Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Year's Eve Fun for a Great Cause!

89.3 The Current and Vega Productions Present:

2010: The Year We Make Contact -

A Benefit for the Music Programs at Edison High School in Minneapolis

Marriott City Center Grand Ballroom

An evening of music and entertainment featuring...

Solid Gold
Freddie Fresh
The Histronic

Massive light show, aerial performers, live performance painters and a balloon drop at midnight!

Doors:  7 pm
Show:  9 pm

General Admission Tickets: $25
VIP: $75 or FREE with approved instrument donation
*trade used instruments for VIP passes at any Schmitt Music location

VIP includes: complimentary horderves, champagne and beer, meet-and-greet with Solid Gold, special late night after party with DJ Freddy Fresh (1 am - 2 am), and more!

To purchase tickets online, click HERE

For more information, click HERE

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Four Northeast Public School Chess Teams Represent at District Tournament!

Marcy Open: 
The 7th & 8th grade chess team took 1st place in the District "Check It Out Chess" Tournament, and Luc Janssen won 1st  place as an individual player!

The 4th-6th grade team took 1st place in their catagory: Chris Carchi (who also won 1st place in individual scoring!), Andrew Swenson, Kegan Hackett, Tracy Shaffer, Erick Oreliana, and Utkarsh Kumar.

Waite Park:
K-3 Chess Team took 3rd place in the district: Parker Schaal, Jaden Halabi, Jamin Eisenberg, Ghangla Tsering, William Martin, Tenzin Tsultrim, & Abby Crohn.  Abby Crohn also won 1st place in individual scoring among girls in her catagory!

Northeast Middle School:
6th graders took 3rd place: Chue Moua, Mather McKay, Ian Kivi and Michael Moore.  Van Kirwin tied for 3rd place among individuals in the 7th - 8th grade catagory.


Minutes: November 16, 2009

Attendees:  Jenny Arneson (Waite Park), Dan Kemp (Edison), Kevin Matheny (Community pre-school parent), Jenn Bennington (Waite Park), Alita Bergen (Waite Park Community Council), Holly Siasoco (Edison), Mike Iacarella (Edison), Marcia Thomas (Pillsbury/NEMS), Dean DeGroot (NEMS/Henry), Diane Loeffler (Ward 1 State Representative)

Informal feedback on the NE School Showcase:  
  • More attention paid should be paid to promoting the ECFE program next year
  • Make the Recreational fire more visible (it was behind the building)
  • Have the Edison & NE Middle School athletes run organized games with kids next year.  Kids would have liked more interaction and structured play.
  • CSO transitions questions came up during the ECFE session - it may be a good idea to have a district employee in that session in the future to answer placement questions.
  • We were a little crowded in the Audubon Park indoor space, but none of the other parks in NE could commit to giving us a larger space, and Audubon is very accommodating.

Despite the crowded appearance, attendance was down this year, probably because we didn't get any funding to promote the event in the Northeaster.  As this event benefits every NE school tremendously, maybe we can ask each school to donate $150 for advertising next year?   That would cover the cost of a flier in the Northeaster, which seems to make a big difference in getting the word out.  It was also suggested that we ask for more financial  help from Neighborhood associations.  This year Waite Park Community Council donated funds and arranged for food to be donated by Eastside Food Co-op.  We can also ask various Edison sports teams to do a literature drop around NE. Dan Kemp will organize sports teams lit. drop next year.   Menlo Park called Dean wanted to know if they could be at the Showcase at the last minute.  Dean said no for this year, but that he would bring it up to the rest of the PEN membership.  After some discussion, it was decided that it doesn't make sense to have contract-alternative schools at the Showcase because of the way they work - students do not choose contract alternatives, for the most part, they are placed there.

DPAC Changes:

Todd Bennington (Waite Park) and Celeste Brown (Parkview) are the new Area A Co-Chairs.  Jenny Arneson, Jenn Bennington, Tammy Rusnacko, Marcia Thomas and Dean DeGroot are all Area A DPAC Reps or Alternates from PEN.  Northeast is well-represented at DPAC!   Please attend the next Area A meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 6:00 pm at Pillsbury.  Refreshments and childcare are always provided.

Sheridan Meeting Debrief:  

Dean DeGroot gave an overview of the meeting attendees: several district arts personnel, Courtney Kiernat from the CSO Transition team, Dean, Marcia Thomas, Jenny Arneson & Jenn Bennington from PEN, Jean Neuman (Sheridan principal), Sheridan's new AP, Wendi Jarden, and one Sheridan parent were there.   Jenny provided background about the magnet status at Sheridan throughout the CSO process.  The MPS '10 - '11 bulletin was due that Friday, so the meeting attendees quickly changed the name of the school at the meeting to "Sheridan Arts Magnet."  Dean presented the basic theory behind the Arts Integration curriculum.  A work group has been formed and will meet monthly to plan the future of Sheridan's program.  The Sheridan work group will update the community monthly at Area A meetings.  Contact Jean Neuman, Sheridan Principal, if you are interested in being a part of the Sheridan work group.

8th Grade/High School selection process:  

The primary attendance area high school choices for Zone 1 are Edison & Henry.  Two city-wide programs: North SUMATEC & South Open/All Nations are available to all Minneapolis students.  North is no longer a community high school - students must apply to get in and it is going to be an intense math/science/technology focus.  All Nations is a school within a school (9th graders are segregated from the rest of the students at South - it is a self-contained program).  At Henry & Edison, there will still be a few specialty programs in existence, but all of those classes are now electives (i.e. cosmetology & business at Edison).  NEMS 8th-graders visited Edison & Henry on November 17, Sheridan & Marcy 8th-graders visited both high schools on November 16.  These visits are structured, small group tours with student ambassadors, presentations, lunch, etc.  If kids are interested in schools outside of their zone, they can go to Open Houses.  Edison's Open House is on Dec. 1.  Open Houses are essential for parents to learn about their high school options.

Connecting NEMS with Pillsbury & Waite Park: 

Jenny & Jenn met recently with Ann Marie Cosgrove (NEMS PR), Kathy O'Neill (Pillsbury Family Liaison), and Robin Osterberg (Waite Park Family Liaison) about new efforts toward making NE the top choice for elementary families at our two PreK - 5 schools.  Many ideas about targeting 3rd grade families rather than 4th/5th-grade, as once families have 4th/5th grade students, often they are not as open to new ideas about middle school.  Particularly, connecting 6th and 3rd-grade students seems to be effective.  NEMS, Pillsbury and Waite Park would like to arrange and event where the 6th graders "host" an event for the 3rd graders and their families.  Debbie Nelson proposed that February would be good time for such an event, perhaps an ice skating/sledding party at Windom or Audubon Park.

The new parent group at NEMS has a liaison from Waite Park PTA, who will be helping with communication between the two schools.   Pillsbury/Waite Park alumni will promote NEMS at PTA meetings and 5th Grade classrooms. There is also an idea about utilizing the babysitting cert. program at NEMS Beacons to provide childcare at Waite Park & Pillsbury events.  Parents get to know NEMS babysitters and connections are made.

New Business:

Rep. Diane Loeffler brought to our attention a meeting at Eastside Neighborhood Services about Arts funding from the State.  Last year the state gave money to the Dept. of Education for Arts Education.  This funding decision seems to have annoyed many from the arts community, who felt that the money had been "stolen."  There does not seem to be an organized constituency around arts education.  Information about a website (only available through November 20) that allowed community input about arts funding was distributed.  This information was sent to Pat Teske (MPS Arts), Jean Neuman (Sheridan Arts) and Wendi Jardon (Sheridan Arts) for further action.

Next Meeting: January 18, 6:30 pm, Edison High School Media Center