Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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When Bill and Kris Johnson of Woodbury were approved to transfer their son, Alex, out of the Woodbury High School attendance area into East Ridge High School's area, they expected their daughter, Lauren, would also be allowed to go to there. But a possible change in the district transfer policy, discussed at the Nov. 3 District 833 School Board workshop, would end transfers to East Ridge because of space concerns. The Johnsons and other parents who spoke at the Nov.
When you trace the background of bullies, there are very strong indications that they were bullying victims at one time, School District 833 Superintendent Mark Porter told a community group. Porter and Woodbury Director of Public Safety Lee Vague discussed bullying and keeping kids safe in schools during a Woodbury Rotary Club meeting last week at the Eagle Valley Golf Course. There is no districtwide policy regarding bullying, other than it must be reported to adults by victims and witnesses. "Each school must decide," Porter said.
Two District 833 School Board members want to know how many students would attend Woodbury High School for Spanish immersion classes before they agree to extend the program. The immersion program, where all classes except physical education, music and art, are taught in Spanish, has three classes at each level from kindergarten through fifth grade. The classes, which are run alongside a traditional program at Crestview Elementary School in Cottage Grove, are not open to students who already speak Spanish.
Students from Park and Woodbury high schools won't be allowed to transfer to East Ridge High School for the 2012-13 school year under an administration recommendation. East Ridge will also be closed to out-of-district transfers if the District 833 School Board approves the recommendation at its Nov. 17 meeting. The board met in a workshop on Nov.
School District 833 has a math problem. The district keeps adding new high school courses but it has not been getting rid of classes that are outdated or that have lost interest among students. As a result, when high school students showed up for school this fall, 95 classes were canceled because not enough students signed up. There was a flurry of activity to reschedule, according to a report presented to the School Board Oct.
Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School in Woodbury and Harambee Community Cultures/Environment Science School in Maplewood will not be closed, but funding by the 10 school districts that support the two schools in the East Metro Integration District will be reduced. Harambee, for kindergarten through fifth-grades opened in 2001 and Crosswinds, located on Wier Drive by the Tamarack Interchange with Interstate 494, opened in 2002 for grades six through 10.
School District 833 officials say they would prefer that Crosswinds school in Woodbury, and Harambe school in Maplewood, be closed because they are expensive and not adequately increasing racial integration in the 10 school districts that support them. Closing the two schools would free up more money to member districts, including District 833, for more in-house programs for minority students.
More School District 833 high school students are taking ACT tests, which measure students' readiness for college in biology, algebra, socials studies and English. In the class of 2011, 888 of 1,254 seniors took ACTs, just slightly above the state average participation of 71 percent, a "positive trend," Rick Spicuzza, assistant superintendent for curriculum and assessment, told the School Board last week. The district ranks 12th in the state based on 2010-11 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment III math scores, he said, not counting districts with less than 100 students participating. Woodbur
District 833 School Board members rejected a budget-cutting proposal that would have increased class sizes by an average of one-half student per class. Administrators, including Superintendent Mark Porter, proposed the class size change to reduce the 2011-12 school year budget by $425,000.
District 833 administrators are recommending over $3 million in spending cuts for next school year. School Board members will hear the recommendation for cuts totaling $3.2 million when they meet for a budget workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday at the District Service Center in Cottage Grove. No formal vote will be taken, but the meeting is open to the public. The $3.2 million in spending cuts would result in 11 job reductions. Class size-ratios for the 2011-12 school year would increase by one-half student to save $675,000.