SPOTLIGHT

    • MonFeb26 Stevenson PTO Executive Board Meeting 6:00 PM to 7:00 PMStevenson Elementary
    • MonFeb26 7th and 8th Grade Band Ensemble Concert 7:00 PM to 8:00 PMMiddle school gym
    • MonFeb26 Stevenson PTO Budget and General Meeting 7:00 PM to 8:00 PMStevenson Elementary
    • TueFeb27 FMS Conferences 4:00 PM to 8:00 PMFridley Middle School
    • TueFeb27 Stevenson Conferences 4:00 PM to 8:00 PMStevenson Elementary

Fridley Superintendent Job Announcement

Fridley Public Schools superintendent Dr. Peggy Flathmann has announced her intent to retire at the end of this school year on June 30, 2018.  Accordingly, the Fridley School Board is now conducting a search for an outstanding leader and invite applications from qualified and interested candidates for the position of superintendent of Fridley Public Schools.

Click here for more information about the position, application procedure and search timeline.

   

Fridley High School music students learned new skills and styles during a creative funk music workshop on February 16, 2018. Midwest-based funk band Porky’s Groove Machine led the hour-long session for students in varsity band, jazz ensemble, concert band and choir. The six-member band includes Luke Rivard, Casey Frensz, Marshall Yoes, Matt Lowe, Nick Allen and Ilan Blanck.

The workshop was designed to encourage creativity and fun with music at school, which can be difficult to incorporate during concert performance schedules. The workshop also teaches students about the vast variety and styles of music, and that musical skills learned at school can be built upon with a little jamming practice.

“I think many high school music students don’t really realize what they can do with what they’ve learned,” said band member Ilan Blanck.

Fellow band member Nick Allen agreed. “When I graduated high school, many of the best musicians who had been in school ensembles their whole lives just stopped playing, as soon as they didn’t have the director giving them curriculum. We want to give musicians the practical skills to just play, with their friends and for themselves, beyond your part, which can be a limitation because of how music is often taught at schools,” he said.

Porky’s Groove Machine has released several albums and has toured around the nation. As all the band members are teaching music either at a school or in private lessons, the musicians decided to create the music education workshop to share with students across the Midwest.

The band members agreed that teaching music education is incredibly rewarding.

“We love being able to inject something kind of goofy and different into the school day," band member Matt Lowe said. “We want to show kids how awesome playing music can be and hopefully inspire them to keep playing.”

Fridley High School band director Becca Shuman was glad that this opportunity was provided to her students. She said Porky’s Groove Machine is a perfect example of what you can do with music beyond high school.

“I loved that it showed kids that you don’t just have to limit yourself to one style of music and play in concert bands all the time,” Shuman said.

She added, “I loved that the students get to step out of their comfort zones. That’s the whole point, taking that whole experience and applying it to our music, whether it’s jamming as a group or being creative with improvisation. It’s very helpful to have all those connections be made.”

Shuman said there is a lot of value in learning to play in an improvisation and jamming style.

“Not only is it low pressure and really fun, it’s also great to learn how to communicate within the ensemble and listening and knowing what the other instruments are doing. You’re working as a team rather than just as a bunch of individuals. That’s really helpful for creating that group team effort that we look for in concert bands,” said Shuman.

   

   

   

R.L. Stevenson Elementary School celebrated its African American Parent Involvement Day on Friday, February 16, 2018. Stevenson students in all grades invited their moms and dads in to share their school experience and meet administrators, staff and teachers.

Stevenson's family and cultural liaison Hope Laroche said that National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) is an incredibly important event at Stevenson.

"NAAPID is a day for all parents to come to their child’s school, experience a portion of their child’s day, and support their child’s educational success," said Laroche. She added that the goals of the national event are to address the serious achievement gap facing African American students and promote and provide strategies for all parents and students to take full advantage of the educational process at all levels of the educational system.

"Additionally, we want to promote parent involvement in their child's education," Laroche said. "When parents and schools work together to promote academic achievement, children succeed at higher rates. Student success is our ultimate goal as an institution, and that is why we will continue to encourage and support parental involvement at our school."

Members of the first graduating class of Fridley High School’s International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (CP) presented their culminating program projects on February 8, 2018. The inaugural celebration was held to honor the two seniors who completed their Reflective Projects. Seniors Justin Anderson and Jozefa Vescio Schreiner (pictured right with Career & Technical Education Teacher Michelle Miner) are the first students to complete the program at Fridley High School since the school earned CP authorization in 2016. Both Justin and Jozefa are on the Information Technology Career Pathway, one of the two CP pathways that Fridley High School offers.

The CP is a framework of international education which aims to prepare students to be career-ready upon graduation. CP coursework is designed to build knowledgeable and highly-skilled workers and offers an opportunity to become certified in a specialized skill. Fridley High School currently offers two CP pathways, Information Technology and Emergency Medical Technician/Emergency Medical Responder (EMT/EMR).

The Reflective Project is the culminating piece of work for CP students. Within their chosen career field, students take components learned in their CP pathway and core courses to identify and analyze an ethical dilemma found in a respective industry. The project allows students to think critically and creatively to further explore different perspectives, as well as consider potential solutions to problems they may have to face in the future.

“The Reflective Project is an opportunity for our students to dig deep into issues in their chosen career field,” Career & Technical Education teacher Michelle Miner said. “They look at all the different sides, how does the issue identified affect our local community? How does it impact the worldwide community? It’s a fun project because there really is no right answer, but its teaching our students to look into ethics and how to solve ethical issues.”

Miner said teaching these skills is important in this day and age. “Since our world is so full of instant information, and not necessarily truthful information, this is helping our students to work through and think about what is right and wrong,” Miner said.

Both Justin and Jozefa are planning to complete a two-year computer engineering/computer science program at Hennepin Technical College upon graduation. With the valuable hands-on skills that they have gained from CP, both are confident in their abilities and are excited about the future.

Justin said his main reason for choosing the CP was because he had the opportunity to job shadow and engage in hands-on work. He added that completing the CP also allowed him to take rigorous Diploma Programme (DP) courses.

“I had a lot of fun in CP,” Justin said. “My favorite part about it was helping with the Hour of Code at Stevenson Elementary.” The Hour of Code is an annual activity that allows Stevenson students to engage in an hour of learning about coding and computer science.

“It was really nostalgic going to Stevenson and helping the kids, and maybe helping them to spark an interest in computers,” said Justin.

Jozefa knew that the CP would be a great opportunity to take specific technology classes while in high school.

“I’ve learned a lot in these classes, in computer science and A Plus,” Jozefa said. “This CP pathway gives you a very marketable skill. Especially with the rise of technology, more and more companies are hiring specialized tech workers. It’s really been a great experience to get into technology before you’re out in the real world.”

Both Jozefa and Justin have been interested in computers since they were young and always knew they wanted to pursue a career in the technology field. Miner said, for students with specific interests like this, the CP is an unbeatable opportunity to gain experience in either the technology field or EMT/EMR.

“If you’re thinking about attending a technical college or thinking about a skill-specific career, then CP is a great option,” said Miner. “CP is attuned to what your needs are, so you’re getting the skills that you need to be successful after you leave Fridley.”

Through CP, students can also earn college credits which are transferable to many local technical colleges, including Hennepin Technical College or Century College. Students also have the option of earning certification. On the IT Pathway, students can earn A Plus Certification which is an entry-level  computer certification for PC computer service technicians. Students on the EMT/EMR Pathway can earn EMT certification, which would allow them to become an emergency medical technician upon graduation.

“We just want our kids to look back at their Fridley education and know that they are prepared in whatever they aim to do,” said Miner. “With the CP pathways, we can get you ready, you can walk out of school with credits and certification, and be ready for a career. We just want our kids to be prepared for their futures.”

Jozefa Vescio Schreiner presenting her IBCP Reflective Project on the ethics of cybersecurity.

Justin Anderson presenting his IBCP Reflective Project on the ethics of privacy and Internet service providers. 


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