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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A Fort Totten high school teacher said he would scrap North Dakota's academic standards if he is elected state superintendent of public instruction. Joseph Chiang, a math teacher at Four Winds High School, visited Grand Forks Monday to talk about why he's running for the state's top education job. He is challenging incumbent Kirsten Baesler for the GOP endorsement, which will be announced at the state convention April 1-3 in Fargo.
An expansion project at East Grand Forks Senior High School is on-schedule and about $8,000 under budget, project managers said. Representatives from JLG Architects and Construction Engineers told the School Board Monday the design process was going smoothly. In November, East Grand Forks voters approved a $20.6 million bond proposal that adds an estimated 61,000 square feet to the high school. The project adds a larger gym, a 2,500-square-foot career and technical shop and significant space for music and performance rooms, among other changes.
LANGDON, N.D.— A recent science and art academy in Langdon tested student innovation and critical-thinking skills, organizers said. The STEAM Academy — science, technology, engineering, arts and math — forced students to think creatively and logically, using both sides of their brains when many activities require just one side, said Mindi Lill, co-organizer and art instructor.
At Wilder Elementary School, staff work with students on speech therapy in a hallway, dental checkups are administered in the entryway and indoor recess takes place in the classroom. Last year, a regular-sized classroom and storage closet at Wilder were converted into four rooms and a hallway. Cindy Prescott, whose 6-year-old daughter attends the Grand Forks school, said Wilder is close to "bursting at the seams."
CROOKSTON—Altru Health System is building an expansion to its Crookston clinic that could cost up to $11 million in response to a growing need for services throughout Polk County. Hospital system officials said the more than 10,000-square-foot expansion improves access to care, offers more employment opportunities and will turn the clinic into a "hub" for care in the county. It's also Altru's first major expansion in Crookston after nearly a century-long presence there.
An East Grand Forks student has made the balcony scene from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" even sweeter. Senior Luisa DeLacruz recreated the famous scene, complete with a tiny wooden ladder and leafy foliage, using sugary Peeps. It was one of several dioramas created by students at the city's alternative school. Used as a substitute for any class project, students constructed mini balconies, forests, classrooms and other scenes with any materials they wanted within about three weeks.
Grand Forks Public Schools will hold kindergarten registration April 5 at various schools. Each elementary school in the district will hold registration for the 2016-17 year, according to the district. Parents or guardians should bring their child when they register at Ben Franklin, Discovery, Lake Agassiz, Nathan F. Twining, Phoenix, Viking, West, Wilder and Winship. Parents or guardians also are asked to provide a copy of the child's birth certificate, current immunization records and proof of residence.
The Grand Forks Head Start program will serve 34 fewer children next year and in turn offer more full-day programming, according to the director. Of the 306 total children expected to participate in the school readiness program next year, 68 will attend extended days. The Grand Forks program now serves 340 children from the district, Grand Forks Air Force Base and Grafton, N.D.
A North Dakota robotics team will be heading to St. Louis next month after qualifying for the world championship. The Thunder Robotics Team 876, which includes students from Northwood, Hatton and other towns, won six consecutive matches this past weekend to win the regional championship in Peoria, Ill. The team won the event with two other teams from Illinois and Minnesota.
The Grand Forks School Board on Monday did not reconsider its decision to start elementary school later and dismiss students an hour and half early twice a month next year despite parent concerns. Parents attending Monday's meeting cited a lack of inclusion and communication during the school district's decision-making process on the matter. Two weeks ago, the board approved that elementary students arrive at 8:20 a.m. instead of 8:15 a.m. every day next year and be dismissed twice a month at 1:30 p.m. to give teachers more preparation and collaboration time.