid organization that shares a message of hope and love through washing the feet of children around the world and adorning them with new shoes. Since its founding in 2003, Samaritan’s Feet and its partners have distributed over 6.7 million pairs of shoes in 90 countries and 350 U.S. cities.

Winter Weather Information

With winter weather season approaching, Grand Forks Public Schools would like to remind you of the many ways you can receive official weather-related communications.

All announcements will be posted on our official Facebook page, as well as on our official Twitter page, our District website, and TV15 (Grand Forks Public Schools channel on Midcontinent Communications, channel 15). Announcements will also be made on local radio and television stations.

Grand Forks Public Schools will also use an automated calling system to notify parents in the event school is delayed or cancelled due to severe weather conditions. Typically, this call to parents will occur between 6:30-7 a.m. Please note: it can take up to 30 minutes for the automated system to complete all phone calls. For more information about school postponements and cancellations, please review our School Cancellation and Postponement Procedures.

October Social Media Award Recipients
Job Openings. Come in, We're Hiring!
Examples of Excellence
Congratulations to the Red River High School girls' golf team on their NDHSAA Team Championship! Red River was also the 2017 EDC Girls' Golf Champion.
Congratulations to Red River's Morgan Hetletved on being selected as the 2017 Girls' Golf Senior Athlete of the Year and the 2017 Girls' Golf Individual Medalist! She had previously been named the EDC Senior Player of the Year for Girls' Golf.
Congratulations to Eric Sanders, head girls' golf coach at Red River High School, on being selected as the 2017 Girls' Golf Coach of the Year! He had previously been named the EDC Coach of the Year for Girls' Golf.
  • Congratulations to the following student-athletes who were selected to the 2017 Girls' Golf All-State Team: Lily Bredemeier, Red River High School; Morgan Hetletved, Red River High School; Betsy Seaver, Red River High School.
  • Congratulations to the following girls' golf student-athletes who were selected to the EDC All-Region Tournament Team: Lily Bredemeier, Red River High School; Taiylor Ellingson, Grand Forks Central High School; Morgan Hetletved, Red River High School; Betsy Seaver, Red River High School; Hilary Whalen, Red River High School.
  • Congratulations to 2017 Boys’ Tennis EDC Team Champions, Red River High School!
  • Congratulations to Red River's Kaden Johnson and Gavin Loscheider on winning the 2017 EDC Boys’ Tennis Doubles Championship!
  • Boys' tennis student-athletes named to the All-EDC team include: Kaden Johnson, Red River High School; Jack Lindgren, Red River High School; James Votava, Grand Forks Central High School; Gary Wu, Grand Forks Central High School.
  • Congratulations to Max Weisser, head boys' tennis coach at Central, on being selected as the 2017 Boys’ Tennis EDC Coach of the Year!
Congratulations to Richard DaFoe, head boys' cross country coach at Red River High School, on his selection as 2017 Class A Boys' Cross Country Coach of the Year!
  • Congratulations to Rachel Torrey on being selected as the NDHSAA Class A Girls' Cross Country Senior Athlete of the Year!
Upcoming Events

Mark Sanford Education Center | 2400 47th Ave. S, Grand Forks, ND 58201 | 701-746-2200


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