Principal: Jerry Sakala
Expected enrollment: 1,150
Principal Jerry Sakala is excited to debut an elective class in EMT/EMR (emergency medical technician or emergency medical responder) certification, the first of its kind in the south metro.
In addition, “Our relationship with Inver Hills (Community College) is expanding exponentially,” Sakala said. This includes participating in the LADR (Leading and Developing Readiness) program for the second year, which is aimed at students in grades 10-12 who are in the middle academically. In the program, students earn college credit at Inver Hills because the high school classes they take are the same as classes there.
Last year, LADR language arts classes were offered. This year, math classes were added. Simley is now offering a pre-calculus and trigonometry class to juniors in two 25-student cohorts.
Sakala said taking college credits in high school ultimately will save students money because they have to pay for fewer credits later on. He estimated the partnerships have already saved Inver Grove Heights’ families $1.5 million.
South St. Paul
Principal: Butch Moening
Expected enrollment: 900 (9-12)
As they begin senior year, 19 South St. Paul students are on track to graduate with their high school diploma, an International Baccalaureate diploma and an A.A. degree from Inver Hills Community College, according to Principal Butch Moening. It’s the first time students have had this opportunity, and Moening isn’t aware of another Minnesota school that offers all three. The Inver Hills partnership began last year.
The two district elementary schools will be starting remodeling and addition projects this year, the result of a $26.7 million bond referendum passed by South St. Paul residents in May. Plans eventually call for a secondary-school addition to accommodate sixth-graders in 2015-16, but that project won’t begin this year.
The district will provide 800 Chromebooks to students this year, with juniors and seniors receiving their own devices.
The school will now offer Chinese classes, and tweak the six-period day slightly, with certain classes now offered every other day, all year, Moening said. Finally, the school has new carpet in some areas.