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 new North Dakota high school requirement will have Grand Forks students answer 100 questions for their civics test this spring. Last year, North Dakota became the second state in the nation to adopt the requirement, which is based on the Immigration and Naturalization test covering questions about government and history. Eighth- and 11th-grade students are taking the online test for the first time at the end of this month.
Grand Forks junior Sophie Oen said the ACT exam is "super important" to her. The Central High School student started studying for the college entrance exam about a month ago, devoting one to two hours a week to it. On Tuesday, she joined hundreds of juniors throughout North Dakota who took the test for the first time. Her test "went as well as expected," Oen said, but she's going to take it again, even if her score exceeds her expectations. "I think I need to take it twice because I want to make sure I get the best score possible," she said.
A Catholic school complex in Grand Forks is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. The city's Historic Preservation Commission is nominating the century-old St. Michael's Catholic School complex—the old school, the 1953 addition and the youth center—located in the Near North Neighborhood for the honor, said Peg O'Leary, historic commission coordinator. "The complex as a whole is eligible because of the way it represents the growth of education, not just parochial, but across the city," she said.
Art Greenberg Jr., a longtime Grand Forks businessman responsible for developing most of the city's southwest side and beyond, died Wednesday. Greenberg, who was 81 and died at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Ariz., was an innovative farmer and a shrewd businessman who was exceptionally kind, friends said. Greenberg was responsible for the construction of Columbia Mall and developing the surrounding area, including south of Wal-Mart and along 32nd Avenue South.
LANGDON, N.D.—Students in Langdon are participating Thursday at a new science and art academy. Middle and high school students will be given two hours to create projects related to science, technology, engineering, arts and math—STEAM—for the school's first-time event, said Melissa Hiltner, instructional coach at Langdon Area Public Schools.
East Grand Forks students will start school two weeks early this fall due to construction at one of its schools. The School Board on Monday unanimously approved starting the calendar year on Aug. 22, before Labor Day, which allows renovation work at Senior High School to begin "as soon as possible," Superintendent Dave Pace said. Minnesota districts normally start school after Labor Day.
The East Grand Forks School Board approved Monday the three-year contract for the district's new superintendent. Mike Kolness, who currently leads Ada-Borup (Minn.) Public Schools, will receive $142,000 next school year, $144,000 in 2017-18 and $146,000 in 2018-19. The board didn't have much discussion on the matter, voting 5-0 with member Sue Black absent.
North Dakotans have the most positive views of public education in the nation, according to a recent Gallup poll. The poll found 89 percent of residents surveyed believed their schools were "excellent or good" for students in grades kindergarten through 12, the state Department of Public Instruction announced in a news release Monday. Nine of 10 residents also believe the public school system prepares students for success in the workplace. The Gallup poll was conducted from March 30 through Dec. 22, 2015. A poll was taken in every state.
A small number of out-of-town students are attending Grand Forks high schools this year through open enrollment, which is consistent with past years, according to the district's assistant superintendent. Next year's open enrollment requests from outside the district have not yet been approved by the district, but a total of 44 were allowed this year, according to Assistant Superintendent Jody Thompson.
Grand Forks students learned Friday about making positive choices from a high school drama group. Red River students performed a series of skits through a production called "I.M.I.4.U.2.C."—"I am I for you to see"—that incorporates the district's six pillars of character, which includes respect, responsibility and caring. Friday's performance was one of more than 40 local students will watch through next week. The cast is named I.M.I.4.U.2.C. to teach other students the importance of being themselves, according to the district.