School Matters

Published 1:15 am Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fourth-graders read to first-graders in the buddy reading program at Hawthorne Elementary. -- Submitted photos

Start of robotics competition

Albert Lea High School students traveled to Mankato Saturday to attend the start of this year’s FIRST Robotics competition. The kick-off reveals this year’s challenge and begins an intense six-week building period for teams building robots to compete with and against other teams for the Upper Midwest. Albert Lea’s FIRST Robotics team is led by teachers Mike Sundblad, Ken Fiscus, Pam Ruble, Kane Malo and Casey McIntyre.

Early childhood screenings

Minnesota requires a check of vision, hearing and developmental growth of all 3- to 5-year olds before starting kindergarten. The Albert Lea School District conducts free screenings each month at Brookside Education Center.

If your child has not been screened call Julie Sager at 507-379-4843 or e-mail jsager@albertlea.k12.mn.us to schedule your child’s 60- to 75-minute appointment. The next screening will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 19.

Knowledge bowl had competition

The Knowledge Bowl team of Mark McGivern, Josh Piper, Naomi Wilkerson and Ben Leisen placed first out of 18 teams in a competition on Dec. 13. The other team of Caleb Gaudian, Jon Koenigs, Brooke Thompson and Curi Lestrud finished fourth. The next competition is Monday.

Southwest announces Art Students of the Week for December

Each week in Jessica Bremer’s art class there are two seventh-graders and two eighth-graders chosen to be the Student of the Week. The students are selected if they are ready each day for class, respectful and responsible. Each Friday it’s announced which students won. The student’s name is displayed on the bulletin board for the week and they receive an award, five points extra credit and a Southwest pencil. Listed is the students of the week for December:

Dec. 3:

Seventh-graders: Brock Carstens and Jenny Bump

Eighth-graders: Kimball Blake and Emily Ortiz

Dec. 10:

Seventh-graders: Coleen Raatz and Carly Adams

Eighth-graders: Krista Davis and Spencer Jenson

Dec. 17:

Seventh-graders: Jon Lein and Emma Iverson

Eighth-graders: Sara Niebuhr and Garrett Matz

Southwest students donate toys

The Southwest Middle School Youth Advisory Council collected and donated many gifts to the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots drive. The gifts were donated by students and staff at Southwest.

Buddy readings at Hawthorne

Hawthorne Elementary School fourth-graders are spending time each week reading with first- and second-grade buddies. Dawn Ware’s fourth-graders read with Dara Gjersvik’s first-graders, and Jill Petersen’s fourth-graders read with Nicole Severtson’s first-graders. Angela Grimes’ fourth-graders and Ashlee Hunter’s first-graders practice buddy reading each week in the after school program. Buddy reading allows the older students to work on reading fluency while the younger students are assisted in identifying new words in some of their favorite books.