Local works in online museum

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Southwest art students recently joined the world&8217;s largest kids museum at artsonia.com. Celebrate your young artist&8217;s artistic achievements by printing the artwork on a mug, T-shirt, or other keepsake with 15 percent of the profits supporting Southwest Middle School.

Principals attend national conference

Elementary principals, Corrine Tims, Jean Jordan and Ross Williams, spent the weekend of April 4 in Nashville, Tenn., attending the National Elementary Principals Conference. The principals attended sessions on a variety of educational concerns including text anxiety, Singapore Math, strategies to help students impacted by poverty and new ways of looking at education in the 21st century.

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Students begin testing

Third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students in all four elementary schools started taking their Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. All elementary students in the state of Minnesota are required to take this testing according to the requirements of the federal initiative No Child Left Behind. Local results will be available to the public in late summer.

ALHS hosts college fair

ALHS played host to the touring Spring College Fair, now called MEF (Minnesota Education Fair), on

April 9. Nearly 90 college and military reps met with interested families assisting them with those important post high school plans. The representatives consistently remarked that the ALHS fair is one of the best, if not the best, of the evening fairs as many families are involved in the process and ALHS students are better prepared than most of the students they work with. For almost 20 years, ALHS has hosted the college fair at night specifically so that families can attend together and can work together on post-high school planning.

Did you know?

Did you know all school district staff, students and their families have access to online computer training free of charge at Atomic Learning? Training covers the use of all Microsoft, Adobe and many other software applications including the use of Smart Technology. Funding for this project has been covered through a Federal grant and will continue through the 2009 school year. Families can get the login and password through their child&8217;s school.

Did you know students and parents at Albert Lea High School have access to up-to-date information from their teacher&8217;s grade books concerning missing assignments, quizzes and other information affecting current student grades? Thanks to Edline, a new Web interface that allows the teacher, with a click of a icon, to send reports directly from the teacher grade book to Edline which also serves as the new high school Web page.

Parents needing assess to this information can contact Albert Lea High School for the login and password to their children&8217;s teacher.

Did you know many classrooms thoughout the Albert Lea School District are being transformed into &8220;intelligent classrooms&8221; through the use of computers, high speed Internet and Smart Board technology?

Students of all ages are being engaged in learning as never before through the use of full interaction with programs like Google Earth used in conjunction with a Smart technologies.

Funding for this initiative has been made available through grants from Microsoft and the Federal E-rate program.

Students show interest in engineering classes

Registration is complete for next year&8217;s high school engineering offerings. More than 65 students showed an interest in the engineering courses being proposed. For the 2008-09 school year there will be two sections of the yearlong course, introduction to engineering design. The course will be instructed by either Michael Sundblad or Casey McIntyre. Both instructors will be involved in training for the course through Project Lead the Way instructors at the University of Minnesota in June. The training is intense and will require two weeks of up to 12 hours days in preparation for the fall offering.

Several local businesses have helped get this initiative started. Mike Larson and Randy Eggum of Innovance were instrumental in supporting the course offerings. Innovance has donated $3,000 to begin this program. Hormel Foods Corporation has donated $500 toward instructor training. Sorensen Brothers Inc. is also donating $1,000 to instructor training. The Albert Lea School District, Teaching and Learning Council approved staff development grant dollars for instructor training for this summer. With all of these donations and grant dollars, instructor training for this year is completely paid for. This support shows the recognition by local industries of the need to increase student interest in engineering to fill the void we have locally. It also shows the importance of collaboration between schools and local business and industry, especially in tough financial times.

Instructors are excited for this opportunity to deliver a college credit course at Albert Lea High School.

This summer the instructors will be setting up a classroom to be used for engineering. They will prepare a computer lab for the new software to be installed and practicing the skills which students will be learning in the coming year.

Class visits ALBDC

On April 17, the entrepreneurship class visited the Albert Lea Business Development Center. During their visit, director Ryan Nolander informed them of the organization&8217;s purpose to assist the development of small businesses by providing a variety of services including leasing space at a very affordable price. ALBDC is an incubator organization and has many businesses start using its services and facilities. While the students were there, they also spoke with Mike Lee from Daisy Blue Naturals. He stressed several important issues regarding owning a business including: knowing your target market, knowing your product, being able to change with market demands, making your product stand out based on quality, etc.

The students will use the information as they prepare a business plan for their final project in entrepreneurship class.

Choir goes on short tour

The Albert Lea Concert Choir recently took a short tour.

Members attended a Broadway touring production of &8220;Jersey Boys&8221; at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. They also did a choral exchange at Lakeville North High School, singing for and listening to the top Chorale group. Next, they traveled to St. Olaf College where they sang for Dr. Chris Aspaas. He worked with the group on their upcoming Big Nine music and gave suggestions.