Message from Interim Superintendent Gary Anger

As we approach the last day of school, I want to thank you for a great 2017-18 school year. We have a wonderful team of teachers and staff as well as dedicated students and parents. Thank you for being our partners in education. We look forward to another school year of being #EducationForward. Until then, have a great summer and enjoy catching up on all of the happenings in the district in our spring newsletter.

Students Earn Top Honors from National German Exam

Please join us in congratulating our 25 Shakopee German students in their impressive award standings from the National German Exam. More than 26,000 students in the United States took the exam. Three of our students scored above the 90th percentile. Earlier this week, our students accepted their awards at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The keynote speaker from Germany who works for SICK (a German sensor company with a MN branch in Savage) spoke about the importance of early language acquisition and the benefits of language and culture in a business setting. "These students are incredibly talented and their passion for learning German is like no-other," said Shakopee High School German teacher and German Club Advisor Amy Engler. "If you have them in class, please congratulate them on their success."

Pictured left to right: Jack Moore, Olivia Weber, Venessa Agyapong, and German teacher Amy Engler

Project Lead the Way: Open House and Recognition Event

Our school district is a leader in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. We have been recognized as a district of distinction and our schools have also been named schools of distinction. Recently, the CEO of PLTW, Dr. Vince Bertram, visited our high school to meet with students, teachers, and community partners.

Project Lead the Way is a program that provides a transformative learning experience in our schools by empowering students to develop and apply in-demand skills by exploring real-world challenges.

Project Lead the Way Recognition Event

Building Tours for 5th Graders

This month, our 5th graders toured the junior high buildings ahead of entering East and West in the 2018-19 school year.

Our 7th and 9th grade students led the tours and answered questions.

Jackson MakerSpace Exploration

First graders at Jackson Elementary spent some time in the MakerSpace. MakerSpace is an authentic learning environment where students can learn through their own curiosity to become independent thinkers. The space helps students develop critical thinking skills and encourages them to think creatively. Click on the video, shot and edit by Shakopee CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) Communications Department intern Yesenia Campos-Hernandez, to see the students in action.

Tasty Treats for a Good Cause

The Baking & Pastry classes at Shakopee High School have once again partnered with O’Brien's Public House for an authentic learning project called Cupcake Wars. The winning cupcakes will be available for sale at O’Brien's until June 16th. All proceeds will benefit the culinary program at the high school. The winning cupcake (created by Mason Bode, Ellie Murphy & Cole Geyen) is a pina colada cupcake. It’s a classic tropical cocktail turned cupcake, with a fresh pineapple base, coconut buttercream frosting, topped with sweetened shredded coconut, a slice of fresh pineapple and a maraschino cherry. The cupcakes are only $5 each. If you have time in the next few weeks, please stop by O’Brien's to support the culinary program! If you're interested in placing an order in advance, email christine@obrienspublichousemn.com.

National Junior Honor Society Clothing Drive

East Junior High School’s National Junior Honor Society recently held a clothing drive for our local CAP agency. NJHS students created a human chain to deliver the items to the donation truck. The building collected more than 1,300 items of clothing. Great job, NJHS!

SHS Students Selected for Minnesota All-State Choir

(pictured left to right): Caroline Flaten (Soprano 2), Mary Krause (Alto 1), Sydney Swenhaugen (Soprano 1).

Congratulations to our Shakopee High School students for being selected as members of the MN All-State Choir. They received the exciting news earlier this month. In March, the students prepared and submitted recordings along with other high schoolers from around the state. Being named to one of the MN All-State choirs is among the highest honors in high school vocal music! Congrats!

Students Commit to Collegiate Sports at Spring Signing Ceremony

Student athletes were celebrated at the 2018 Spring Signing Ceremony at Shakopee High School earlier this month. 20 students committed to play sports at the collegiate level. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish them the best in college!

Click here to learn more.

Spring Signing Ceremony 2018

GLOmies Track and Field

On Friday, May 4, GLOmies hosted its annual Track & Field Day at Vaughan Field.

International Technology & Engineering Educators Association Recognizes TJ Hendrickson

Shakopee West Jr High School’s Technology and Engineering Education teacher, TJ Hendrickson, received the Teacher of Excellence award at this year's International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) conference. It was held in Atlanta, Georgia in April. ITEEA represents teachers, state supervisors, and others who are involved in advancing technology and engineering education in our society. Hendrickson has been instrumental in building the Technology and Engineering program in our district over the past 26 years. During his time in our district, we have won 27 state and national recognitions for our Technology and Engineering program. “I believe that every student has the right to learn through Technology and Engineering Education," said Hendrickson. "If students learn the design process to assist them with creative problem solving, they will be able to apply it to everyday problems faced in both their work life and personal life. If taught correctly it will have rigor and relevance that allows students to use skills to excel at being adaptive, creative, lifelong learners.” News release courtesy: International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA).

Students Earn Top Honors at Business Competition

Congrats to our Shakopee High School students and their coach for earning first place at the Tri-State JA Titan Business Competition. The competition challenges students to apply their knowledge of business as they compete online and make decisions about price, production, marketing, capital investment, and research and development. Each student has earned a $1,000 scholarship from Junior Achievement and can participate in the national tournament for additional scholarship dollars.

Elementary Students Put their Best Foot and Pedal Forward!

May 4 was a great morning to take part in National Walk and Bike to School Day. Jackson students traveled from the high school parking lot to the elementary school. Thank you Shakopee Police for directing traffic and making sure our students made it to school safely.

American Legion Sponsors Student Trip

Two Shakopee High School students will experience the ins and outs of government. It’s part of the American Legion Boys and Girls State program. Zoe DeWitt and Kynan Reynolds, both juniors, were chosen to participate in the week-long program.

For about 70 years, the American Legion Auxiliary has sponsored and operated the program. Students from around the state will attend the camp where they will form city, county and state government offices. They will vote for and carry out elected and appointed positions in government.

Erin Hunt, a social studies teacher, runs the program at Shakopee High School and works with the students on the application process. “Our department decided this would be a priority and it would be a great opportunity for community involvement,” said Erin Hunt.

Every year, the Shakopee Legion generously supports the program by giving two students a scholarship. “It was very generous of our Shakopee Legion to reach out and give our kids a chance to attend” said Hunt. “Our students have an incredible opportunity. We are grateful.”

Both students are looking forward to packing their bags for a week of learning and growing.

“I’m involved in Youth in Government so I’ve already had some experience with government,” said DeWitt. “I’m also thinking of pursuing a career in government. I think it will be fun to meet new people with similar interests.”

“Both of my parents have worked in government in the Marine Corp, so I’ve grown up with it and enjoyed learning about and being around the process,” said Reynolds. “My future plans involve working in government and I’m hoping to get some experience and some context.”

The camp starts June 10.

English Learners Parent Night

Thank you to everyone for attending and supporting our EL (English Learners) program. Parent night was a huge success!

Highlights: 2018 Saber Showcase

Outdoor Learning Day

Our elementary students took part in Outdoor Learning Day on May 4 and May 18 at Shakopee High School. Students spent the day canoeing on the pond as well as participating in outdoor lessons such as building butterfly houses, creating art, learning how to cast a fishing pole, and learning about recycling. The multi-departmental, multi-grade level event demonstrates the great work our students are doing in a variety of classes and across grade levels.

Photo Courtesy: McKenna Peterson | CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) student
Photo Courtesy: McKenna Peterson | CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) student

Our Teachers are Rockstars!

Our Shakopee High School teachers dominated the last day of Freshman Seminar articulation. They're excited for the course and how it will guide and support our 9th graders!

It's Cool to be in a Saber School!

While Interim Superintendent Gary Anger was receiving medical treatment, students from Central Family Center sent him a box of small fish. He asked Tasia Burlson, a Shakopee High School student, to come up with a creative way for the fish to be displayed. She decided to make a school of fish display to represent each of the 11 schools in our district. This beautiful artwork is now displayed in the board room at the district office.

Principal Doug Schleif to Retire

After 16 years in the school district, Principal Doug Schleif is retiring, but it won't include golfing or relaxing. Doug and his wife, Pam, are moving to China to work at an international school. Pam is also a long-time district employee.

"We've been talking about going overseas ever since we've been married and doing something like this," said Doug. "As our kids got older we felt like we needed to stay put, but this opportunity came up and we started the conversation again."

Doug started teaching in 1984 in Madison, Minnesota. He also worked in Eden Prairie and Prior Lake before coming to Shakopee. He has served as the principal at Pearson Elementary and most recently Jackson Elementary.

"I will miss the students, staff and families at Jackson," said Doug.

Pam started her career as a probation officer before working in our district for the past 14 years. She started as a para and then became a social worker. She has served students throughout the district and is currently working with students at Eagle Creek Elementary.

"Shakopee has been a wonderful place for us and our family," said Pam. "We have been given great opportunities as employees to share our gifts and talents. As a family, our children have been raised in a warm, friendly, and inspiring environment. We are so grateful."

Doug will serve as an elementary principal at the international elementary school, while Pam will be a high school counselor. The couple will leave for China in August.

Construction Progress at the High School

Don't forget you can stay up-to-date on the construction progress at the high school by visiting our website weekly.

Exploring New Heights

Our climbing club recently visited Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls, WI. Thanks for the amazing views!

Way to go, Jacob!

Jacob, a Shakopee junior, will be featured in an upcoming Gillette Children’s publication. Thanks to his care at Gillette, his mobility has improved and running track is now a possibility. We’re extremely proud of you!

Jackson Volunteer Breakfast

Jackson Elementary School hosted a breakfast to thank volunteers for their generous work throughout the year.

New Learning Spaces at Shakopee High School

It's great to see our students and staff using the new collaborative learning spaces at Shakopee High School.

Graduating Seniors Surprise Teachers with Graduation Invitations

Graduation is just around the corner, and recently seniors were able to personally invite a teacher that made an impact and led them on the road to graduation. Here are some great photos of those special moments:

Inclusive Engineering Project: Partnership Gives Special Need Students Solutions

A unique partnership is giving students with special needs solutions to obstacles they face at school. Students in the Project Lead the Way course “Introduction to Engineering and Design” at Shakopee High School paired up with students, referred to as “clients”, in the school district that were identified by staff. It's all part of the Inclusive Engineering Project, which provides unique learning experiences for students in both general and special education. In an effort to assure all students can access multiple learning environments in their school, home, and/or community settings, the Introduction to Engineering (IED) classes from Shakopee East, West, and Senior High created a tangible product for clients.

One of the clients is 5-year-old Mason Woizeschke. He is enrolled in preschool at Central Family Center. Mason faces obstacles with balance and sometimes drops his lunch tray. “Little kids tend to spill their lunches anyway, but with balance issues it’s even more,” said Michael Woizeschke, Mason’s father. “He’s going to be carrying this tray up and down in kindergarten next year.” Two students, 11th grader Kynan Reynolds and 12th grader Kyle Thiebaud, worked on the project to help Mason.

“He had a sway to his walk and we thought about how we could fix the part where he was spilling the food and how we could make it easier for him to hold,” said Thiebaud.

The prototype was a lunch tray that looked a lot like the regular school lunch tray, but this one had deeper sections to prevent the food from spilling, and handles. Mason seemed to like it. He even practiced walking with the cardboard prototype.

“It’s really cool to think that a project that is specific to this class is going to help somebody and give you real world experience on how you can innovate products for a customer base,” said Reynolds.

After taking some suggestions from Mason’s dad, Thiebaud and Reynolds worked to perfect their design. They presented the final product to the Woizeschke’s in May at the Engineering Technology Fair.

Inclusive Engineering Project: Engineering Technology Fair

More than 60 Shakopee students celebrated months of hard work as they participated in the Engineering Technology Fair at Hennepin Technical College. It was held in Eden Prairie on May 10, 2018. The technology fair was the grand finale of the Inclusive Engineering Project, which focuses on the planning, design, and development of accessible products for students with disabilities.

To prepare, 65 Students from the Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) classes at East, West, and Senior High met with 23 students, also known as “clients”, in special education programs from Central Family, Eagle Creek, East Junior High, Pearson, Shakopee High School, Red Oak, Sun Path, and Sweeney to learn how their physical needs impact their school day.

Thanks to students from IED, “client groups”, case managers, related service providers, and parents, the project created meaningful collaboration between students and special education while also demonstrating communication, advocacy, and disability awareness skills. Students participating in IED learn about disabilities and how it impacts individuals across multiple settings, apply real-world problem solving strategies by researching, planning, and designing a prototype, demonstrate communication skills within their target group to evaluate and modify the prototype, and develop a final product for a real-life client group.

The clients, with the help of parents and case managers, and students in the client group apply self-advocacy and disability awareness skills to describe their physical impairments, engage in the planning and development of the product, practice communication skills to discuss pros and cons of the product prototypes, as well as utilize the final product in their daily classroom, home, and community activities.

East Junior High School students Tommy Johnson, Jake Hallett, and Ethan Hintz created a “box” for 8 year-old Alex Benitez-Alvarez. He’s a second grader at Eagle Creek Elementary. Alex needed more storage space on his walker to carry school items. Before the Inclusive Engineering Project, Alex only had a bag on his walker, and it was difficult for him to reach around to grab the items. The “box” provides more flexibility and is more practical. Click on the video to watch Alex use his "box" created by fellow district students.

Jumping at Jackson!

Congratulations to Jackson Elementary School! Students raised a school record of $20,559 during their Jump Rope for Heart event. The students pictured were the top 20 Heart Heroes! Thank you to all of our Jackson students and families!

Shakopee Public Schools Receives Grant for Equity and Diversity Training

Shakopee Public Schools will receive a $90,000 grant for equity and diversity training over the spring and summer from Education Minnesota. Shakopee SEED (Shakopee Educators for Equity and Diversity) teachers applied for the grant.

According to the grant proposal submitted, the money will be used for teacher professional development on cultural competency and equity. Teachers will take a “deep dive” into cultural awareness, racism, personal bias and much more. "As our community and student population become more diverse, as educators, we need to be proactive and open our minds to new professional learning and personal growth opportunities that can equip us with resources, strategies, and new ideas to better serve our students and families," said Uli Rodriguez Palada, teacher at Shakopee High School and co-author of the grant proposal.

“We are proud to work alongside our SEA (Shakopee Education Association) members as they help us grow through this grant,” said Gary Anger, Interim Superintendent of Shakopee schools. “As we move forward in our equity efforts in Shakopee Public Schools, we aim to “See all, Support All and Serve All". The training will begin in April and continue until the beginning of the school year.

Summer Spotlight: Scott County Library Reading Program

Student’s Artistic Light Shines Bright Throughout Central Family Center

If you visit Central Family Center, you’ll find a new pop of color on the walls. The creations are the result of hard work and the passion of Shakopee High School student Hannah Smith.

Hannah has been drawing since she was three years old. In addition to personal artwork, she has painted a mural at East Junior High, and most recently at Central Family Center.

“Central Family Center is currently in the second year of a five year grant to promote the Pyramid Model,” said Stephanie Kaste, Occupational Therapist and internal coach for the Pyramid Model. The Pyramid Model is a framework for social emotional development in preschool aged children, which includes the development of building wide behavior expectations such as: caring body, caring hearts, and caring words. “We heard about Hannah’s amazing artistic abilities from a co-worker,” said Kaste. “She suggested that we talk to Hannah about drawing and painting some canvases that encompass the expectations of the Pyramid Model.”

Kaste connected with Hannah and the rest is history. Between classes, participating in the district’s work-based learning program and her personal time, Hannah created three pieces of art for Central Family Center. “I’m honored to be a part of this project,” said Hannah. “I have autism. Therefore, it’s easier for me to express myself through art because you can feel and see my expressions. When people look at each canvas, I want them to see kindness, sharing and caring.”

Hannah looks forward to working on future projects for not only herself, but other schools in the district. Her dream is to become a cartoonist so that people around the world can experience her creations.

Shakopee Public Schools Named a Project Lead the Way Distinguished District While West Junior High Earns Distinguished School Honor

PLTW students at East Junior High showcasing a project from their PLTW class.

Shakopee Public Schools is being recognized nationally as a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished District. Shakopee is one of just more than 30 districts to be recognized. Additionally, West Junior High is being honored as a distinguished school for Project Lead the Way. Shakopee began offering PLTW courses ten years ago in 2008.

Shakopee offers PLTW Launch for students in our elementary schools, Gateway to Technology for students in grades 6-8 and three engineering pathways for our high school students in grades 9-12. The program engages students in science, technology, engineering and math while preparing them with the knowledge and skills they will need in the future.

“Project Lead the Way is a wonderful, enriching program in our school district that reaches students in every grade level,” said Interim Superintendent Gary Anger. “We are grateful for this honor and fortunate to have such excellent teachers who are dedicated to our student’s success in the program and in their futures.”

This distinction is one of many awards our district has received for this program. Many of our PLTW teachers, both at East and West Junior High, have been recognized by organizations such as the ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education), MN MTEEA (MN Technology and Engineering Education Association) and ITEEA (International Technology and Engineering Education Association) for their excellence. Additionally, West Junior High’s program has received nearly 30 state and national awards.

Interim Superintendent Anger and Bella Visit Eagle Creek

Lori From’s Eagle Creek kindergarteners enjoyed their visit from Interim Superintendent Gary Anger and his dog, Bella. They read Madeline Finn and the Library Dog. Following the visit, the students wrote a book review during Writer’s Workshop.

Outstanding Student Athlete

Congratulations, Ally Loiselle! She is the 2018 Athena Award winner. The award honors outstanding women athletes.

SHS Choir Students Tour Poland Over Spring Break

Shakopee High School Choir students had the trip of a lifetime over their spring break as they traveled overseas to Poland. Students performed, toured and even had some time for a cultural exchange with other high school music students.

Tokata English Teacher Selected as 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Please help us congratulate Tokata Learning Center English teacher, Kelly Holstine, who was selected as a 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. An independent selection panel of 23 leaders in the areas of education, business, government and non-profits selected 12 finalists from a group of 43 semifinalists, according to Education Minnesota. The selection panel met again on May 5 to conduct individual interviews with each of the 12 finalists and to cast votes for the 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. The 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year was announced at a banquet at the Radisson Blu Mall of America May 6, 2018. 167 teachers were named as candidates this year, including Holstine and five other teachers from our district. Congratulations to Jacob Toufar who was also named a semi-finalist.

Community Chat

School Board member Shawn Hallett and Shakopee High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki spoke to a group of 55+ seniors at the community center about happenings in the district. Topics included the Academies of Shakopee, construction, class sizes, enrollment and much more!

Shakopee High School Hosts Minnesota Education Fair

On Monday, March 19, Shakopee High School hosted the Minnesota Education Fair. Representatives from more than 100 colleges answered questions and provided information to parents and students about educational opportunities after high school.

CAPS Students Present to the Shakopee City Council

Students from the Shakopee High School CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) Digital Design program had their moment in the spotlight at a recent Shakopee City Council meeting. Students presented their first semester projects and took a moment to share information about the CAPS program.

Two groups of Digital Design students worked on two separate projects for the city - Shakopee Government TV Branding and Enigma Teen Center Branding. Students Bradley Vilaychack and Leo Lickfold worked on revamping the government channels TV branding. They were tasked with creating a new logo, an opening meeting video and on-screen graphics. They worked with the city’s communications coordinator Kristin Doran.

Students Isabel Roberts and Amy Nguyen worked with leadership at the Shakopee Community Center to rebrand the Enigma Teen Center. The students created a new logo along with marketing materials.

Council members were impressed with the presentations and the projects the students completed for the city. Students reported that so far in their CAPS program they have learned time management, leadership and project management skills.

“The experience we got from CAPS has been great,” said student Bradley Vilaychack. “We worked with real people and real clients. We know the work that we’re doing is going out there. It’s more meaningful. We aren’t just doing it for a grade, we are doing something that benefits our community.”

The CAPS program 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.

Over the past several years, the City of Shakopee has also hosted interns during the second semester of the CAPS experience. Students have created flyers and other materials for various city projects. Shakopee Public Schools would like to thank the City of Shakopee for their dedication to the program.

Click here to watch the video of the presentation.

CAPS Students Intern at Shakopee Public Schools District Office

54 students participated in this year’s CAPS internship program.

Thank you to our wonderful business partners: Mystic Lake, Dakota Development Complex, Little Six Casino Culinary, Jaspers, Moriarty & Wetherille, Valleyfair, River Valley YMCA, Integrated Marketing & Design, Saris Media, Imagine Printing Solutions, Canterbury, Shakopee Chamber & Visitors Bureau, Shakopee Community Center, John Canny Real Estate, City of Shakopee, O’Briens Public House, Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee Public, Schools, Shakopee Community Education, Jamie Smith Photography, All Saints, St. Gertrude’s, McKenna Crossing, Southwest Eye Clinic, Capable Kids Rehabilitation Center, St. Francis Rehabilitation Center, O’Brien Dental Clinic, Happy Health Family Chiropractic, Bio-Cat Microbials, Shakopee Dental, Eagle Creek Elementary, East Junior High School, Shakopee High School, Early Childhood Family Center, Saber Pause, Friendship Manor, Pearson 6th Grade Center.

This year, four CAPS students interned with Shakopee Public Schools.

Jacee Nguyen was a CAPS Digital Design intern for Community Education at the Shakopee Public Schools district office. This semester, Jacee created ads for Community Education’s fall catalog, Children’s Day Race, and the Daddy Daughter Dance. She is very grateful to have received the opportunity to work on real-life projects. Jacee is working towards a career in marketing or digital design. “Throughout this internship, I have learned how to communicate, collaborate, ask questions, and experience a work environment with adults.”
Ethan Whitla was a CAPS Business and Entrepreneurship intern in the Human Resources Department at the Shakopee Public Schools district office. This semester, he served as an extra set of eyes for the department to make sure important documents are filled out correctly and thoroughly. He is very excited that he has received the opportunity to see how a business is operated through the Human Resources Department. Ethan hopes to start his own music studio in the future. “I have learned how real-world business works and how different business environments differ from one another. This new perspective has helped me learn a new work ethic that will stick with me forever.”
Gadiel Castillo was a CAPS Business and Entrepreneurship intern in the Human Resources Department at the Shakopee Public Schools district office. Gadiel and Ethan worked together on similar assignments. Gadiel says he’s glad he has been able to have hands-on experience in accounting and finance. He plans to attend law school to become a lawyer with a minor in accounting. “I have learned how different departments work and collaborate with each other. I have also learned that it is very important to be organized. This internship has set the foundation for my future.”
Yesenia Campos was a CAPS Digital Design intern in the Communications Department at the Shakopee Public Schools district office. This semester, Yesenia worked on the Faces of Shakopee. It’s a new initiative that recognizes the hard work of district employees and introduces them to the community. She also helped the Communications Department produce Teacher Tuesday segments to recognize educators in the classroom and designed the 2018-19 District/Realtor Brochure. She is very grateful to have worked on projects that directly impact our community. Yesenia is pursuing a career in elementary education with a minor in photography. “I am very happy that this internship works closely to what I hope to do in the future. This experience has taught me how to communicate with adults and have better organization.”

Congratulations, TLC Quarter 3 Graduates

We're extremely proud of our Quarter 3 graduates who received their diplomas on March 23, 2018.

Cooks in Training

Raffle winners from Sun Path’s school dance enjoyed serving lunch to fellow students and even received help from Interim Superintendent Gary Anger. Click on the video to hear more from Sun Path Head Cook Joann Svac. Great job Ava, Veronica, Jasmine & Lainey!

Shakopee Student Receives Surprise Full Ride Scholarship

Betsy Saysonbath, a senior and AVID student, at Shakopee High School was surprised this spring with a full ride scholarship to St. Thomas University. We were there to capture the special moment! Watch the video below and click here to read more about her huge accomplishment. Congratulations, Betsy!

University Young Writers Workshop

Photo courtesy: Hamline University

Hamline University in St. Paul hosts an annual creative writing camp called Young Writers Workshop for teenagers ages 15-18. The camp provides an outlet for high school students who are passionate about creative writing to explore the craft, prepare for college, and work closely with Hamline Creative Writing faculty and published authors. This year's camp will be held June 18 to 21. Registration opened in mid-February. Financial assistance is available. Click here for more information.

CAPS Students Host Teddy Bear Clinic

Our CAPS Healthcare and Medicine students, along with our nursing assistant class hosted a Teddy Bear Clinic for students at Early Childhood Family Education. ECFE students brought their furry friends to the clinic to learn how to stay healthy and safe all year round. A special thank you to O’Brien Dental Care and Scott County Public Health for donating to our event!

AVID Senior Tutors East and West Students

Shakopee High School AVID 12th grader Vanessa Jackson is serving as a volunteer student tutor in the AVID 8th and 9th grade classes at Shakopee East and West. She is a role model for the younger students and shows them how to do tutorials and how they can help. She also answers questions about AVID and what experiences they can expect when they enter the high school. To read more on this story and others, click here to read the AVID February 2018 Newsletter

Academies of Shakopee: Business & Entrepreneurship Industry Council

Our Business & Entrepreneurship Industry Council meets May 3 in the Community Room at Shakopee High School.

Thank you to all of our Academies of Shakopee Industry Councils. Each academy has an Industry Council made up of a team of professionals from each area of interest. Industry Councils are an opportunity for our teachers and administrators to meet directly with the Shakopee area business community to review how we are creating the academies.

AVID Tutor Accepted Into Graduate School

AVID tutor Ashley Sogla has been accepted to the graduate education program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She starts at the university this summer and plans to become a high school English teacher. Sogla has served as an AVID tutor at Shakopee East Junior High, West Junior High, and Shakopee High School for two years. To read more on this story and others, click here to read the AVID February 2018 Newsletter

Southwest Metro Educational Foundation Scholarship Winners

The SouthWest Metro Education Foundation, through its tireless support of the students and programs of SouthWest Metro Intermediate District, awarded academic scholarships to eleven Shakopee students. They are enrolled in SWMetro Career and Technical Education programs. Congratulations!

First AVID Class Finds Success

In June, when Shakopee High School students line up to walk through the graduation line, 20 of them will be the first class of graduating AVID seniors.

They've also earned more than $1 million in scholarships!

“It’s a lot of extra work and you have to be individually determined to do well in this class,” said AVID senior Savannah Klinepier. “At the same time, you develop the skills to be able to manage your time and the work itself. I think it’s beyond worth it. If I wasn’t in AVID, I might have not applied for college yet or been accepted.”

Shakopee High School honored its first-ever class of graduating seniors in the Advancement Via Individual Determination class at a special celebration attended by students, families, and staff May 18.

Each senior received a certificate and recognized a teacher in the district who made a difference in their life. The 19 seniors have been in AVID in Shakopee since 8th or 9th grade, and almost all are the first in their family to attend college.To date, they have received a combined total of more than $1.3 million in scholarship offers from colleges, universities, and other organizations. At graduation, they will wear a red stoal displaying the AVID logo and the initials AVID.

AVID is a college readiness system that prepares students for college eligibility and success. It is offered in more than 6,000 schools across the United States. AVID students are typically in the academic middle and usually underserved in the nation’s colleges and universities. Shakopee Public Schools implemented AVID in 2013. Back then, the current seniors were 8th graders and the first to be in the AVID elective class at Shakopee East and West.

“These students are awesome,” said Shawna Wilson, AVID 11th and 12th grade elective teacher and site coordinator at the high school. “They all want to do better, be great people and they have really cool dreams. I love being able to help them achieve those dreams and concentrate on what needs to be done to get where they want to go.”

AVID is a challenging elective class held five days a week during the school day. Students who would like to enroll in the class must complete an application and undergo an interview before being considered for possible selection for AVID. This process is conducted in grades 7 through 9. AVID students are required to take at least one rigorous course, such as an Honors or AP course, every year to remain in AVID.

The students said it has been a lot of hard work, but it has been worth it.

“It’s a lot of extra work and you have to be individually determined to do well in this class,” said AVID senior Savannah Klinepier. “At the same time, you develop the skills to be able to manage your time and the work itself. I think it’s beyond worth it. If I wasn’t in AVID, I might have not applied for college yet or been accepted.”

Klinepier will attend Augsburg University along with AVID classmate, Vanessa Jackson.

“I never took any hard classes because I didn’t want to put myself through the struggle,” Jackson said. “But when I got into AVID, it wasn’t me doing the class by myself. It was me and my classmates doing it all together. Our teachers have done a great job and helped us along the way.”

Klinepier and Jackson each received approximately $80,000 in scholarships from Augsburg.

AVID students must also continually meet requirements to be in the class, including maintaining good grades and good citizenship. Through AVID, they develop many valuable skills, such as writing, note-taking, reading, inquiry, collaboration, organization, public speaking, critical thinking, and self-advocacy, all of which help them succeed in all of their classes.

“AVID unlocked my potential,” said Betsy Saysombath, who will attend the University of St. Thomas with a full scholarship. “I knew I was a good student, but I didn’t know my true potential. Now, I do, thanks to AVID.”

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 featured for the months of February, March, April and May. 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.
Kathy Clarke has been an office assistant for a year and a half at Jackson Elementary School. Kathy loves being the first face families see when they walk into the school. She loves to work with staff in an exciting and friendly environment.
Andrea Richards has been a school nurse for three years at Jackson Elementary School. Andrea loves to help people in need. She loves working with the staff and students at Jackson.
Myrlene Schenck is the English Language Learners Coordinator for Shakopee Public Schools. Myrlene has been with Shakopee Public Schools for 13 years. She says she loves the students, the focus forward-thinking education and technology in the district. Myrlene is excited about the future of our schools and loves the opportunities offered to our students.
Shelia Howell has been working with Shakopee Public Schools for two years as the school nurse at Tokata Learning Center. Sheila feels at home at TLC with a small environment of teachers and staff who put students first. She loves to see how students and staff support each other.
Sonia Hellerud is the volunteer and community resource coordinator for Community Education at the Shakopee Public Schools District Office. Sonia has been working in the district for two years. She is in charge of recruiting volunteers for Shakopee schools and bringing resources into the classrooms. When asked what she enjoys the most about working in the school district, Sonia said, she loves the diversity, atmosphere and working with kids.
Connie Hennen works as facility scheduler for Community Education at the Shakopee Public Schools District Office. Connie has been working in the district for 11 years. She is the greeter at the front desk and is in charge of scheduling all uses of the district’s buildings during non-school hours. Connie loves her job because it gives her the opportunity to interact with not only fellow staff members, but the community.
Amanda Hainline is an assistant principal at East Junior High School. Amanda has been working for Shakopee Public Schools for 11 years. She is grateful to the school district for giving her the opportunity to grow professionally and work alongside other great staff members. Amanda is very excited about the Academies of Shakopee, the implementation in the 2018-19 school year, and the opportunities it will offer students. She also says she loves the diverse student body in our schools and connecting with our students.
Mary Jo Eggert is an office assistant at East Junior High school. Mary Jo has been working in the Shakopee school district for 14 years. She loves the community environment and working with staff and students.

Students Against Destructive Decisions: Mock Car Crash

On September 14, 2017 our Shakopee High School community was forever impacted by a car crash that took the life of one of our students, and injured two others. On April 19, 2018, our Shakopee High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter hosted a mock car crash. This event happens every two years, but the message this year hit close to home for our students, staff and community.
The mock crash aims to remind students of the dangers and consequences of unsafe driving behaviors like driving under the influence and not buckling up. The simulation included crashed vehicles set up on school grounds and student participants dramatically acted out roles as crash victims. Students watched the demonstration and learned how first responders conduct rescue efforts. They also heard a presentation from a motivational speaker whose twin sister was the victim of a high speed car crash. “We wanted to be sensitive to the needs of our students, staff and families that are still grieving the loss of Ja’Mason and the injury of their friends,” said Shakopee High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki.” But, we also wanted to raise awareness, educate our students and help them make safe decisions behind the wheel.”

Academy Placement Successful for 2018-19 School Year

Shakopee High School administrators have completed the academy placement survey for the 2018-19 school year. “All students who completed the academy placement survey were assigned to an academy that either honored their first choice or was one where equal interest among two or more academies was indicated,” High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki said. “In a nutshell, we were able to honor student choice, which is great!” The breakdown for each academy is outlined below: Arts & Communication: 16.0%, Business & Entrepreneurship: 16.8%, Engineering & Manufacturing: 15.7%, Health Science: 21.0%, Human Services: 15.3%, and Science & Technology: 15.2%. Students who chose not to complete the survey were assigned to an academy. Through the appeals process, students had the opportunity to have a new request considered. In addition, students who did not fill out the survey could also file an appeal. Now that the appeal process has concluded, we are still happy to announce that we were able to honor student choice. Regardless of academy placement, all students will still be required to meet their grade level requirements for graduation and will be able to access electives from all academies and global electives. “Our teachers and staff are looking forward to working with parents as we implement the Academies of Shakopee,” Pawlicki added.

Will My Student be Stuck in an Academy? High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki has the answer!

Will the High School Adhere to State Standards Under the Academy Model? Watch the video to learn more!

Shakopee Valley News Editorial: Shakopee alum, parent and business partner excited for Academies opportunities by Megan Menden. Click HERE to read.

Shakopee Valley News Editorial: I'm Proud of the Academies of Shakopee Plan by Interim Superintendent Gary Anger. Click HERE to read.

Academies Story Series: My Place. My Path. My Future. Click HERE to read testimonials from our business leaders and teachers.

Sweeney and High School Students Collaborative Art Project

Christine Brown, Shakopee High School art teacher, teamed up with Emily Leskee, Art Specialist at Sweeney, for what’s called the “soft sculpture project.” Emily’s 4th graders created drawings and the high school students turned them into soft sculptures. Once completed, some of the high school students surprised the fourth graders by giving them the sculptures.

Loonan, Pratt Talk School Safety with High School Students

Representative Bob Lonnan and Senator Eric Pratt fielded questions from a group of Shakopee High School students about student safety.

Congratulations, Sidney!

Congratulations to our 10th grader, Sidney Hearn, who showed her Vizsla in the Junior Showmanship competition at the 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City. Only 98 Juniors qualified to be invited to the prestigious show, and all had to win a minimum of seven Best Junior Handlers in Show over the past year.

Meet our #TeacherTuesday Award Recipients

#TeacherTuesday recognizes teachers who go above and beyond in our schools. Here are the teachers we honored during the 2017-18 school year in January, February, March, April and May. We would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the following Shakopee businesses for sponsoring #TeacherTuesday: Cub Foods Shakopee, Munkabeans, CTC Coffee Ta Cream, Turtle's, and Pablos Mexican Restaurant.

Eagle Creek Receives Hometown Solar Grant Award

The Minnesota Municipal Power Agency has announced Eagle Creek Elementary School has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 MMPA Energy Education, Hometown Solar Grant Award. Under the grant, the agency will help teach our students first-hand about how sunlight is converted into electricity and the unique characteristics of solar power. Congratulations, Eagle Creek!

Wiggle Your Toes Founder Speaks to CAPS Students

Aaron Holm, founder and president of Wiggle Your Toes, recently spoke to Shakopee High School CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) students. Holm has more than 15 years of experience in business development and management. He’s worked in the information technology and engineering staffing, consulting and outsourcing industry. Holm lost both of his legs above the knee after an accident in January of 2007. According to the organization’s website, Holm’s quick and successful recovery efforts are the premise of the Wiggle Your Toes organization. In May 2008, he founded Wiggle Your Toes with a mission to help other amputees regain independence and mobility. Holm has given back to the amputee community through Wiggle Your Toes and also by lobbying on Capitol Hill for the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) parity act.
Holm spoke to CAPS students in the Healthcare and Medicine program about prosthetics and orthotics. The Shakopee CAPS Healthcare and Medicine program fully immerses students in St. Francis Regional Medical Center providing unprecedented access to real world experiences in the dynamic field of healthcare and medicine. Partnering with experienced medical professionals, students will advance their understanding of healthcare systems, communications, legal issues, medical terminology, patient care, professionalism, ethics, and explore many career opportunities in healthcare.

Have you Heard the Song of the Saber?

If you haven't already, be sure to read the "Song of the Saber" blog from Interim Superintendent Gary Anger. Click here to catch up and stay tuned for future posts.

Shakopee High School student, Austin Kellogg, named National Merit Scholarship Finalist
Shakopee High School Principal Jeff Pawlicki and Austin Kellogg

Austin Kellogg, senior at Shakopee High School, has been named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. In the fall, Kellogg was named a semi-finalist, while three other high school students were commended by the program. He has since moved forward as a finalist to be considered for National Merit Scholarships.

“It’s very exciting because it is a culmination of everything I have done in high school,” Austin said. “But, it’s also the idea that I get to represent Shakopee as one of the National Merit Scholarship Finalists.”

“Austin exemplifies the best and brightest at Shakopee High School,” said Jeff Pawlicki, Shakopee High School principal. “He’s willing to push himself to be the best student he can be, and learn and grow. We want to have more students like Austin. He shows us that if you work really hard and put in the effort it pays off in the long run.”

“Something that Austin has said to me time and again is that this is a culmination of all the awesome teachers he’s had from elementary to high school,” said Erin Heilman, High Potential and Innovative Programs Coordinator. “His success shows the caliber of teaching staff we have in our district.” There are just 15,000 finalists throughout the country and Kellogg is one of them. He will now be in the running to be one of the 7,500 students across the country to receive a scholarship. Kellogg plans to attend a 4-year university, but he has yet to make a final decision. Kellogg will major in bio-medical or biological engineering. He will then go on to earn his PhD or attend medical school.

SHS Concert Choir Performs at State Convention

The choir performed at the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association State Convention in February.

Thank you, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community!

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) has awarded a $100,000 grant to our district for expanded mental health services, which will benefit the district’s preschool and high school students and parents. The grant will help the district provide additional services to help identify and support students struggling with mental health issues. They will also expand their education classes to help parents understand mental health, learn strategies for supporting their children, and assist them in seeking any necessary resources.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and their continued support of Shakopee schools,” said Gary Anger, Interim Superintendent of Shakopee Public Schools. “There are students in our district who have mental health issues that can result in roadblocks to their learning and everyday life. This grant will help us meet the needs of those students, and for that, we are grateful to the SMSC.”

Thank you, SEEF!

The Shakopee Education Endowment Foundation (SEEF) awarded Shakopee Public Schools $24,400 in grants for the 2017-18 school year to directly benefit our students. “With the help of your generous donations, SEEF, 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.

Each year, Shakopee teachers submit grant proposals for creative, educational projects they would like to implement. Since its inception in 1992, the Teacher Grant Program has awarded 455 grants totally more than $339,000 for teacher initiatives that enrich learning opportunities for students. SEEF grants enhance all academic subject areas - technology, fine arts, early childhood education and special education at all Shakopee public school sites. Without the foundation’s Teacher Grant Program, most of these projects would not be possible.

Teacher grants are SEEF’s means of supporting the excellence that has always highlighted the Shakopee School District. Funds to support the grants come from generous donations made by area businesses, service organizations, school district staff, community members and alumni. Some of the grants include: enriching reading for all students, developing interpersonal communication skills, building fine motor skills, and photography studio equipment.

Kindergarteners at Sun Path Elementary are making special trips to visit with residents at All Saints Living Center.

Community Comes Together to Provide Experience for Kindergarteners and Senior Citizens

What began as a trip to All Saints Senior Living, has become a tradition in a kindergarten class at Sun Path Elementary and several community organizations have helped along the way. Last year, teacher Sara Connell began taking her kindergarten class to visit the residents at All Saints Senior Living. And this year, the tradition continues with some new twists.

Sara applied for a SEEF (Shakopee Education Endowment Foundation) grant to buy 21 different toys, games and activities that work on fine motor skills, something that will benefit both senior citizens and kindergarteners. “Thanks to SEEF, the items purchased will help both age groups,” said Connell. “Together, they will be able to work together and form a bond while doing it.”

Another community organization came forward to help with the trips as well. “Last year I took my kids to All Saints once a month,” said Connell. “I had planned on walking over with my class. However, almost every time we were supposed to go over, it rained or was too cold.” The Lion’s Club donated the money needed for a bus to take the kindergarteners back and forth. Most recently, the students visited the residents on the 100th day of school. Some students even dressed as 100 year olds. The students and residents worked together on a Valentine’s Day present and then began to dig into their new items from SEEF.

“Each time we are visiting All Saints, the kindergarten students are brightening the days of residents who might not have many visitors and that might feel isolated,” said Connell. “They are learning that even though they are little, they have so much to contribute in our community. They are learning about older people and will have a better understanding of them. They are learning to develop empathy and trust when building the relationships with the residents.”

Shakopee Schools Celebrates American Indian Student Success

For the first time in Shakopee Public School’s history, our American Indian attendance rate topped the all student attendance rate compared to last school year. Historically, a gap has existed between the achievement of American Indian students and all students.

Shakopee Public Schools has 157 native students with 12 different tribes represented. We also have a rich history of honoring our American Indian student population by supporting the work of the Indian Education Program and the Indian Education Parent Committee. This program and committee supports the education of culture, history and language of the Dakota and Ojibwe people. They also host community events such as the student Pow Wow in the spring.

“Our American Indian students are committed to excellence, and are setting goals to graduate and attend college to pursue a wide range of careers,” said Dee Buros, American Indian Education Coordinator for Shakopee Schools. “In addition, Indian Education has a student-led leadership group whose mission is to use cultural relevance to connect education into action and to empower Native students to become leaders in their community.”

Click here, to learn more about Shakopee’s Indian Education program.

Saber Nation Station Provides Basic Needs to Students at Shakopee High School

Saber Nation Station

There’s a new place at Shakopee High School where students can get their basic needs met for free. It’s called the Saber Nation Station. Students in need can pick up free gently-used clothing, toiletries and school supplies.

The idea started with a group of parent volunteers who have been collecting items from the community and organizations throughout our community. In April of 2017, the Saber Nation Station opened and within the first week, more than 200 items were picked up with the store averaging 20-50 items picked up every week.

The store has been a group effort. 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.

“I love our Saber Nation Station,” said Jeff Pawlicki, Shakopee High School Principal. “If there is something that a student needs, a basic need, that’s going to help him or her get through their day, be more successful, we want to provide that. It’s actually grown into one of my favorite places in the high school. It’s great to know that we have a safe, welcoming area in our school that we can provide basic needs to all of our students.”

The Saber Nation Station is open before, during and after school and is located near the cafeteria. All items are free and available for students to take as needed.

Saber Nation Station Co-Founder and Shakopee School Board member Shawn Hallett being interviewed by Angela Davis from WCCO Channel 4.
The Saber Nation Station founders, Shawn Hallett and Kristin Koller, recently accepted a donation from Mrs. Koch's 5th grade class at Sweeney Elementary. The students made bracelets and sold them at the Sweeney school store to raise money to buy all the materials you see in the picture. We are so proud of our 5th graders and their generosity!

Bel's Books Gives Back for Another Year

Students at Sun Path Elementary got a surprise when Bel’s Books paid a visit to their class. Bel’s Books was started by Sun Path 4th grader, Ava and her father AJ in honor of their grandmother and mother, Bel.

“She was tough, loving and supportive,” said AJ, Ava’s father. “Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money. Many times we relied on the generosity of others. My mom always preached giving back when we could.”

Because it was engrained in him, his children now understand the importance of giving back. Ava saw that some of her friends didn’t get books from the book club and explained it was because that friend didn’t have enough money. So Ava decided she would work to raise money to buy the entire class books so no one felt left out.

Bel’s Books started with a GoFundMe page and then grew from there. Now, Bel’s Books has raised enough from donations to buy $20 worth of books for each student in three classes at Sun Path for the 2017-18 school year.

AJ was able to visit Ava’s class recently to explain the spirit behind the organization and help the students order their books. The books were delivered in April.

“We appreciate Sun Path for allowing us to help,” said AJ. “It makes us so happy to be able to do this. It puts a smile on all of our faces, our donors’ faces and I'm sure my mother’s face.”

Shakopee Public Schools, All Rights Reserved, 2018

Created by: Shakopee Public Schools | Department of Communications


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