Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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Afton Planning Commission members are hoping a proposal to allow chickens in residential neighborhoods doesn't ruffle any feathers. Changes to the city's livestock ordinance received support among planning commissioners at an Aug. 1 meeting, though commissioners did not take formal action on the proposal. The topic of chickens came to Planning Commission after several Afton City Council members heard from residents that they would like to house chickens on their property, but didn't reach the acre requirement.
This September Woodbury will be host to a 19 countries when the global education organization "Up with People" makes its way here. "Up with People," which has been in existence since 1965, will bring 100 members from around the world to Woodbury Sept. 12 to Sept. 18. The organization travels around the world doing community service projects. The current cast of "Up with People" ranges from 17 to 29 years old.
Editor's note: This is part of an occasional series on teachers' unique summer plans. Every summer East Ridge High School science teacher Nancy Berg can be seen jet-setting around the world with her husband Ryan. The Bergs have made a habit out of using summer vacations to go globe trotting. What started out roughly 30 years ago as a bit of a pipe dream has led to 104 countries and counting. However, this summer's trip to the island of Palau had been 25 years in the making. "For 25 years Palau has been the No. 1 thing on my bucket list to do," Nancy Berg said.
Editor's note: This is part of an occasional series on teachers' unique summer plans. East Ridge High School special education teacher Krissy Boyd said she loves teaching, and she would never do anything different. That devotion was reaffirmed when she spent the last six weeks experimenting in a lab as part of 3M's Teachers Working in Science and Technology (TWIST) program. "(TWIST) was a great reminder that I love teaching and I don't want to be in a lab all day," she said.
The Merrill Community Arts Center project has undergone some major revisions. Rather than being entirely housed in an addition at East Ridge High School, the center will now be divided between East Ridge and a space on Rivertown Drive. The initial vision, by Arts Connection, was to build a $4.1 million community arts center, to be attached to East Ridge High School's Loft Stage.
Parents and teachers often try to get across the message of safety to children, but where's the fun in that? But throw in some police officers, firefighters and outdoor activities, and now you're talking. That was the theme during the Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department-sponsored Youth Safety Camp. The safety camp was held July 26 and July 27 at Carver Lake Park. A total of 130 campers, grades 3 through 5, participated in the program.
Some District 833 students got an international tour last week - with food. District 833 Community Education's five-day "Cuisine From Around the World" cooking class was held at East Ridge High School. The class included eight students in grades seven through 12. The class is taught by the Kids in the Kitchen group. Kids in the Kitchen has been offering summer cooking classes for students within District 833 for the past three years. "Cuisine From Around the World" is a first-time class.
Local radio listeners will soon have a new station to consider on the FM dial. The station, 88.1, has secured Federal Communications Commission rights to broadcast in the Twin Cities Officials for the non-commercial station WAJC, backed by nonprofit Religious Information Network, said its programming will include local issues, local sports, local artists and its own Christian programming. "Our main purpose is educational," said Jill Martin Rische, director of programming.
Every year teachers are tasked with evaluating their students and making sure they can achieve their highest potential. A new law passed by state legislators, however, means that shoe will be on the other foot. The Legislature recently passed a new law requiring all teachers be evaluated each year. The law states all district employees will be required to be evaluated by a professional every three years, and by a peer for the other two years in the cycle. Currently District 833 performs formal teacher evaluations every three years, however, informal evaluations occur every year.
After five years, numerous extensions and countless delays, work will soon begin at Afton's first-ever clustered housing development, Cedar Bluff Homestead. Afton City Council received an update on the project during its July 19 meeting.