Newsletters 2015-16 Focus newsletter, [3] winter

Innovative program keeps JMS students in class Anoka High School art teacher named best in state Anoka-Hennepin Technical High School opens its doors Girls on the Run program boosting confidence at UAE page 2 page 3 page 6 page 7 FOCUS ANOKA - HENNEPIN SCHOOL ON ANOKA-HENNEPIN SCHOOLS Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation celebrates 25 years helping students succeed DISTRICT WINTER 2016 Optimism fuels student success By Superintendent David Law I marvel at the jolt of positive energy that the new year can bring to all of us, but particularly to our students. In our schools, we are fortunate to have this happen a second time when our students return from winter break. Fifth grade students at Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School in Brooklyn Center participate in a program called Dance to Learn, which educators say helps children boost confidence and learn how to work with others, but in a different way than you would find in a traditional classroom setting. The program is also the kind of innovation the Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation is looking for when it awards grants, and is one of the reasons why it helped fund Dance to Learn. On Feb. 27, the Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF) will be celebrating something that is only possible due to a generous community that believes in the power of education. “This is our 25th anniversary,” said Tess DeGeest, the AHEF’s executive director. “We’re celebrating a quarter-century of supporting Anoka-Hennepin’s educators and students and supporting innovation and academic achievement.” It’s funny to think about, DeGeest said. Twenty-five years is a long time. The kindergarteners who were just starting their educations during the 1990-91 school year when the AHEF launched, are 30-year-old parents today, and in many cases, the same people who are helping lead the foundation forward. “When you think of it that way — it’s just really uplifting and inspiring. Our community is so generous and amazing and it really loves our schools,” she said. the state of school funding was a bit messy when the foundation began. “A lot of the money for schools is spoken for. We were hoping that the foundation would provide some money that would give that extra flexibility,” Gander said. And the AHEF did just that. From the beginning, the foundation solicited grants and donations, all of which were funneled right back into the classroom. But as time went on, simply providing more money to schools wasn’t enough, Gander and Ragland said. “The bigger reason that has grown in importance over the life of the foundation is the opportunity to be innovative,” Ragland said. “To support innovation and progress in the schools is something that affects our whole future.” Genesis A shining example of where innovation and a funding gap meet is the Dance to Learn program at Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School in Brooklyn Center. The AHEF was the answer to a common problem in public education: a shortage of money. According to Larry Ragland and Bob Gander, two of the foundation’s founding members, Innovation continued on page 4 Save the date! GALLAGHER MEMORIAL 5K Saturday, April 16 Anoka High School • 3939 7th Ave. N, Anoka • Proceeds support literacy in our local public schools. • Registration starts at 8 a.m. 5K run at 9 a.m. • Pre-register to receive a t-shirt. • Preschoolers’ run at 8:30 a.m. • Participating children receive a free book! A collective “can do” attitude prevails in our school hallways and classrooms during these times of positivity. This is likely because you don’t have to look far to find evidence of outstanding performance by our students and staff. One of our district’s strategic priorities is to prepare students for college or career options after school. AnokaHennepin students can take pride in placing the district on the prestigious Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll, one of only 11 Minnesota districts. This distinction recognizes increased student achievement in AP courses, a factor which also results in providing early college credits. It’s the fifth year in a row that the district has received this honor, increasing the number of students that are able to afford college through their achievement in these classes. continued on page 6 Make Anoka-Hennepin part of your social media anokahennepin ahschools anokahennepin