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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Grand Forks city and school officials moved a half-step closer last week to resolving a longtime downtown parking problem. The school facilities committee approved a recommendation Thursday renewing garage parking next to Central High School, but did not resolve what will happen to a parcel of land at University Avenue and North Fifth Street. School officials have long wanted to demolish the buildings there and build a lot, but city officials have opposed the idea.
CROOKSTON—Three American Indian fifth-graders sat at a table recently, drawing and reading. Jon Stronstad cracked a few jokes with them. As the district's new American Indian liaison, he spends the first hour his day at Highland Elementary School with the girls, helping them finish up any homework before class. His first priority was to get these students and about a dozen others to school, he said.
Mike Kolness will be the next superintendent of East Grand Forks Public Schools. Kolness, superintendent of Ada-Borup (Minn.) Public Schools, verbally agreed to a three-year contract with the district, School Board Chairman Tony Palmiscno said Friday. The School Board, which must approve the contract, meets March 14. Details of the contract won’t be released until then. Kolness’ first day will be July 1.
The Grand Forks Public Schools facilities committee voted 3-1 Thursday in favor of a recommendation to renew a contract with the city for Central High School parking spots. The recommendation, which must be approved by the School Board, is a result of at least two years of discussion between city officials and Grand Forks School Board members about a solution for parking for the school's students. The recommendation renews the school's 97 parking spots on a garage next to the school, with the option to go up to 150 spots.
A spring writing and reading conference for Grand Forks students aims to battle the allure of cellphones and "get kids back into books," according to one co-leader of the event. Teen students will spend April 9 listening to young adult authors and attending sessions on blogging, graphic novels and screenwriting for the first "Waging WAR for literacy"—WAR stands for Writing and Reading—conference held at Red River High School.
MANVEL, N.D.—The Manvel Public School is looking for a new superintendent. Longtime superintendent Richard Ray is retiring at the end of July, Principal Mary Sorvig said. The school, which teaches students in kindergarten through eighth grade, hopes to find a replacement by July 1. The application deadline is April 6. Five to 10 potential candidates have applied for the job, and Sorvig said she expects to see more.
A North Dakota robotics team is trying to qualify for the world championship through two competitions this month. Twenty-one high school students that make up Thunder Robotics Team 876 are traveling this week to Duluth for one competition. Another competition is March 17-19 in Peoria, Ill. If the team wins a regional competition, it can compete at the world championship at the end of April in St. Louis, volunteer adviser Mike Voglewede said.
Four Minnesota districts within the region reported 100 percent graduation rates for the 2014-15 year among students who graduated within four years. Districts in Fosston, Fertile, Badger and Hallock reported perfect rates, with each school graduating no more than 50 students, according to an annual report by the Minnesota Department of Education released last week. The state average was 82 percent.
A Grand Forks native who has interviewed some of the most famous test pilots and astronauts in the world will be featured Tuesday in a PBS series. Historian Dana Marcotte Kilanowski of Palmdale, Calif., was one of the experts interviewed for PBS' American Experience series "Space Men." The series is about a small band of high-altitude pioneers who exposed themselves in the 1950s and early '60s to the extreme forces of the space age, according to PBS. The series airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
THIEF RIVER FALLS --- The Thief River Falls School Board is working to find their next superintendent. A special board meeting was held Friday morning to accept the resignation of Superintendent Laine Larson, who recently agreed to a superintendent job in Brainerd, Minn., board members said. Her last day will be June 30. The board plans to send out a request for proposals from search firms, as well as discuss its next step, with the full School Board March 14, the date of its next regular meeting, Chairman Mike Spears said.