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Welcome to Shakopee Public Schools!

The new year brings an opportunity for us to share new stories about all of our wonderful students and teachers. We are beyond excited to take you inside of our classrooms and share information about all the happenings in our district.

We serve more than 8,000 students in Shakopee, Savage, Prior Lake, and the Jackson, Louisville, and Sand Creek Townships. Our mission: Shakopee schools, in partnership with our community, will educate lifelong learners to succeed in a diverse world.

We offer a myriad of programs and activities that give our students of all ages, backgrounds and interests the chance to learn, share, explore and expand their knowledge, talents, skills and abilities in academics, arts, athletics, community service, and so much more. We also offer a variety of high potential classes at all grades, as well as, programs at the high school that can earn students college credits. The Shakopee school district is committed to providing the best opportunities for our students. We are dedicated to helping them excel and achieve their educational goals and teaching them to be good citizens of our community, our nation and our world. Whether you're a parent, employee or community member, thank you for supporting our students! We are Education Forward! We are Shakopee schools!

Our mission: Shakopee schools, in partnership with our community, will educate lifelong learners to succeed in a diverse world.

We offer a myriad of programs and activities that give our students of all ages, backgrounds and interests the chance to learn, share, explore and expand their knowledge, talents, skills and abilities in academics, arts, athletics, community service, and so much more.

The Shakopee school district is committed to providing the best opportunities for our students. We are dedicated to helping them excel and achieve their educational goals and teaching them to be good citizens of our community, our nation and our world.

CAPS Students Prepare for Internships

More than 50 students are participating in this year’s CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) program. CAPS is an elective program for juniors and seniors at Shakopee High School that immerses them into authentic career experiences with the help of local business partners. Students earn dual credit with Shakopee High School and Normandale Community College. Currently, Shakopee CAPS has three programs: Business Administration and Management (partnered with RiverSouth: Canterbury Park, Mystic Lake, Renaissance Festival, and Valleyfair) Digital Design (partnered with Shutterfly), and Healthcare and Medicine (partnered with St. Francis Regional Medical Center). Students in each program attend class for the first 3 periods of the school day off-site at our partner locations and then students have the option to apply and interview for an internship that will be located in or near Shakopee.
Thank you Shutterfly and all of our business partners for your support!

CAPS Students Prepare for Internships

CAPS has partnered with several businesses including Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee Public Schools, City of Shakopee, Shakopee Community Educations, Imagine Print Solutions, Shakopee Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Jamie Smith Photography, Canterbury Park, River Valley YMCA, Saris Media, Valleyfair, Shutterfly, Integrated Business Solutions, and the Shakopee Community Center.

The students will start their internships January 23, 2018.

The internships will help them to network, establish relationships with mentors, accumulate new skills and gain real-world perspective for their desired career.

Congratulations and good luck!

Therapy Dogs Provide Relaxation Break for Students

Registered therapy dogs recently provided a stress-relief resource for Shakopee High School students, thanks to our CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) program. The therapy dogs are part of a movement called Saber Pause that brings health and wellness awareness to the high school. Saber Pause offers a variety of healthy coping skills every Friday. Past events include creating glitter jars, playing minute-to-win-it games, coloring, and the most popular and recent activity, therapy dogs. Saber Pause partnered with Allina’s Change to Chill program. It's a free online resource aimed at improving mental wellness among teenagers. North Star Therapy Animals also made the event possible by providing the registered therapy teams for the students.

Every employee plays an integral part of our school district. We couldn't serve our students without each and every person's time, commitment, and dedication. Here are the Faces of Shakopee Public Schools for the month of January. We look forward to introducing you to more of our wonderful employees and sharing their stories in future newsletters, on our social media channels and district website.

Cindy Gregory is the executive administrative assistant for Human Resources Director Keith Gray. She’s been with Shakopee Public Schools since 2003. “I love all of the employees and helping them however possible so they can spend more time helping the students learn.” Her job entails answering employees’ questions and providing them with the necessary and requested resources. She’s also responsible for finding substitutes to fill open positions in our district and assisting the human resources director with his daily tasks, projects and responsibilities. When Cindy isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her four beautiful grandchildren.
Jenny Steinhoff is the secretary at Sweeney Elementary. She’s worked for Shakopee Public School since 2001 and has been in her current position for the past five years. Jenny, a Shakopee native, says she loves working with Sweeney staff, student and parents. “I love this building. The family atmosphere makes every day memorable and wonderful.” When Jenny isn’t working, you can find her shopping, enjoying the great outdoors, as well as spending time with her family and friends.
Alicia Desantiago is a food and nutrition services worker at Sun Path Elementary. She’s worked for Shakopee Public Schools for almost two years. “What I love the most about Shako schools is that this job allows me to have the perfect family-work balance. When Alicia isn’t working she enjoys taking her kids swimming and cooking Mexican-style cuisine.
Congratulations to Rob Mainhardt, Shakopee Senior High School Technology and Engineering Instructor. Mainhardt has been named a state winner in the 2017-2018 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. Mainhardt’s recognition comes with a $25,000 Samsung technology prize package for the high school! "Your dedication to STEAM education and bettering your community is truly inspiring to all of us,” said the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Team!
Rob Mainhardt

Moving and Counting all the Way to 100!

Kathryn Samuels, Sun Path kindergarten teacher, is getting creative and getting her students moving to learn their numbers. Click on the video to check out the fun way they’re moving all the way to 100.

The Sabers are excited to welcome Joe Fittante as the new Head Coach of the Shakopee Sabers. The Shakopee School Board approved Fittante’s assignment at its December 11 board meeting. “We are excited to welcome Coach Fittante to our program and cannot wait to see what the future brings,” Activities Director John Janke said.

Joe Fittante

Most recently, Coach Fittante was the head coach at Robbinsdale Armstrong, where he led the Falcons the past two seasons. In Fittante’s first year, he lead a complete turnaround from the previous season, falling in the Section Championship game. “I am thankful for the support of the Armstrong administration, the parents as well as the energy and belief of the players in the system,” Coach Fittante said. “I look forward to the same in Shakopee. I am also extremely proud of the strides we have made at Armstrong and wish them nothing but the best in the future. With the growth the program has seen, the future is bright for the Falcons.”

Coach Fittante takes over the reigns from long time Head Coach Neil Johnson. Coach Fittante looks to build on the strong foundation created by Coach Johnson. “Coach Johnson is a pillar in the softball community and I am thankful for everything he has done for softball, both in and outside of Shakopee,” Fittante said. “As to the upcoming season, playing in the South Suburban Conference is a battle each and every night. I look forward to the challenge and I am anxious to get going.”

Shakopee High School Expansion: Commons and New Spaces Taking Shape

Construction on Shakopee High School will continue through the summer, but not without a few spaces nearly completed and opened. In the fall, a new classroom wing opened, giving our teachers and students new classrooms and common spaces designed for collaboration. The expanded commons area is the most recent area to near completion. The space expands the current commons area and adds several new features to the building including learning stairs, a school-run coffee shop, and several new classrooms designed to create a collaborative learning environment.
The fieldhouse is also nearing completion. The fieldhouse features a walking track and 6 full courts.
Construction work will continue through the summer with renovations to existing areas, as well as the completion of the classroom additions. Crews will also continue to work on the new theater/arts area and the main entrance. For updates on the expanded Shakopee High School construction project, please visit our website.

Sweeney Elementary Students Send Love to Puerto Rico

Students and staff at Sweeney Elementary banded together to send food, supplies and letters of encouragement to families in Puerto Rico, following the devastation there from Hurricane Maria. The people there were grateful for the supplies and the notes of encouragement. Here's a short video put together by those who delivered the boxes. If you would like to help in this effort contact Julee Gessinger at jgessing@shakopee.k12.mn.us

Tokata Learning Center to Dedicate Aquaponics Lab in Memory of Chase Tuseth

Tokata Learning Center is building an aquaponics lab, which will be unveiled and dedicated January 12, 2018. Aquaponics labs are hands-on learning centers, raising plants and fish in an integrated system, to teach science, technology, math and engineering while also exposing students to nutrition and healthy eating habits.

TLC Student Max Edgar

The aquaponics lab will be dedicated in memory of Chase Tuseth, Tokata Learning Center science and physical education teacher, who died in December 2016. At the time of his death, Tuseth was pursuing his administrative licensure from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota. Tuseth taught TLC Student Max Edgar during first hour. Edgar said he’s looking forward to being a part of the project. “This is something I’m excited about doing,” Edgar said. “I’m naturally into gardening. I have a garden at my house and I eventually want to own my own greenhouse. It’s a great step towards a self-sustaining cycle.”

Academies of Shakopee: The Teacher Perspective

In the fall of 2018, the expanded Shakopee High School will open after being nearly doubled in size. The Academies of Shakopee was created to ensure a welcoming, inclusive environment within a large high school setting and to improve student success in post-secondary programs and career. There will be six academies: Arts & Communication, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering & Manufacturing, Health Science, Human Services, and Science & Technology. The academy model will also include the Freshman Academy. This academy will be for 9th grade students. They will spend time discovering their own unique interests and then chose a home academy for their sophomore through senior year. The Freshman Academy will provide additional time to explore courses offered by the six academies. What can students really expect in the academies? How are teachers preparing? What are teachers planning? Click on the video to hear from our teachers:

8th Graders Eager to Enter High School, Freshman Academy

Shakopee High School Assistant Principal Stuart Lang will oversee the Freshman Academy. Stuart enjoyed meeting the students (pictured above) who will enter the Freshman Academy in the 2018-19 school year. Watch the video below to hear from the students and Stuart.

While we await the opening of the Academies of Shakopee, our Student Ambassadors will provide tours to visitors, interact with our community and share all of the wonderful experiences students and parents can expect within the academies. The Academies of Shakopee Student Ambassador program consists of a group of ten dedicated students who serve as advocates and student leaders throughout our school, academies and community.

Students participating in the ambassador program will gain the following characteristics and skills: Confidence, professionalism, leadership, communication, inspiration, empowerment and passion.

CFC Extravaganza

Please mark your calendar for the Central Family Center Extravaganza on January 17, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. The registration fair gives parents and students the opportunity to tour the CFC building, explore classrooms, and register for next fall’s classes. We hope to see you there!

TIES Exceptional Educators Award 2017

We are dedicated to improving student achievement through technology. Jake Toufar and Charlotte Leonard are a good example of that dedication. Jake Toufar is a Technology and Engineering teacher at East Junior High and Charlotte Leonard is a 4th grade teacher at Jackson Elementary. Toufar and Leonard were recognized at the TIES 2017 Education Technology Conference in December.

Technology and Information Educational Services (TIES) is Minnesota-based educational technology solutions collaborative owned by 48 member districts. The organization’s mission is to leverage collective wisdom to make technology work across school communities.

Toufar is recognized as an early adopter of technology tools and practices. He leads professional development to share his knowledge and best practices on integrating technology to enrich learning with other teachers. Leonard has used technology to increase student engagement, problem-solving and efficiency. She has also infused coding in her classroom routine because she believes in building a students’ ability to problem-solve.

We are creative.

Students in East Junior High's Culinary Arts 1 class are working on designing their own food truck concept. Before winter break, they learned from a food truck pro, Marty Richie, owner of Heavy Metal Grill food truck. Marty gave the class some food truck tips and students even got to tour the truck.

We are community.

Congratulations to Sun Path Elementary students for collecting more than 3,800 items to be donated to the local CAP Agency, Toys for Tots and the Animal Humane Society. Thank you to the student council reps who organized the drive.

We are thankful.

Students at East Junior High put together gift bags and thank you notes for our firefighters and police officers. They came to pick up those bags. Thank you to Friends of the Brave, who supplied the treats for the bags, and to our Shakopee Police Department and Shakopee Fire Department.

Congratulations to Makayla Cizek, a 9th grader at East Junior High, who won a poster contest for Dem-Con Companies, LLC. Her recycling poster is now on display in government buildings and businesses throughout Scott County.
Congratulations to Makayla Cizek, a 9th grader at East Junior High, who won a poster contest for Dem-Con Companies, LLC. Her recycling poster is now on display in government buildings and businesses throughout Scott County.

Meet our Principals!

Important Dates to Remember!

Have an idea for our next newsletter? Submit ideas to: Communications@shakopee.k12.mn.us

Shakopee Public Schools, All Rights Reserved

www.shakopee.12.mn.us

1200 Town Square

Shakopee, MN 55379

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