• WedOct18 ECFE Classes closed Fridley Community Center
    • WedOct18 NO PRESCHOOL - Preschool Conferences Fridley Community Center
    • WedOct18 NO SCHOOL - Staff Development (Tiger Club OPEN)
    • WedOct18 ALC Conferences 7:15 AM to 11:15 AMArea Learning Center
    • WedOct18 FHS Conferences 7:15 AM to 11:15 AMFridley High School

On October 17, 2017, Fridley students at the Area Learning Center (ALC) volunteered to carve 30 pumpkins to contribute to “Pumpkin Night in the Park” at Springbrook Nature Center which will take place this weekend.

Every year, Springbrook Nature Center invites community members to help carve a total of 1,000 pumpkins for the Halloween event. Former ALC Principal Dr. Rob Smith started the tradition of carving pumpkins at the school 8 years ago.

ALC teacher Josh Thurston said the ALC has continued to volunteer because it is a unique experience that builds community within the building. He added that it serves as an opportunity to give back to others in the Fridley community.

“Our students really enjoy doing something different during the school day that is meaningful and fun,” Thurston said. “Many of them have been to Springbrook in the past and remember the experiences that they have had there as middle school or elementary students at the 'Pumpkin Night in the Park.' They want others to have similar experiences that they have had.”

See the ALC students’ creativity shine through the candlelight glow of freshly carved jack-o-lanterns at “Pumpkin Night in the Park,” occurring this Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Springbrook Nature Center, 100 85th Ave NW, Fridley.



The Fridley High School music department students were treated to a special performance by Cantus on October 11, 2017. Cantus is an internationally known eight-member men’s vocal a cappella ensemble based in Minneapolis.

Each year, the artists of Cantus share their love of singing with thousands of students through workshops and master classes to ensure the future of choral arts. The “Cantus High School Residency” is a program that is awarded to three high schools in the Twin Cities metro area each year. Fridley Public Schools was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the three high schools to receive this program for the 2017-18 school year.

The residency is a multi-faceted, year-long program which includes master classes and collaborations with the singers of Cantus, a free in-school concert, free tickets to Cantus home concerts, a “festival day” where schools and directors work together to rehearse and learn, and a culminating concert in spring 2018 featuring the high school choirs and Cantus.

When asked what this experience means to her students, choir director Nikki Zeleny said, “This is everything, to have our amazing Fridley singers get to work with this caliber of talent is beyond cool. We happen to be so lucky that this international touring a cappella group is based here in the cities -- getting to see my students ask insightful questions about these professional singers, and next time sing with them, is a dream.”

Zeleny shared that Cantus had a great selection of pieces. “From classics like Eric Whitacre’s ‘Lux Aurumque’, a choral staple that they also performed at Carnegie Hall, a beautiful arrangement of ‘Wanting Memories’, a Japanese classic ‘Hotaru Koi’, and my personal favorite of the concert, an amazing 8 part arrangement of ‘True Colors’,” said Zeleny.

Fridley High School’s Vernon C. Knutson Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 22 new members on October 9, 2017 at its 60th annual ceremony. They joined eleven additional members already in the society.

More than just honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. To be eligible for membership, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.4.

Dedicated to the four principles of NHS outlined above, these hard-working students stand out as leaders in their school in honesty and humility. The Vernon C. Knutson Chapter of the NHS is open to juniors and seniors through an application process in the fall. NHS members will serve their school and community throughout the year by participating in activities that include serving at the Distinguished Alumni dinner, holding a blood drive, a food drive, raking leaves, working concessions during basketball games, among others. Students also participate in an additional 15 hours of community service outside of school, as well as attend monthly NHS meetings.

Back row, l to r: Petra Owusu, Cassandra Corraya, Andrew Buirge, Andrew Akermann,  Tenzin Nyingpo, Caleb Brandt, Wyatte Chaffee, Graham Hoglund,. Michael Yocum, Mario Johnson, RaeLee Knutson, Alissa Marquardt

Middle row, l to r: Jennie Ollila, Ben Stevenson, Sierra Lewis, Katlin Quarnstrom, Hani Sirad, Jessenia Solorzano, Hailee Schalwig, Audrey Zeleny, Daegia Vang

Front row, l to r: Saralynn Ness, Carson Brady, Spencer Brady, Iman Ahmed, Johannah Barrett, Samantha Dean, Kathrine Kruc, Lucy Kuempel, Gao-je Vang, Nic Fite, Olivia Fredrickson

The brisk weather, colorful trees and crunching leaves set the scene for the 21st annual Fridley Kid’s Apple Run on October 10, 2017.

The Fridley grade 7-12 Cross Country team hosts the annual run for grade K-6 students in the district. Depending on grade level, students run a 600 to 1,000 meters race around Commons Park, led by a few varsity Cross Country team members. As the name of the event intends, students are then met at the finish line with an apple. Prior to the race, the Cross Country team teaches the young participants stretches and exercise techniques to prepare them for the run.

“This event is a great opportunity for our student athletes in grades 7-12 to put into action the idea of service to their community,” Cross Country Coach Brad Fisher said. “Our focus is on making great memories for our students and families, and hopefully inspiring these young children to be active, healthy and develop a love for running.”

Bob’s Produce, a local deli and grocery store, has donated apples every year to the annual event.

“Apples are handed to every finisher,” Fisher said. “We hope that this encourages our students to eat fruit and maintain a healthy diet.”

He added that the team is fortunate to have many community connections in place with sponsors to make this event possible.

“We were fortunate to have sponsorship money to help us provide t-shirts to every runner from the North Suburban Striders running organization and Stevenson Elementary PTO,” Fisher said. “Students are able to wear these shirts to school and in the community and feel a sense of pride for completing the Kid’s Apple Run race.”

The tradition was started 21 years ago by former Fridley Cross Country coach and teacher Jeff Bullard in 1996. Fisher said many members of his current Cross Country team and their families have fond memories of the Apple Run in the past.

“I do think this event helps encourage kids to join athletics,” Fisher said. “This race has been a long standing tradition here at Fridley, and the Cross Country team is very proud to be able to serve the community by hosting the event for the young kids.”



Click to view the event photo album!

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