Students at Weaver Elementary Host First Annual Leadership DayPosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 7/11/2017 2:35:00 PM
Imagine a school where students as young as second grade lead daily all-school morning meetings and assemblies, speak at events, and greet guests. Welcome to Weaver Elementary, where student leadership is the norm, thanks to a framework known as The Leader in Me.
Recently, students from Weaver Elementary hosted elected officials, local business owners, district leaders, and peers for the site’s first Leadership Day. The event allowed students the opportunity to showcase the leaders they’ve become. From the time guests arrived in the parking lot until the end of the day, students were at the center, giving tours of the site and sharing presentations about the different leadership roles they fulfill. It was rare to hear an adult’s voice that day!
“Students are actually at the core of why the framework works,” said Pangjua Xiong, Weaver principal. “It's a focus on sharing and distributing power and leadership to students so that our school becomes truly "our school". Students feel empowered to take on leadership roles throughout the classrooms and school.”
The 2016-2017 school year was the first time the framework was implemented at Weaver. Students have benefitted in many ways, including social emotional learning, a growth mindset, and a focus on academics. Students are provided opportunities to lead through service to others and to practice seven habits, which are based off of content from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Weaver students focus on: personal and interpersonal effectiveness, responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal.
The Leader in Me is aligned to many national and state academic standards. The process teaches students the skills needed for academic success in any setting. These skills include critical thinking, goal setting, listening and speaking, self-directed learning, presentation-making and the ability to work in groups.
Currently, Weaver Elementary is one of 12 schools in Minnesota using The Leader in Me framework. Nationally, there are over 200 schools. Globally, there are over 2,000 schools.
In the coming years, Weaver will implement deeper levels of The Leader in Me and expand the framework to guide other areas of the school.
2017 Golden Prom and senior programsPosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 6/12/2017 11:40:00 AM
On May 31, 390 senior citizens from across the area kicked up their heels at the 21st annual Golden Prom. This exciting event featured live music from the Big Band era by the Golden Tones.
Originally started as a collaboration between 622’s Community Education’s Senior Programming and Tartan High School, this event used to be held in Tartan’s cafeteria. Since then, the event has grown into a formal event held at the Envision Center (formerly the Prom Center) in Oakdale.
Seventy five students from North and Tartan High Schools volunteer at the event. In addition to a live band and dancing, attendees enjoyed a formal catered meal, prom photos, bingo, and prizes.
The event is extremely is popular with senior citizens and people travel a significant distance to attend with their friends. This year’s event saw individuals from out-of-district locations such as Prior Lake, Chaska, Lindstrom, and Coon Rapids.
Staff at 622’s Gladstone 55+ Center assist with registration and advertising, while registration is handled through Community Education’s Gladstone 55+ Center. The event is advertised through local newspapers, Community Education catalogs, Gladstone 55+ Dateline Newsletter, and North and Tartan websites.
Click here to see a short video of this year’s Golden Prom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqBg2AEBKj0&feature=youtu.be
The Gladstone 55+ Center is a program of ISD 622 Community Education. The Center is open five days per week offering a variety of regularly scheduled activities, including: cards, dominoes, bingo, wood carving, knitting, and needlecrafts, and an assortment of exercise classes and special events. Fee based and free classes on topics relevant to seniors are scheduled throughout the year.
Gladstone also offers a Parkinson's Caregiver Support Group and an Alzheimer's Caregiver support group. The Alzheimer's caregiver support group is unique in that respite care is available for the person with Alzheimer's, thereby allowing the caregiver to attend without having to make other arrangements for care for their loved one. There is also monthly foot care with a registered nurse.
The Dateline Newsletter is published quarterly and is available at the Center, public buildings in the area, on the website, and can be mailed or emailed to individuals directly.
New this year, the District 622 Athletics Departments are pleased to offer residents of District 622 and out-of-district family members and interested fans, ages 60 and older, a free lifetime pass to enjoy any regular season athletic event held at North or Tartan High Schools.
Passes can be obtained at the North or Tartan Athletic Offices, Gladstone Community Center, or the District Education Center. Pass recipients will receive periodic news and information from School District 622.
For more information about senior programming for those 55 and over, visit our website (www.isd622.org) or call 651-748-7252.
John Glenn Middle School named AVID Demonstration SitePosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 4/27/2017 9:00:00 AM
Excitement abounded this month as John Glenn Middle School was named an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration School. John Glenn Middle School has been highly certified for several years, but the distinction of a National Demonstration School is reserved for only a select number of member schools that have reached a high level of implementation of the AVID system. In fact, less than three percent of AVID schools internationally receive this honor.
The mission of AVID is to close the achievement gap and prepare students for college and a future career. AVID National Demonstration Schools go through a rigorous process which validates that the school offers students rigorous experiences in all SWICOR (speaking, writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, reading) instructional strategies.
The process to become a demonstration school is an 18-month process that involves multiple visits from Central AVID leadership as well as a mock-validation visit. AVID assigns schools a coach that helps support and guide schools through the process.
Principal Jill Miklausich’s visionary leadership was a driving force when it came to securing this achievement. John Glenn Middle School is also led by a Site Team of teacher leaders and their administrative team. This group meets twice a month to discuss the implementation of AVID and to ensure that the use of AVID strategies impacts learners throughout the school.
Although there are 84 seventh and eighth grade students in the AVID elective at John Glenn Middle School, AVID strategies are embedded throughout classrooms supporting all students. The hope is to offer another section of the AVID elective next year.
Some of the most notable gains demonstrated among these student leaders include: confidence, organization, leadership, a connection with school, engagement in learning, and a college and career ready mindset. There is also a great sense of camaraderie among AVID students.
AVID creates and grows young leaders. I am proud to share the news of this big achievement with the community. Our #AVIDFAMILY makes me #622Proud!
DECA school store at Tartan receives international awardPosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 4/4/2017
Recently, the DECA School Store at Tartan Senior High School received international recognition as a Gold-Certified school-based enterprise. Out of 3,500 international chapters, this impressive award was given to only 360 chapters.
Three Tartan students wrote and submitted the application that documented every aspect of business operations. The final application topped 50 pages.
DECA, an association of marketing students, helps juniors and seniors by improving education and career opportunities for those interested in management, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
DECA students manage and operate the school’s store and credit union, earn credits while they earn a paycheck, secure articulated credits with Century College, and compete in competitions with students across the world.
Working in the school store allows DECA students real-life experiences to reinforce the instruction taught in their classes. DECA students manage all aspects of the store, including sales and advertising. The store is a tool to provide work experience and leadership skills. DECA students graduate with authentic work experience to leverage in life beyond high school.
Tartan’s DECA program is led by Craig Spreiter, a former DECA participant himself and graduate of North High School. Spreiter has led DECA at Tartan for 19 years and describes students in the program as “Those who like being at Tartan, are involved in a variety of athletics and activities, and all balance a job during their evenings and weekends.”
Tartan’s strong marketing and business pathway allows students with a passion for business to explore a variety of courses that fit their college and career objectives. “DECA is the capstone course for many of these students,” noted Spreiter.
In January, Tartan student excelled at the annual DECA conference held in St. Paul. Twenty three of the 26 participants advanced to the state competition.
Many DECA students earned finalist recognition at DECA’s State Career Development Conference this past week in Minneapolis. The top four students in most events will advance to the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California in April.
All of this great news comes on the heels of the store’s ten-year anniversary. Congratulations to these students and thank you to Mr. Spreiter for his leadership. We are truly #622Proud!
The public is welcome to visit DECA’s School Store at Tartan and see the great work of these students in action. The store is open Monday through Friday 7:10 a.m. - 3:10 p.m. Tartan Senior High School is located at 828 Greenway Avenue North in Oakdale.
Webster Elementary School, Maple Pond Homes, & the YMCA Partnering to provide equity at school and at homePosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 3/2/2017
Parents, teachers, and youth workers all agree on the importance of quality afterschool programs. However, with school districts and non profits having limited resources to provide these programs, partnerships are often the answer to implementing quality out of school time programming throughout the school year and during summer months. Luckily for the students living at Maple Pond Homes in Maplewood, the YMCA, District 622, and MBG Property Management have teamed up to ensure that they have great opportunities year round.
A survey of parents completed by the Afterschool Alliance found that, “Cost and lack of a safe way for their children to get to and come home from after school programs are among the barriers that low-income households, African-American families and Hispanic families report keep them from enrolling their children in an afterschool program.” This incredible collaboration eliminates each of these barriers for families and strives to eliminate the opportunity gap for these students.
Each school day starts with students meeting two YMCA team members in the lobby of their apartment complex. YMCA team members ensure that all students are present, have their homework, and are dressed properly for the walk to school. The group walks to school together and begin the day with a healthy breakfast provided at no cost to the families. During the school day YMCA team members provide recreational activities before school and during recess. These structured times of active play have allowed students to stay healthy, utilize their energy, and avoid conflicts that were taking place during this time. YMCA team members also support classroom teachers, provide small group tutoring, and address social emotional challenges that students are facing. As the school day ends, YMCA team members walk the students back to Maple Pond home and provide afterschool programming until 6 p.m. each day. This time includes homework help, academic challenges, art, science, physical activity and more.
Although this partnership has existed for four years, this year a focus on healthy living has created new opportunities for participants. Each day student participates in at least 30 minutes of physical activity through a variety of exciting games and activities. New this year is a daily yoga class where students are learning calming strategies, breathing techniques, and full body stretches. Students are also receiving at least 30 minutes of nutrition education each week, trying new healthy foods, and passing on this knowledge to their families.
People often say that it takes a village to raise a child. Through this partnership we are proud to bridge the gap between school and home, provide a safe place for young people after school, and work each day to eliminate the opportunity gap for these amazing students.
Want to see this partnership in action? Click here to watch a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akqZXY3noCw
Safe and Welcoming SchoolsPosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 2/1/2017
Dear 622 Families,
District 622 believes that strong communities are inclusive and value diversity. We know that our 622 community is stronger because of the many different stories and backgrounds represented by our students and families, including our immigrant and refugee community. We also believe that individuals learn and thrive in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. In times of uncertainty, we are guided by our mission statement that declares "We commit each day" to ensuring the safety and development of all our students, without regard to race, color, gender identity, immigration status, or national origin.
Recently our School District adopted a new Strategic Plan. I have attached that plan here so that you can become familiar with the important language in this guiding document.
Nyob zoo tsev neeg hauv koog 622,
Cov tsev kawm ntawv hauv koog 622 ntseeg hais tias yog muaj kev koom siab txais tos txhua haiv neeg thiab pom sawv daws muaj nuj nqi ces lub zej zog thiaj li mauj zog thiab khov kho. Peb paub ntseeb tias peb cov tsev kawm ntawv hauv koog 622 khov kho yog vim muaj dabneeg thiab keeb kwm los ntawm peb cov menyuam thiab tsev neeg, thiab cov neeg poob teb poob chaw neeg tawg rog hauv peb lub zos. Thiab peb ntseeg hais tias menyuam kawm tau ntawv zoo yog thaum lawv qhov chaw kawm kaj siab lug, muaj neeg txhawj xeeb thiab txhawb nqa. Yog muaj lub sij hawm tsis tso siab lawm, peb tuav ruaj peb lub hom phiaj tias “Txhua hnub peb cog lus ruaj khov (We commit each day)” kom muaj kev kaj siab thiab kev kawm zoo ruaj ntseg rau tag nro peb cov menyuam kawm ntawv, tsis caiv haiv neeg twg, neeg xim nqaij txawv, tub los ntxhais, neeg poob teb poob chaw txoj kev nyob los yog tuaj lub teb chaws twg tuaj. Tsis ntev los no, peb koog tsev kawm ntawv tau tsim ib lub hom phiaj tshiab los siv. Kuv muab peb lub hom phiaj no rau koj saib thiab nyeem kom koj paub txog cov ntsiab lus tseem ceeb nyob hauv peb cov ntaub ntawv.
Estimadas Familias 622,
El Distrito 622 cree que las comunidades fuertes son inclusivas y valoran la diversidad. Sabemos que nuestra comunidad 622 es más fuerte debido a sus diferentes historias y orígenes representados por nuestros estudiantes y familias, incluyendo a nuestra comunidad de inmigrantes y refugiados. También creemos que las personas aprenden y prosperan en un ambiente seguro, cariñoso y de apoyo. En tiempos de incertidumbre, nos guiamos por nuestra declaración de misión que afirma "Nos comprometemos cada día" a garantizar la seguridad y el desarrollo de todos nuestros estudiantes, independientemente de su raza, color, identidad de género, estatus migratorio o origen nacional.
Recientemente nuestro Distrito Escolar adoptó un nuevo Plan Estratégico. He adjuntado ese plan aquí para que usted pueda familiarizarse con el lenguaje importante en este documento que le sirva de guia.
Dhamaan qoyska Degmada 622. Degmadeenu waxay tixgalisaa, qiimanysaa inbadan kala duwanaanshaha bulshadeena. Waxaan ogsoonahay inay Degmade 622 aytahay degmo waxtar iyo waxqabad leh. Taasina waxaa sabab u’ah kaladuwanaanshaheena. Waxaanu ogsoonahy shaqsi walba inuu sifican wax ubarankaro, horumarna sameyn karo marka uu haysto amaan, taageero iyo mujtamac cawinaya. Mararka xaaladuhu aynan fiicnayn, waxaana hogaamisa kalimada ah, “Waansameynaa maalinwlaba” taasoo macnaheedu tahay dhamaan waan kawada shaqeynaa amniga ardaydanada iyo horumarka dhinaca tacliinta iyadoon marnaba lafiiri naynin jinsiyada, qowmiyada uu asal ahaan ardaygu kasoojeedo, iyo iyada oo aan lafiiri naynin hawlaha laxidhiidhi socdaalka immigrationka. Maamulka dugsiyadeena waxa ay diyaar iniila yihiin inay inila wadaagaan Qorshe Cusub oo horumarka iyo amniga ardayda kahadlaya. Qorshahaas waxaa lagu turjumidoonaa luuqado kaladuwan si uu shaqsiwalbo ufahmo.
Waad ku mahadsan tahay si ka badan
Unpacking the newly drafted core values for District 622Posted by Cathleen Wiberg at 10/3/2016
This fall our staff have begun “unpacking.” No, we haven’t moved. Rather, we are unpacking the newly drafted core values for District 622. Last spring District 622 brought together a diverse group of staff, students, and community members to draft a new strategic plan. The foundation for that work was identifying the core values of the district. Over the course of more than a day of dialogue the team drafted these seven core values:
- We believe that Strong communities are inclusive and value diversity.
- We believe that Trust and transparency are essential to healthy and enduring relationships.
- We believe that Continuous learning and service to others are imperative to individual and community progress.
- We believe that Individuals learn and thrive through connections in a safe, caring, and supportive environment.
- We believe that Every individual has incredible potential and equal intrinsic value.
- We believe that High expectations with appropriate supports result in growth.
- We believe that School, family, and community partnerships enhance and support learning.
During workshop week before the start of school all staff were invited to an “unpacking” session. Staff individually reflected on the core values, talked in groups about what we need to start doing, keep doing, and stop doing in order to live our District values, and then considered what action they would take individually and as sites.
These values were the foundation to the other elements of the strategic plan: Mission, Mission Outcomes, and Strategies. They will guide our decisions in the years to come.
It is my hope that you see your own values reflected here and see yourself as part of the District 622 community, committed to developing and empowering lifelong learners to thrive in diverse communities.
Charting the Course for SuccessPosted by Cathleen Wiberg at 4/7/2016
District 622 is developing a new strategic plan. We last engaged in a strategic planning process 2008. That plan was refined in 2011. A lot has changed in the eight years since our last plan was created. We have seen changes in demographics, graduation requirements, and district programming.
In order to prepare for a strategic planning process, we began to engage with a variety of stakeholder groups to guide the development of the process. Focus groups that have met thus far to provide input include: School Board members, reps from various labor unions, teacher leaders, principals, cabinet, and Advisory (parents, community representatives, and staff).
To keep everyone informed throughout this process I want to share with you the themes that have emerged from initial conversations.
Principles to Guide Strategic Planning Process
- Engage multiple perspectives representative of our community population
- Ensure input from all staff within the work day; create safe spaces for authentic input
- Clear decision-making process with roles of various stakeholders clearly communicated
- Recognize/celebrate success and what is working
Principles to Guide the Strategic Plan Product
- Keep the focus narrow . . . we can’t do it all
- Keep the focus on the needs of current and future students
- Unique to 622, capitalizing on our strengths, creating/reflecting our identity
- Can be used as a decision-making tool
Principles to Guide Strategic Plan Implementation
- Action plans are aligned to the vision, goals, and strategies
- Continuous improvement – ongoing monitoring and adjusting of goals, strategies, and action plans
- Ongoing two-way communication between stakeholders and decision makers
- Courage to release things we have done for years; “Let it go!”
- Clear roles and accountability
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Happy to be on board!Posted by Cathleen Wiberg at 12/23/2015
The 2015-16 school year is off to a great start! Our 10,660 young scholars are engaged in rigorous coursework led by dedicated faculty and staff.
As the proud new Superintendent of District 622 North St. Paul — Maplewood — Oakdale, I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead this organization. Professionally, I have been in the education field for nineteen years. I began my career in the Peace Corps, as a teacher-trainer in the island country of Kiribati. Subsequently, I worked for Saint Paul Public Schools, where I held various roles. I began as a bilingual teacher and later became an Assistant Principal in 2002 and a Principal in 2004. From 2011-2015, as a district administrator, I held the roles of: Executive Director (Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development), Assistant Superintendent, and Chief Academic Officer.
Personally, I am also a proud 622 parent. Like you, I expect that my children receive excellent opportunities preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century. District 622 offers highly rigorous programming for students. I am proud to share that more than half of our high school students are accessing college level courses while still in high school, including my own daughter, at Tartan High School.
We have all heard the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As you can imagine, the role of family and community involvement are crucial to the success of our schools and student achievement. These rich partnerships strengthen the fibers that make our community so special and positively influence the future leaders and workforce of our society. I invite you to be part of building this foundation by visiting our schools on a tour or as a volunteer. We are proud of our positive, energetic and diverse classrooms and believe you will feel the same.
Our mission is to provide a community collaborative dedicated to educating and empowering all learners to excel in our changing world. Let us work together to make our network of schools a destination district. We are well on our way!
I am happy to answer your questions or share more information regarding District 622. Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (651)748-7411. I also encourage you to follow me on Twitter (@ISD622) as I share many positive stories and exciting activities and events that take place throughout the school district and community.