Jennifer Johnson is the K-12 education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Contact her if you have any story ideas or tips and visit www.grandforksherald.com.
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The superintendent of Grand Forks Public Schools received an overall positive job review, but could still use improvement in some areas, according to evaluation forms. Larry Nybladh has shown "exemplary" leadership in the district but could be more approachable as a leader and better align his goals with that of the community, School Board members wrote. The district superintendent evaluation committee met Thursday to discuss his performance. Six of 14 possible board members -- including ones from the Grand Forks Air Force Base -- filled out the evaluation.
Josh Brooks, a senior at Thompson Public School, is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship, according to Superintendent John Maus. Maus said it's rare for the district to have National Merit finalists. High school students can take a qualifying test for the program that serves as an initial screening of about 1.5 million entrants each year.
North Dakota educators can improve students' advanced placement scores through training from the National Math and Science Initiative, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. Informational sessions on the programs -- College Readiness and Laying the Foundation -- will be offered to state educators and administrators in March in Bismarck and Fargo. The opportunity comes as school districts nationwide are encouraging students toward math and science careers.
Annelee Woodstrom had told the story many times before. In 1935, she first became aware of Adolf Hitler as a 9-year-old in Germany and wanted "nothing more" than to become part of his student youth league. But that changed as World War II unfolded, forcing her to separate from her family as a teen, fear for her life in a bomb shelter and eventually travel 90 miles on foot to return home. She said she found peace through her marriage to Kenny Woodstrom, a Minnesota soldier among the "Monuments Men" documented in a movie last year.
The Manvel (N.D.) School District superintendent said his school is like any other when it comes to low gas prices. "We always like it when we pay less money," said Richard Ray. Fuel prices have begun to increase again, but warmer winter temperatures and lower-than-average fuel costs have saved some districts 20 percent or more in transportation costs so far since last year, according to school officials. The price of diesel fuel, which runs many district buses, hasn't dropped as much as gasoline.
First- and second-grade students at West Elementary performed two sound stories as part of their winter concert Tuesday. Students used xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels to help bring the tales of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" and "Chicken Little" alive to the audience.
Several Grand Forks students will be honored today at The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in Fargo, according to the district. Five Central High School students — Molly Feland, Lily Ferguson, Virginia Brower, Nicole Rothenberger and Hannah Shawstad — will be receiving gold or silver key awards for writing submissions.
North Dakota high school seniors are invited to apply for up to $6,000 each toward a state college, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. Students who apply now might be striking at an opportune time. The state Legislature is currently considering increasing the dollar amount of scholarships and make them more appealing, according to department spokesman Dale Wetzel. High school seniors can use the money toward a state college or career and technical education institution.
One single mother in Grand Forks, recently separated from her husband, needed some help. Her 60-hour work week forced her to turn to Grand Forks Public Schools for extra food for her child, according to school social worker Jennifer Modeen. "She didn't qualify for food stamps because she made a little bit too much," she said. The family is one among several who use the district's Backpack program, the result of a partnership between the Northlands Rescue Mission and the district to help those who can't quite make ends meet. With enough food to cover weekend meals, often easy enough for chi
Eighth-grade girls in Grand Forks recently analyzed a handwritten note in connection to a robbery. At first, the investigation appeared basic -- students tried to determine which of four pens was used to write a note, which in this scenario would help determine the robber. But in fact, they were learning how to break down the ink to better pinpoint the pen used. Erin Nyren, CEO of HQC Biosciences in Fargo, said they also needed evidence beyond the pen and paper. "Ultimately, to make your argument really strong, we want to make sure it's quantitative," she said.