SPOTLIGHT

    • SatMar23 7th & 8th Grade Musical Production 2:00 PMFHS Auditorium
    • MonMar25 Boys Tennis begins (Grades 9-12) FHS
    • MonMar25 Community Education Spring-Summer 2019 Catalog now available
    • MonMar25 No ECFE Classes and Creative Creative Play Center Programming
    • MonMar25 Early Childhood Screening 11:00 AM to 6:00 PMFCC

  

From building circuits to making mini-catapults, the activities at Stevenson Elementary School’s Science and Engineering Night fueled an interest in science and technology - igniting the creative minds of over 400 students and their families.

The event, held on March 14, 2019, offered a multitude of activities that filled the classrooms, gymnasium, and media center at Stevenson. The activities were provided through a partnership with the Works Museum, an interactive technology and science museum located in Bloomington, Minn.

Students constructed shapes and models with Wedgits, which are building blocks that add geometry and symmetry to the construction process. Their excitement was palpable as they completed wire circuits with batteries which powered fan motors and mini-light bulbs. The students also tackled the “Super Stick Structure Challenge,” working together to build free-standing structures with sticks and rubber bands. Across the entire school, students and parents could be found using their critical thinking skills to build, design, create and experiment.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for our students and their families to engage in activities that would foster a love for science and engineering,” said Veronica Mathison, the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator. “It was amazing to see all families working together to design products and problem-solve throughout the process.”

As an IB World School, all students at Stevenson Elementary learn from the inquiry-based PYP framework. Through engaging activities and lessons at Science and Engineering Night, students were encouraged to be curious and experiment as lifelong learners. Families were also able to take home projects and ideas that students can work on at home.

Mathison said the school is incredibly grateful to the teachers, parents, and staff members who volunteered to make the event possible.

She added that feedback from families was overwhelmingly positive. “We were so thrilled with the number of students and families who came out to participate. Thank you to everyone who attended!” said Mathison.


  

  

  

 

Fridley High School senior Nadia Hawkins was thrilled to receive her acceptance notification to Carleton College, one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the nation. However, the letter that followed a few days later far exceeded her expectations - Nadia received more than $70,000 in grant and scholarship funds from the college.

“I felt so relieved,” said Nadia. “After my initial visit there, I absolutely loved it and it became my number one choice, but I knew it was going to be expensive. I just wasn’t expecting such a big number!”

When Nadia was applying to colleges in the fall, she added Carleton to her Common Application, an online admissions portal that allows students to apply to multiple colleges and universities. Before she finished, she was contacted by a Carleton College admissions officer, who highly encouraged her to consider the school. Carleton, located in Northfield, Minn., is a small, private liberal arts college known for rigorous academics, selective admissions, and notable alumni.

“The Carleton admissions officer told me that I reminded her of herself based on my application and college essay,” said Nadia. In Nadia’s essay, she wrote about how emotions cannot be used as a reliable source of evidence in arguments.

“Emotions strengthen arguments beyond our ability to oppose them. You can’t necessarily measure one person’s emotions in comparison to another’s. I argued that if you are going to use them as a reliable source of evidence, then they have to be backed up by facts,” she said. “She read my essay and said it reminded her of what she learned at Carleton, and if this is something I’m interested in, then I should look into the school,” Nadia said.

The topic of Nadia’s creative college essay prompt stemmed from a final project she completed in Theory of Knowledge (ToK), an International Baccalaureate (IB) class, during her junior year at Fridley High School. The final essay required students to compare and contrast the different areas of knowledge. Throughout the years, projects completed in ToK have allowed multiple Fridley High School students to earn valuable opportunities, like presenting their projects as TED-Ed Talks at worldwide conferences in New York City and Vancouver.

After the admissions officer arranged her campus visit, complete with transportation and class sit-ins, Nadia immediately settled on her decision to attend Carleton.

“I really liked the whole environment there,” she said. “The climate actually reminded me of Fridley. People were supportive and are there to help - there was a real sense of community.”

Nadia said she has always wanted to attend a prestigious college like Carleton. In preparation for college-level academics, she enrolled in Fridley High School’s IB Diploma Programme (DP) and is currently working to earn her IB Diploma. The IB DP is offered to juniors and seniors at Fridley High School and requires an extensive amount of coursework, lengthy essays, difficult exams and hours of community service, along with internal and external assessments. Students who take advantage of this opportunity often stand out to college admissions officers, as the program is known worldwide as a challenging, intellectual experience, and readily prepares high school students for the academic rigor of college classes.

“It’s been stressful, but I’m definitely learning a lot in terms of time management and work ethic,” said Nadia. “I’m thankful now because I know how to approach writing for big projects, studying for important midterms, and balancing coursework. I feel ready to walk into college classes with this experience.”

Nadia added that the fundamentals of the IB curriculum framework have helped to develop her as a person.

“I would recommend this path to other students because I’ve learned so many skills from being at an IB school. I know how to defend my opinions, look at everything from different perspectives, and how certain subjects can be interpreted based on different factors,” she said. “I’ve become more open-minded and my international view is different.”

In addition, Nadia is highly-involved in multiple clubs and activities. She is treasurer of the Student Council and has participated in theater, Improv club, speech team, Youth In Government, Gay-Straight Alliance, and Tigers United, a culturally and linguistically responsive team of students who provide feedback to teachers and staff in regard to positive school culture.

When considering majors, Nadia has a breadth of interests that she wants to explore, including English and history, but she’s currently leaning toward biology.

“Right now, I’m leaning towards becoming a doctor,” said Nadia. “I want to do research and solve the world’s problems, particularly in genetic conditions and disorders.”

Nadia added that she is thankful for her support system, which includes her mother and two sisters, as well as the helpful teachers, staff and classmates at Fridley High School.

Congratulations, Nadia, and we wish you best of luck at Carleton College!



Congratulations to the Fridley Public Schools March 2019 Employee of the Month – the custodial and grounds team at Fridley Public Schools!

“Throughout the winter, our custodial and grounds team has put in extra time before school, after school, and on the weekends,” said Buildings and Grounds Director Jason Bichler. “They have been doing everything they can to keep the schools safe for students and staff.”

In January and February 2019, the Twin Cities metro area experienced record-breaking amounts of snowfall and dangerous wind-chill. With the extreme weather, the custodial and grounds team worked tirelessly at all schools and buildings across the district removing snow, deicing, cleaning, and doing all they can to ensure the safety of others.

“I could not be more proud of the overall team effort that has taken place with employees,” said Bichler. “No matter if we are dealing with machinery that is down, or dangerous wind chills – the team still does what is needed to make the facilities as safe as possible.  They have been doing an awesome job and it shows!”

Fridley Public Schools would like to give a big thank you to the 23 members of the custodial and grounds team! We appreciate your hard work!

Congratulations to:

Joshua Denzer (Head of Grounds), Casey Nelson (Lead Custodian / Grounds), Trent Wisocki (Lead Custodian, Fridley Community Center), John Medina  (Fridley Community Center), K’Neisha Walker (Fridley Community Center), Mark McClernan (Lead Custodian, Hayes), Kelly Brent Nelson (Hayes Elementary), Michael Davis (Stevenson & Hayes), Lance Koller (Lead Custodian, Stevenson), John Zerwas (Stevenson Elementary), Jeffrey Regan (Head Custodian, Fridley Middle School), David Morgan (Maintenance, Fridley Middle School), Marty Nyhus (Fridley Middle School), Warren Brewer (Fridley Middle School), Tim Buttweiler (Head Custodian, Fridley High School), Seth Hamm (Maintenance, Fridley High School), Denesha Dixon (Fridley High School), Maximillian Nicol (Fridley High School), Joseph Hamm (ALC, FMS, FHS), Ashton George (District-wide), Vicki Johnson (District-wide), William Warhol (District-wide), and Paul-Walter Walker (District-wide).

    

Many community members enjoyed an afternoon of jazz performed by the Fridley High School (FHS) Jazz Ensemble at Crooners Supper Club in Fridley on March 3, 2018. The band performed a 90 minute set with classic songs like Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder, What a Wonderful World by George Douglas & George David Weiss, Hocus Pocus by Larry Barton, among others.

Nearly 25 students participate in jazz band classes at FHS. FHS Band Director Becca Shuman said that this was the first time that many of her students performed in a jazz club.

“Performing in a real jazz club is totally different than performing at a high school band concert, and our students performed incredibly well,” said Shuman. Each jazz band had to learn seven different pieces to fill the set, while a typical band concerts feature 2-3 songs by each band.

“They practiced a lot on their own and came in for extra rehearsals before school and during lunch,” said Shuman. “The hard work paid off and it was a great experience for our students!”

On March 4, the FHS Jazz Ensemble also performed at the Jazz Coffee Concert held at Fridley Middle School (FMS). The concert offered coffee and cookies while the FMS Jazz Band and the two FHS Jazz Bands performed songs for family, staff and community members.  

Upcoming events: The FHS Bands Spring Concert will take place on Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. in the FHS Auditorium. In addition, the community is welcome to attend and enjoy the annual Fridley Fine Arts Festival on May 4 from 6-8 p.m. at FHS. Check the calendar in May for more opportunities to enjoy music from our talented students during the 6th, 7th and 8th grade band concerts, as well as the FHS Bands Pops Concert.



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