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Three Fridley Public Schools staff members were awarded grants for their ideas submitted into the Idea Lab, a crowd-based innovation platform designed to engage all voices and elevate ideas through a strategic process.

The Idea Lab is a three-phase process, with the first phase providing an open digital environment for staff to share ideas with colleagues. A total of 58 ideas were submitted by 41 staff members. In the second phase, staff members vote and comment on which ideas they favor. There were nearly 7,500 votes made by staff. The top three ideas were selected for grants. The staff members who submitted the ideas will now form a team to help formulate a plan of implementation using the design thinking process.

Idea Lab winners included:

  • Michelle Miner, Career & Tech. Ed. teacher at Fridley High School - Use of courtyard space at Fridley High School for outdoor classrooms, additional student space, etc.

  • Brad Fisher, Special Education teacher at Fridley High School - Building Construction Class at Fridley High School

  • Amy Engler, Fridley High School and Fridley Middle School Dean - Community Garden at Fridley High School and Fridley Middle School

Through design thinking workshops, teams will form prototypes of their ideas to be tested before the end of the 2018-19 school year.


    

  

On a mission to fight pollution, Stevenson kindergarten students kicked off a school-wide initiative as they ‘saved seeds’ on January 11, 2019. With the help of parent volunteers, the kindergarteners harvested seeds from prairie plants, which will later be transplanted into the rain and butterfly garden, located in the center of the school’s parking lot roundabout. This was the beginning of the Stevenson Seed Relay, which will involve all grade-levels throughout the spring.

In 2018, Stevenson Elementary was awarded the Outdoor Learning on the Riverfront grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. The grant provided resources to create a rain and butterfly garden at the school, as well as fund a partnership with Heidi Ferris of Growing Green Hearts. Ferris is an environment STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education specialist who partners with schools and community groups to boost science literacy in programs and create on-site solutions for a number of today’s environmental issues.

In 2017, Stevenson – located just to the east of the Mississippi River - restructured its parking lot, creating a new parent pick-up and drop-off roundabout. The center of the roundabout now houses the rain and butterfly garden, which captures and filters stormwater runoff before it enters the river. The garden also provides an outdoor learning space for the students at Stevenson. Students have the opportunity to participate in multiple hands-on learning experiences while taking action to create a meaningful and beneficial habitat.

Students at Stevenson are learning about prairie plants and rain gardens, as well as the importance of providing habitats for butterflies, birds and bees. The kindergarteners harvested seeds from various plants, including milkweed, black-eyed Susan and dogwood, which will then be planted by 1st graders in February. The school-wide initiative will allow all grade-levels to participate in the creation of the rain and butterfly garden. Students will monitor the process as seeds grow indoors until April, when 2nd grade students will transplant the plants into the rain garden. In May, 3rd and 4th grade students will also plant in the rain garden.

“As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, we work to engage students in meaningful and relevant learning experiences,” said Stevenson IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator Veronica Mathison. “Hands-on, inquiry-based learning is at the center of instruction in the IB. This entire project also allows our students to take action and directly see the benefits and results from their work as we create a garden to foster wildlife, as well as protect the environment.”

  

  

  

Fridley Public Schools January 2019 Employee of the Month is Lisa Schloegl, paraprofessional at Stevenson Elementary. Lisa began with Fridley Public Schools as a substitute in the Health Offices in 2011. In 2013, she began her role as a paraprofessional.

According to her co-workers, Lisa is thoughtful, hardworking and very compassionate towards every student in the classroom.

Stevenson Principal Daryl Vossler describes Lisa as dependable, caring and a joy to work with.

“She is willing to do whatever needs to be done to ensure the success of our school,” said Vossler. “Not only does she do a great job during the school day, but she often volunteers at Stevenson events. Lisa is a great employee and we are lucky to have her at Stevenson Elementary.”

Congratulations, Lisa, and keep up the good work!

 

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