The school will expand and tweak its hybrid and flipped classes, Kusch said. Two existing classes that earn students college credit added another section — an Introduction to Global Geography class through St. Cloud State University and a College in the Schools calculus class through the University of Minnesota.
Farmington now has a “spirit rock,” a five-ton boulder located near the east entrance. Student groups will paint the rock to promote upcoming events and school pride. The rock was purchased by the FHS Youth Development Committee.
The high school is in the process of hiring a new athletic and activities director and should finalize the decision this week.
Principal: Mike Johnson
Expected enrollment: 1,500
The high school will be implementing a new Peer Helpers program this year for students in grades 9-12. The program will train between 20 and 24 students to counsel their peers about issues ranging from mental health to friends and family concerns. Principal Mike Johnson said that when students were asked with whom they wanted to discuss their problems, they often said they wanted to talk to another student their age. This is a way to “train them to be good listeners and good advocates,” Johnson said. They will also learn when they must involve an adult.
Last year, three of the high school’s students died, two from suicides and one in a car accident. The program is a way to take something positive from the losses, Johnson said. Students will be selected by teachers and have a range of backgrounds and interests.
Hastings will also add a new class in computer programming and video game design this year, offered through the IT department. “There are some schools that are trying to get away from [teaching] programming, but we want to add it,” said Johnson. Three sections will be offered, with 75 students enrolled. The class will teach concepts of artificial intelligence, game theory, programming, graphics and networking.
Principal: Ryan Redetzke
Expected enrollment: 1,400
Principal Ryan Redetzke will be a new face at Henry Sibley High School this year. Previously, Redetzke served as assistant principal of Faribault High School.
Sibley will add a new class of freshmen students enrolled in AVID, now in its second year. The school is in the planning stages of implementing more opportunities to earn college credit through an Inver Hills Community College partnership, which would begin 2014.