SPOTLIGHT

    • MonSep25 Homecoming Week Fridley High School
    • MonSep25 Stevenson PTO Executive Board Meeting 6:00 PM to 7:00 PMStevenson Elementary
    • MonSep25 Stevenson PTO Budget and General Meeting 7:00 PM to 8:00 PMStevenson Elementary
    • TueSep26 Homecoming Week Fridley High School
    • TueSep26 Stevenson Fundraiser due Stevenson Elementary


 

Click here to see the event photo album!

 

A sea of yellow marched around Commons Park in honor of the very first Fridley Schools Foundation Walk-a-thon on September 20, 2017. The Foundation launched the inaugural event to raise money to be used for student scholarships and innovation teacher grants in Fridley Public Schools classrooms.

President of the Fridley Schools Foundation Renee VanGorp said the event exceeded expectations.

“This was something brand new that we were trying,” VanGorp said. “And when the day came, there was perfect weather. It was so fun to see everyone in their black and gold t-shirts with such high energy. I would say it was a huge success for our inaugural event.”

The event raised nearly $2,000 to put toward needs at Fridley Public Schools. Additionally, the Fridley Lions Club and Nelson’s Cheese and Deli gave generous donations toward the cause.

The Fridley Schools Foundation is pushing to create more community events this year to raise additional funds for innovation grants.

“One of the reasons that we’re doing more fundraising this year is to raise money so our schools can apply for innovation grants to offer unique opportunities in the classrooms,” VanGorp shared.

If a teacher has a vision for their classroom, they are able to apply for grants to make their dream a reality through Fridley Schools Foundation donations. These classroom needs can include funding for a field trip, school supplies, technology devices or software and more. These grants are meant to ensure equitable opportunities for all Fridley students, as well as promote the unlimited possibilities in FPS classrooms.

VanGorp said she is thankful to the entire Fridley community for stepping up to support the schools.

“I’m so thankful to everyone who participated,” VanGorp said. “There were a lot of people behind the scenes, donating and helping with the event. We also had so much support from within the school with the faculty and staff. It was just such a great day for a walk.”

Coming in January is the Fridley Schools Foundation’s first Black & Gold gala. The event will feature a silent auction, dinner, and a live auction. Save the date now for January 25, 2018. Stay tuned for more details!

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States and in Minnesota. As overdose deaths have been growing at an alarming rate, the Minnesota Attorney General's Office and the Anoka County Attorney's Office have partnered to share a 'Dose of Reality' to help prevent prescription painkiller abuse in the state.

The public is invited to attend the Dose of Reality forum on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Fridley High School Auditorium. The event is held in partnership with the Fridley Police Department, Fridley School District and Cops and Clergy. This will be the first in a three-part series on the current opioid epidemic.

Key note speakers include Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo who will speak about the Anoka County Attorney's Office involvement in the Dose of Reality program. He will also speak about opioid trends in Anoka County and what his office is doing to combat the problem.

Dr. David Romans, an Emergency Room Physician at Mercy Hospital-Unity Campus, will speak about the opioid epidemic from a medical perspective, including what he is seeing at the local hospital and what the medical profession is doing to combat the problem.

The event will also feature a panel discussion to answer audience member's questions. Panel members will include Palumbo, Romans and a representative from the Fridley School District.

Click here to learn more about the Dose of Reality program.

 

 

In honor of National Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Week, the Fridley Public Schools GEAR UP program hosted local college and university booths, as well as many fun-filled games and activities, from September 18-22.

“This week, we just want to get the ‘college-going’ culture up and going for the year,” Rebecca Walker, interim GEAR UP director said. “We’ve had various colleges everyday during lunch to come in and talk with students, give them information, and get them thinking and excited about college.”

In addition, students were able to sign up for their Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID which is used to log into U.S. Department of Education websites and is necessary when applying for financial aid. Students also shared their goals and dreams for the future on a ‘dream wall’ and participated in other activities, including a spinning wheel where students spun to answer questions regarding an aspect of college or GEAR UP.

GEAR UP is a federal grant initiative that partners with schools to offer support services to middle and high schools. The program is meant to prepare students to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

The grant serves one grade level of students beginning in 7th grade and follows the cohort through high school graduation and their first year of college. Fridley Public Schools has provided services to students since 2012 through a partnership with Hennepin Technical College and will celebrate its graduating class at the end of this school year in 2018.

The grant program provides students with critical early college awareness and support activities like tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education and college scholarships which can help improve access of higher education to low-income, minority and disadvantaged first-generation students and their families.

Coming up in October is College Knowledge Month, a statewide effort that aims to prepare and support every graduating high school senior to apply for college.

Walker said the month will be busy with many GEAR UP programs, including a presentation from the Student Success Agency. The initiative is a virtual mentoring organization which will pair up 50 Fridley students with current college students or young professionals to offer them support and mentor them along their journey of applying to, getting into and going to college.

Walker is also strongly encouraging students to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early, an application process that opens on October 1. Additionally, the last week of October is Free Application Week, where many college and universities offer fee waivers. Walker said Fridley staff will be doing a lot with seniors to assist in submitting applications throughout the week.

“We really want to help our students so they don’t have to worry so much about that financial obligation of applying to, and going to college,” Walker said. She added that there will be workshops available during parent-teacher conferences, where bank partners will be presenting on financial literacy and how postsecondary options are attainable for all students.

The class of 2018 has had numerous GEAR UP opportunities throughout their middle school and high school career and many are ready to take the next step in their educational journey.

“So now that our students are finally seniors, they are not only ready to enter college, but they are ready to succeed because they have the necessary skills in place and have been practicing them for so long,” Walker said.

Learn more about Fridley Public Schools and GEAR UP here.

 

Although they are close in proximity, there are many differences between Fridley High School (FHS) and Fridley Middle School (FMS), which can cause a sort of disconnect for incoming freshmen.

According to Anthony Branitski, physical education teacher at FHS, there is a need for a sense of unity and ease of transition when middle school 8th graders take the leap into the high school.

Branitski has been working at FMS for the past 12 years and recently transferred to FHS for the 2017-18 school year. In an effort to bridge the gap for students, Branitski and FMS P.E. teacher Jason Kupcho are beginning the school year by giving his 9th graders an opportunity to mentor 8th and 5th graders at the middle school.

“I love giving kids mentorship roles,” Branitski said. “They step up to the occasion every time.”

The 9th grade P.E. students are currently in a newly created class called “Better You” which focuses on self-care and social, emotional and mental health. The students created a four-day written plan to offer the middle schoolers information about the high school and words of advice.

“We started with ideas about academic success, including things that worked for them and other things that they learned the hard way,” Branitski said. “We also talked about the importance of friend choices and social media.”

The students also played games and had the opportunity to make connections and build friendships with the younger students. The last piece that the high schoolers shared with the middle schools was their top 10 reasons of why they are enjoying the high school.

“We really want our middle schoolers to feel excited about coming up to the high school,” Branitski said. “I think this was a great chance to have a buddy system where they can hear about all the exciting things that are happening here.”

He said he was very impressed by his high schoolers for stepping up and taking advantage of this leadership opportunity.

“They’ve really turned that corner of maturity,” he said. “They probably wouldn’t admit this, but I feel like it was a very empowering experience. We definitely want to keep looking for ways to bridge the middle school and the high school together.”





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