Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed winter break with your family, friends and loved ones. 2019 is here and we couldn't be more excited. The new year is another opportunity for us to continue to share new stories about all of our wonderful students, teachers, and staff. Thank you for taking the time to read our January 2019 Winter Newsletter. We hope you enjoy the glimpse inside our buildings as much as we enjoy doing the work day in and day out for our students and families. Our teachers and staff work together to provide quality, inclusive education for ALL students. We develop students for success and strive for excellence inside the classroom. We are committed to a great start. We are preparing students for college or career. We are lifelong learners. We are Education Forward. We are Shakopee Public Schools.

SHS Students Attend Women in STEM Event

43 young women got a glimpse into the possibilities of their futures at the Women in STEM Day at Minnesota State University – Mankato. The Shakopee High School students attended the event as part of the Equity Team’s annual trip. This year was the third year the team has taken the trip and says it was the biggest year yet.

“In the past we have brought 25-30 young ladies down to MSU-Mankato,” said Bethany Pearson, Shakopee Public Schools Equity Specialist. “Some years we have had to do a lot of recruiting to fill the spots. This year we had a wait list.”

The students toured several science labs and worked on engineering projects. They also met with representatives from businesses as well as representatives from the Society of Women Engineers. They also heard from a keynote speaker; an engineer from General Mills.

“Many students aren’t yet aware of all of the pathways in the STEM fields,” said Pearson. “Those that want to be in the medical field, may only know of doctors, nurses, medical assistants, but there’s much more.”

The trip fits into one of the goals of the district’s Equity Team. “We try to get as many students as possible onto at least one college campus prior to their 12th grade year,” said Pearson. “We attempt to pair a college tour with an event and visit 2-year, 4-year, public and private options. This year we plan to visit either Dakota County Technical College or Hennepin Tech – Eden Prairie, along with Multicultural Education Day at Concordia St. Paul, and a campus tour of Augsburg.”

The students also got some other experiences on the trip as well. “For many, the event is about visiting a college campus for the first time, seeing how they ‘fit’ on campus, and hearing from women who have succeeded through many of the same challenges they face,” said Pearson. The students also got a campus tour and were able to eat lunch in the campus’ dining hall.

The trip fits into one of the goals of the district’s Equity Team. “We try to get as many students as possible onto at least one college campus prior to their 12th grade year,” said Pearson. “We attempt to pair a college tour with an event and visit 2-year, 4-year, public and private options. This year we plan to visit either Dakota County Technical College or Hennepin Tech – Eden Prairie, along with Multicultural Education Day at Concordia St. Paul, and a campus tour of Augsburg.”

Designing Prosthetics: Students Learn from Double Amputee

Aaron Holm

Students in the Medical Detectives course at West Middle School had a special guest speaker give them inspiration for a new project they are starting. Aaron Holm, the founder of Wiggle Your Toes and double amputee, spoke to the students about prosthetics. He shared his own story and provided students with advice as they begin a unit on designing prosthetics. He encouraged them to think about how their designs can meet a person’s needs. The students enjoyed the visit and are excited to start their project.

Flying Before Driving: SHS Student Flies Glider Solo

Abby Hayes, Shakopee High School sophomore, can't drive herself to the airport, but once she arrives, she will get behind the wheel. In October, after three summers of training, Abby flew a glider solo for the first time.

"When I was about to take off I was panicking slightly because this was the first time I wasn't flying with my instructor, but once I took off I said to myself there is no going back now," said Hayes. "So I flew and landed the glider."

At the ripe age of 13, she began her training. "My dad is a pilot and has been taking me flying since I was a baby," said Hayes. But Abby says it was her brother, 2017 Shakopee High School graduate Austin Hayes, who inspired her to take to the skies. Austin is also a pilot. "My brother informed me that I could solo a glider at 14 years old. So instead of waiting until I was 16 to solo a power plane, I dragged my dad down to the airport so I could start flying gliders."

On weekends, Abby is up and headed to the airport before the sun even comes up. It's that discipline that has also helped her in the classroom. "Flying makes me a better student because I have had to really study hard and take tests in order to solo," said Hayes. "It helped me realize studying really is worth it. I would have failed my pre-solo test if I hadn't studied."

The skies have also taught her some important life lessons. "What I've learned is that the effort you put in is what you get out of it, and if you are willing to try you can do anything."

West STEM Students Set Eyes on Medical Field

Students at West Middle School are taking a step away from the textbook and exploring the chapter of real-world experience. Thanks to their technology teacher, Michael Sundblad, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students are getting a glimpse inside of the medical field. The lesson: dissecting eyeballs.

“In the Medical Detectives course, the students examine all the senses, including sight,” said Sundblad. “There are a number of lab activities involving sight. However, the students are missing a valuable component without “looking” into the eye further. The dissection allows students to understand how the lens, retina, and iris operate together. The students were also able to pinpoint the blind spot and see how it relates to the optic nerve location.”

As the students dissect the eyeballs, derived from cows, their teacher walks from group to group wearing scrubs and providing assistance when needed. He wants the classroom to resemble an operating room and function as such to give his students an authentic learning experience. “The objective of the lab was to dissect the eye and locate all the components that make up the eye,” said Sundblad. “However, I wanted students not to be afraid of anatomy and be able to inspect body structure in a systematic and inspiring manner. To have an appreciation for how fascinating the human body (and all living creatures) is. It is extremely important to have rich authentic learning experiences,” said Sundblad. “Students learn in many different ways; Kinesthetic learners need hands on activities to make connections to content. I strive to provide as many authentic learning experiences as possible in all the courses I teach.”

As for future lessons, students will dissect a sheep brain to help them understand how the human brain operates and where major functions occur within the brain.

SHS Students Make Onigiri to Help Children in Need

Our high school students are working to make a difference, one Onigiri at a time.

Dozens of them participated in Onigiri Action 2018; a worldwide charity event.

The non-profit organization TABLE FOR TWO, which was initiated by and is an official affiliate of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders, describes the charity event as a ‘meal which makes our world a little better’.

World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16 to commemorate the 1945 founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization by the United Nations. This year, people around the world paused at different points to honor World Food Day from October 10-November 20 by making and enjoying Onigiri.

Onigiri (or “rice ball” in Japanese) are made with love for someone special, according to TABLE FOR TWO’s website. “It is a small snack that carries lots of love. Let's change the world with Onigiri!”

On November 5, Shakopee High School students who are members of the World Language National Honor Society and the Japan Club packed the Saber Community Room to do just that.

“This was the 2nd year that our high school participated in Onigiri Action, which started in 2015,” said Sanae Tomita, Shakopee High School Japanese teacher. “The 2nd time participants named themselves Onigiri masters and took responsibility in showing the new students how to make onigiri. They may have been just having fun making rice balls together, but they were well aware that this event was for a good cause. We hope this has become one experience to remind them that we can make a difference in the world by doing something small and that giving back makes the world a better place for everyone.”

Participants were asked to snap pictures of themselves enjoying Onigiri and post them on TABLE FOR TWO’s website or on their own social media using the hashtag #OnigiriAction. For every Onigiri photo, five school meals are provided to children in need through TABLE FOR TWO.

“We believe our students contributed to this year's worldwide goal of 200,000 photos to deliver 1,000,000 school meals for children in need,” added Tomita. “ We want our students to be global citizens who are mindful of other people's plight and take action to solve problems by working together.”

Welcome to the Academies of Shakopee!

What can you expect from each academy? Watch the videos to learn more!

Our District and Community to be Named Ford Next Generation Learning Community

On January 9, 2019, Shakopee Public Schools will be designated as a Ford Next Generation Learning Community. The event will be held at Shakopee High School.

The key to this designation is the district’s commitment to align community resources to support the growth of the Academies of Shakopee with the vision that every high school student will graduate college and career ready. This also includes community college, technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.

In the 2018-19 school year, the expanded Shakopee High School opened after doubling in size. The Academies of Shakopee provide students with a welcoming, inclusive environment within a large high school setting by forming small learning communities.

“Small learning communities date back to the 1960’s,” said Director of Teaching and Learning Nancy Thul. “Since that time, research supports positive outcomes such as small learning communities resulting in improved attendance, reduced behavior issues, increased sense of belonging, increased graduation rates, and achievement gains for all students.”

There are a number of Minnesota school districts that have implemented or are looking to implement some aspects of the academy model. It has become a national trend in recent years. Shakopee High School offers six academies: Arts & Communication, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering & Manufacturing, Health Science, Human Services, Science & Technology and the Freshman Academy.

Our district partners with local businesses to provide students with real-world authentic learning experiences in their selected academy. They have the opportunity to participate in internships, job shadows, and career exploration activities. This helps improve readiness for college and careers.

“As an accountant, I see several young adults starting their careers with the burden of increased student loan debt and not able to find a job to financially afford the debt,” said Megan Menden, who serves on the Academies of Shakopee Steering Committee. “They usually end up battling these payments for several years. Sometimes, it begins to affect other aspects of their lives. I see blue-collar businesses and trade industries closing because they cannot find enough good, quality laborers to keep the doors open. If students are able to explore careers first, it will allow them to reach their full potential without costly mistakes.”

“Our academy model is about changing the conversation and having our schools acknowledged as an innovator of education on a national level,” said Shakopee High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki. “The Academies of Shakopee are a combination of traditional learning and state standards with a twist.”

Administrators and teachers have worked over the past three years to reach the official implementation and designation. Their efforts have been a culmination of commitment and dedication.

Administrators and teachers researched models nationwide to determine the best approach for Shakopee. Several were explored and ultimately the district selected the academy model.

FNGL is a network of academy model high schools across the country. The district is proud and fortunate to affiliate with them, but ultimately the Academies of Shakopee are customized to our district and our community.

In order to be designated a Ford NGL community, Shakopee developed a three-year master plan to ensure that all high school students are learning in career academies and the structures and processes are in place to engage local and regional employers and civic leaders in supporting as well as sustaining these academies.

Saber Showcase, Career Expo and Academies of Shakopee Public Tours | 4PM to 6PM

Designation Ceremony | 5:15PM

Sammy the Saber: Named Best Mascot in Minnesota

Our very own Sammy the Saber has been named the Best Mascot in Minnesota by WCCO Channel 4 viewers. Sammy was selected from the entire state. Shakopee High School senior Jack Neil is the student behind the mascot. Congratulations!

Middle School Choir Students Perform at State

Huge congratulations are in order for six of our middle school students on being selected to participate in the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota All-State Honor Choir for 7th and 8th graders. Congrats to Carter Schook (Shakopee East Middle School), Ashlynn Davis (Shakopee West Middle School), Stellan Joyce (Shakopee West Middle School), Jonas Gerold (Shakopee West Middle School), Brayden Knutson (Shakopee West Middle School), and Breck Knutson (Shakopee West Middle School). The concert was held November 17, 2018 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. We’d also like to recognize their teachers Karen Van Sickle (Shakopee East Middle School) and Gary Butler (Shakopee West Middle School) on a job well done.

For the 2018-19 school year, our district will roll out Connected Learning Days (CoLD Days), also referred to as E-Learning Days. This is an opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom. It is the mission of Shakopee Public Schools, in partnership with our community, to educate lifelong learners to succeed in a diverse world. In order to do this, learning needs to continue even when we have an unplanned cancellation of a school day. Students will be expected to participate in their courses in Canvas or through activities that they can do around their home. All schools in Minnesota have a required amount of time for which students must attend. In the event that we have a school cancellation due to inclement weather or an unforeseen emergency, Connected Learning Days help us meet our instructional hour requirements.

If there is a school cancellation, families will receive an automated email message. Messages will also be posted on the district website, social media, and appear on local television stations. In most cases, K-5th grade students will complete portions of a pre-assigned selection of learning activities created by their teacher. 6th-12th grade students will log on to their courses in Canvas to connect with their teachers and work on their assignments. Teachers will check email and voicemail periodically during the school day to answer questions and provide guidance. The due dates for Connected Learning Day assignments will be determined by each teacher. Accommodations for students with special needs will be considered and provided. If specific adaptations are not able to be provided provisions will be made upon returning to school.

A number of other districts in Minnesota are using similar activities for E-Learning Days. We looked at what other districts were doing to get ideas in putting together a plan to best meet the needs of our Shakopee students, while complying with state laws that set expectations for E-Learning days. While many hours have been dedicated to the successful launch, we also recognize this will be an opportunity for us to continuously improve and modify our plans where needed.

SPS Hosts Academy Tours Following Implementation

Shakopee administrators and educators continue to welcome groups to the high school to tour the Academies of Shakopee. Several tours have been offered since being implemented in the 2018-19 school year.

“The visitors that come to tour the Academies of Shakopee are impressed to see how we were able to design our physical space around newly developed curriculum and courses,” said Shakopee High School Academy Coach Elizabeth Duehr. “They can see how these spaces lend themselves to more authentic learning opportunities for our students.”

The Academies of Shakopee are small learning communities of students and teachers who are organized around areas of interest. Students have the opportunity to connect with others who have similar aspirations and with teachers who help make meaningful connections to their plans for the future. There are six academies: Arts & Communication, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering & Manufacturing, Health Science, Human Services, Science & Technology and a Freshman Academy.

On Wednesday, November 7, a group from the South Dakota Department of Education toured the Academies of Shakopee. About 30 visitors learned about our academy model and how our business partnerships provide students with authentic learning experiences. The high school team also led a second tour on November 14 for the Vigo County School Corporation from Terre Haute, Indiana.

Fidgety Fairy Tales Provides Venue to Discuss Children’s Mental Health

Fidgety Fairy Tales at SHS

An event at Shakopee High School left an impactful message for the families in attendance. Fidgety Fairy Tales, a children’s musical theater performance, highlighted and brought awareness to children’s mental health. The message took center stage on September 18. The characters in the performance gave insight into the strengths and struggles of several behaviors in children including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dishonesty and meltdowns. Music and animation aided in telling the story of the intense emotions and situations that tend to accommodate these behaviors. A question and answer session that followed, with children and adults, helped each side understand one another.

“Fidgety Fairy Tales provided reassurance for families that although someone can be impacted by mental health needs, it does not define them,” said Kristi Ward, Principal of Central Family Center and Equity Supervisor. “There are so many ways to work with children and/or individuals who have these needs and create opportunities for them to feel successful and a positive part of their community, school and family.”

The event was hosted by the CAP Agency, Parents Helping Parents and Shakopee Public Schools, thanks to grants provided by Allina and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

High School Exchange Program Marks 8th Year

For two weeks, Shakopee students and their families opened their homes to 31 students and two teachers from Foz, Spain. The group was here as part of an exchange program that Shakopee Spanish teachers have coordinated with the same sister school since 2005. During the school day, the students attended classes, gave presentations and toured the Twin Cities.

“Students from our sister school in Foz, Spain come to Shakopee to understand and experience our culture in a way that can’t normally be done in typical travel because they live with a family that treats them as one of their own,” said Rachel Beran, Shakopee High School Spanish teacher. “Students are not only immersed in language but also a family value system. Many made comments about not even really recognizing their own cultural habits and values until seeing it through the eyes of our exchange students. Through shared experiences, families also formed incredibly close relationships over the two-week period.”

The exchange students also attended Minnesota Twins games, enjoyed bonfires, and visited the corn maze during the evenings and on the weekend, just to name a few. “All of the exchange families clearly benefit, along with both the Foz and Shakopee communities,” added Beran. “Foreign students take part in class discussions, present to classes about their customs and town, and are active members at school and in the community during their time here. Our language students have the opportunity to practice Spanish with native speakers who are interested in sharing their language, while other classes benefit though the sharing of perspectives and life experiences.”

Through the exchange program, the students form lifelong friendships, which makes it even harder to say goodbye. On the day the Spanish students left, many families took to social media to express their sadness about the journey coming to an end. One person wrote, “What an amazing group of kids! We were all blessed to have them!” Another comment read, “Our entire family enjoyed this experience! It’s crazy how attached you can become in two weeks. The whole family was teary this morning.”

“While it was hard to say goodbye, our students will be reunited with their exchange partners when they head to Spain in June 2019,” said Beran. In addition, multiple students and families travel to visit each other outside of the program. And, thanks to technology, it’s easier for the students to stay connected.

Saber Nation Station Opens Second Location

TLC Saber Nation Station

There’s a new addition at Tokata Learning Center to benefit and help students. For the 2018-19 school year, Saber Nation Station opened its second location in the district at the TLC.

Saber Nation Station is where students in need can pick up free gently-used clothing, toiletries and school supplies. And, it’s all free. The first location opened at Shakopee High School in April 2017. Students named the store through a school-wide naming contest in the spring of 2017. The Saber Nation Station’s website and logo were also created by a small group of Shakopee CAPS (Center for Advanced Studies) students.

“The vision of Saber Nation Station at the TLC started late last spring, while the design, construction, and stocking of Saber Nation Station took place over the summer,” said Principal Eric Serbus. “While they are still getting comfortable with the new service, students have expressed gratitude and the feeling of support knowing that they can grab items at Saber Nation Station any time. It helps alleviate some practical daily necessities that over time can turn into stressful barriers.”

SEEF Awards $33,000 in Teacher Grants

Shakopee Public Schools would like to thank SEEF (Shakopee Educational Endowment Foundation) for awarding $30,000 in teacher grants. SEEF’s teacher grant program has awarded 488 teacher grants totaling more than $369,000 since its inception in 1992.

“We are so grateful for the work of SEEF,” said Superintendent Mike Redmond. “Without them, rich learning opportunities in and outside of the classroom would go unfunded. The money they award through their teacher grants goes directly into our classrooms and pushes education forward in Shakopee. We could not be more thankful.”

Teachers from Shakopee Public Schools submit an application for a grant to fund projects and learning opportunities that might not be otherwise funded. “The foundation, in partnership with our teachers, will increase the creative use of technology, expand book collections available for students and enhance learning in science, art, math, music and language arts classes,” according to Pamela Wiger-Bukari, foundation chairperson.

Students Find Peace Through Horses

Called the “holy dog” in the Dakota language, horses have always held a special place in Native American culture. Now, they are making a difference for Shakopee students. Thanks to a donation from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, students from Tokata Learning Center are getting the opportunity to participate in Equine Therapy Growth and Learning at Big Wolf Equine Center.

The group uses the EAGALA Model of therapy. It’s a hands-on approach that gives students the space to understand their life situations and make meaningful connections. “When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center,” said Dee Buros, Indian Education Coordinator. “This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.”

During the six-session program, students set goals and do activities with the horses. The connections and metaphors with their lives are created by watching and discussing the response from the horse and the student. In its first year, the program has been a great success with graduates overwhelmingly interested in joining the program again.

“It's hard to ignore a horse with their size and presence,” said Buros. “Approaching horses helps students reflect how we approach our relationships and how we can face other big or overwhelming things in our lives. By working as a team with the horses, students begin to notice their individual strengths in problem solving and overcoming challenges in school and in life.”

You can learn more about the training method used by visiting www.eagala.com

Donation Helps District Fund AED's

Thank you to Alicia Bravo for hosting the Pumps and Pints fundraising event at the Shakopee Brewhall in October. Alicia donated the proceeds, $5,131, from the event to Shakopee Public Schools for the purchase of AED’s, automated external defibrillators. At Pumps and Pints, Bravo taught 70 people hands-only CPR and AED instruction.

Bravo is a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest and dedicates her time to teaching life-saving skills such as the use of an AED and CPR.

Kindergarteners and Seniors Form Special Partnership

Students with their friends at All Saints Senior Living

A partnership between All Saints Senior Living and a Kindergarten class at Sun Path Elementary continues to grow. It all started in the fall of 2016, when Sara Connell, Kindergarten teacher at Sun Path, started bringing her students to visit with the seniors there.

"It was right after my aunt died," said Connell. "I had been taking my sons to visit her in an assisted living facility. My sons learned to be good listeners and about the importance of that. Then, I began taking my sons to All Saints after her death. And from there, I researched the effects that elementary classroom visits have on residents in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Things then evolved."

Each month her students head over to All Saints to do an activity or craft together. The relationships between the residents and students have been beneficial to both. For example, Connell was award a grant from SEEF (Shakopee Educational Endowment Foundation) to purchase games and activities that concentrate on fine motor skills. It's something both Kindergarteners and seniors need to work on. And they work on it together.

"The students and the residents benefit equally in different ways," said Connell. "The residents are so excited to have the kids come over to do crafts with them. They are working on their dexterity. They are excited to take their crafts back to their rooms to hang on their shadow boxes. Some of the residents don't have many visitors during the week and look forward to the kids coming. They love kids and love seeing the kids there. The kids are so excited to go to All Saints. In the beginning they might be scared because they may not have been around older people. They end up having so much fun with the residents. They are learning social skills beyond what they are getting in the classroom."

This year, in addition to the visits to All Saints, residents are coming over to Sun Path Elementary to be guest readers in the Kindergarten classrooms. "The residents love reading to the kids," said Connell. "It is a chance for them to get out into the community and for them to read to the kids. One of the residents was a little nervous to come and read to the kids. By the end of her time in our room, she was asking if she could come back again."

In the end, the relationships formed, the lessons learned and the skills gained by both residents and students make a great partnership. "If I could bottle up the smiles and joy in the room, I would. You really cannot explain it until you see everyone working together."

AVID NEWSLETTER: Harvard Grad Visits AVID High Schoolers

Virginie Chan

Shakopee High School alumna and Harvard University graduate Virginie Chan spoke with our AVID high school students on Nov. 16. Chan talked about her background, preparing for college, being a student at Harvard, and finding a career path. Chan is now a consultant working for Facebook. Everyone enjoyed meeting her and learning from her. Chan said she was impressed with the AVID students and enjoyed answering their questions. She hopes to be able to visit with the AVID middle school students in the future.

AVID NEWSLETTER: Shakopee Secondary Schools Earn Continued AVID Certification

Shakopee East, West, and High School have recently received official continued certification from AVID Center as an AVID school. Each year, all schools across the country that offer the AVID elective class must follow guidelines and meet requirements set by AVID Center in order to become or continue to be an official AVID school.

AVID 8th graders at Shakopee East show off their school's AVID certification certificate.

Shakopee began offering the AVID class in 8th grade in 2013. Now there are AVID classes in 8th through 12th grade. Shakopee's first AVID seniors graduated last June. New this year, the student selection process has already started for the AVID 7th grade class, so that next school year there will be AVID classes in 7th through 12th grade.

AVID NEWSLETTER: AVID Team Hosts AVID Family Information Night

Some current AVID students, AVID graduates, and staff spoke to potential student applicants and their families at the AVID Family Information Night Nov. 29. The AVID students and graduates who are now in college talked about their AVID experience. The AVID district director and AVID teachers did a presentation on what AVID is all about. AVID students also displayed their binders, planners, Tutorial Request Forms (TRFs), Cornell or focused notes, and other work they are proud of.

The event is held each year for families and students who are interested in applying to be in the AVID elective class the following year so they can learn more about AVID, the benefits of being in the class, and the application process. A similar event will be held in January for 6th graders at Shakopee East and West who are considering applying to be in the 7th grade AVID class next year.

Courtesy: Shakopee AVID Newsletter | December 2018

Artists Help Students Communicate

Upstream Artists help lead SHS students through some activities to foster communicative soft skills.

Starting the school week can be a hard adjustment for some, but for our special education students at Shakopee High School, Mondays are a treat. That’s because they attend a session with Upstream Arts. Upstream Arts brings a program called “The Art of Working” to our district.

“The Art of Working” aims to improve communicative soft skills by using the arts: dance, music, singing, painting or acting. “Our mission statement as Teaching Artists is to amplify the voices of our participants, to share tools to help them express themselves in new, positive and powerful ways,” said Tena May Gallivan, Upstream Teaching Artist.

Whether they are expressing their mood for the day or doing an activity, students are engaged and starting their day off right. “We hope that students have fun,” said Gallivan. “We hope they get a different perspective on communication, freedom from the world ‘no’ for a bit and more choice and agency in their lives.”

Upstream Arts is being funded by a grant from the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

22 students participated in the program that concluded in December.

You're invited!

Healing Stories in Shakopee

Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 1-3 p.m. Shakopee High School

As a part of the End in Mind activities in Scott and Carver Counties, this free event will support everyone to tell and listen to stories of illness and loss in ways that are healing.

Rebecca Gladhill, a Shakopee resident, will share her story of illness and healing. Her oncologist, Joseph Leach, MD, will share his story of working with Rebecca, and his path as a physician.

The stories will be followed by a workshop led by Health Story Collaborative to provide tips for telling and listening to stories in ways that support healing, connection, and empowerment. Click here for more info and to register.

On November 6, voters elected Joseph Aldrich, Paul Christiansen, Kristi Peterson, and incumbent Judi Tomczik to serve four-year terms on the Shakopee School Board. The last board meeting for Chairman Scott Swanson and board members Shawn Hallett and Tony Pass was December 10, 2018. They officially vacated their seats December 31, 2018.

Our new school board members will be sworn in at the first meeting in January, also known as the organizational meeting. At that time, the board will also vote to determine who will serve as the chair, vice-chair, treasurer, and clerk. Prior to the first board meeting in January, our new board members will receive information and communication to welcome them to their new positions. All board meetings are open to the public. Meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the District Office at 1200 Town Square in Shakopee.

Author Visits Jackson Elementary

Thank you to author Phyllis Alsdorf for visiting our Kindergarten classes at Jackson Elementary.

Alsdorf is the author of a book called, "Thanksgiving in the Woods." She read the story to the students and talked about her writing process for the book.

SHS Senior Awarded $180,000 Scholarship

Congratulations to Shakopee High School senior Kynan Reynolds. He was awarded a $180,000 scholarship from the United States Marine Corps. He is one of five in the state to receive this very prestigious award.

"I'm just really surprised and really grateful. It was over a year's worth of work. I want to thank the Marine Corps through Burnsville's recruiting station for helping me out," said Reynolds.

Reynolds plans to attend Texas A&M.

Come to the Saber Showcase!

I’m a senior at Shakopee High School and currently studying in the Academy of Engineering and Manufacturing. During my time at Shakopee High School, I have taken multiple classes that provided me the opportunity to participate in the Saber Showcase. During my junior year, in my physics class, I presented my final project calculating the average velocity of a golfer’s swing. In addition, my engineering class also showcased our final project at the Saber Showcase. We were given a plot of land in Shakopee and asked to design something to put on the property. We had to do surveys, sketches, and models throughout the year. We presented our final design to businessmen and women and also at the Saber Showcase. Many students who are showing their projects at the 2019 event, just as in previous years, have dedicated a lot of hours and hard work into the final design. As students, it’s nice to have an outlet to share our work with fellow students, their parents and the community. The Saber Showcase is a time of pride for us to explain our work and each step we took to get to the final design. The Saber Showcase is the high school’s way of inviting community members into the school to see everything we’ve accomplished. As a student who has been in the showcase many times, it is extremely rewarding when community members are interested and curious about what we’ve been doing for the semester. This is also a great time to tour our building and see the new additions that have been made to our high school. And, for the first time this year, the Saber Showcase will include a career expo. On the same night, we will also celebrate our academies and all of the hard work of our teachers, administrators and community members who’ve made it possible! Please, do me a favor: Come see student projects, the Academies of Shakopee and meet many of our local industry experts and businesses that provide us with real world experiences. The event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 4-6 p.m. Join us and see firsthand all of our hard work, dedication and commitment. ~Hannah Wiebold~

Saber Showcase supports students' accomplishments

I was first introduced to the Saber Showcase in ninth grade, after I spent nearly a month preparing my presentation on the reverse engineering of a staple gun. When the day of the Saber Showcase arrived, I was amazed to see how full the high school was. I took my place in the back of the cafeteria, where other students also presented on their own reverse engineering projects. I quickly learned that there was much more than engineering students at the showcase. The projects ranged from experiments in the STEM field to papers on economics to capstone projects from fine arts students. Since my ninth grade year, I have participated in the showcase three more times: a group presentation for chemistry, an experiment I conducted in my medical interventions class and a community project with the National Honors Society group. With every project, people who don’t even know me have expressed interest and asked questions about what I did. The Saber Showcase is an excellent opportunity to support students’ accomplishments in all different grades and classes! I am incredibly grateful to live in a community that gives students the opportunity to learn about anything that interests them and then give students a platform to display their accomplishments to the community. I will be returning to the showcase once again this January. Be sure to stop by, say hello, and sample the amazing cake my baking and pastry group is preparing! ~Luke Stavedahl~
I’m Natalie Reber, a student at Shakopee High School in the Arts and Communications Academy. Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Shakopee CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) Digital Design Program and show my work to the community at the Saber Showcase. In the CAPS Program, we worked on client projects with business partners throughout the community. My client was Canterbury Park. I got the chance to design a logo and various promotions for their horse racing events. Saber Showcase is an opportunity for students to share their work with the community and to give the community insight on what they’re working on in class. By coming to the Saber Showcase on Wednesday, January 9 from 4-6pm, you can support students and see the projects they’ve done in their classes. I’d like to thank the community for having many courses open to students as well as a space where we can learn. Being able to get involved with the community while being in school is a great way to explore outside of the high school and go beyond the classroom.


Every month, we honor and recognize one of our teachers for his/her hard work and dedication to our students and parents. Here are our honorees for October, November and December.

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Shakopee Public Schools Communications Department

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