The field for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year competition has been narrowed to 33 semifinalists, and it includes two teachers from Maple Grove Junior High! Mike Endres (8th grade earth science) and Charles Nelson (9th grade American history) are now in consideration for finalist status. A selection panel of 25 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 128 candidates from across the state. Education Minnesota will announce the 10 finalists in March and the winner on May 4.
At its March 4 work session, the ISD 279 School Board will continue its consideration of a potential grade configuration change which, if approved, would take effect beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. The change would align school grade spans with the more common configuration in the metro area (preK-5, 6-8, 9-12).
Changing grade spans would relieve space pressures at the elementary level, primarily related to expansion of all-day kindergarten, and would provide better alignment for ninth-graders related to graduation requirements, curriculum, and high school activities.
Without grade span changes (if the current configuration remains), elementary schools will be overcrowded and boundary changes will be required at approximately 7-11 elementary schools, affecting an estimated 400-plus students.
At the March 4 work session, staff will provide information requested by school board members at the February 10 work session discussion on the same topic. If board members have sufficient information to provide direction, a final recommendation could be presented for board action as early as the March 18 regular school board meeting.