Rosemount- Apple Valley-Eagan

District to expand preschool offerings

In fall 2014, the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District will expand its half-day preschool offerings for 3- and 4-year-olds in the district. Through the new District 196 Connections Preschool program, families will have more locations and program offerings to choose from.

Previously, the district had a range of programs with varying names, registration processes and formats, but, now, all preschool offerings will have the same name and registration process, along with common curriculum. The district will also offer more financial assistance than before. Preschool will be offered in the morning and afternoon at seven locations in the district.

Preschool registrations received by March 14, 2014, will receive priority. Brochures will be mailed to all families with 3- and 4-year-old children in the district. To learn more or receive a brochure, visit the Connections Preschool website, call (952) 431-8334 or email

Conference focus on girls' math, science interest

School District 196 and Inver Hills Community College are co-sponsoring an "Expanding Your Horizons" conference in an effort to pique the interest of middle-school girls in science and math. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 5 at Inver Hills Community College, 2500 80th St. E., Inver Grove Heights.

The keynote address will be given by Yvonne Ng, president and founder of Engineer's Playground and interim executive director of the National Center for STEM Elementary Education at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. The day will feature career workshops and a chance to meet female role models with careers in math and science and an optional college tour. Parents and teachers may also attend concurrent workshops on college planning and STEM careers.

The cost is $15 for students and $9 for adults. Some bus transportation is available from District 196 middle schools. Registrations will be accepted through March 20. Go to and use the code: YEYHS-S1. For registration questions, call Community Education at (651) 423-7920. For conference information, call Cathy Kindem, coordinator of innovative educational programs at (651) 423-7911.


Third-graders earn honors at vocabulary contest

Third-graders in the Ignite! class at Oak Hills Elementary recently won "highest honors" at the WordMasters Challenge, a national vocabulary competition that involves about 150,000 kids each year. The class placed seventh in the country, earning 175 out of 200 points in the first three meets of the year.

In addition, third-grader Dylan McKenzie, who competed in the Gold Division, earned a perfect score of 20, a feat achieved by only 17 third-graders in the country. Other Ignite! students with strong individual results included Evan Raiche, Katelyn Caulder, John Morton and Justus Ray.


An open dialogue about teen drug use

The Burnsville Police Department and District 191 will sponsor "A Night to Know the Truth," an event aimed at recognizing and preventing teen drug abuse from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at Nicollet Junior High, 400 E. 134th St., Burnsville.

The night will feature speakers sharing their own stories of abusing drugs as teens, including how they kept the secret from their parents. There will also be specialists in prevention there to discuss drug-use trends, causes of addiction, and ways that family and friends can intervene. "Know The Truth" is a substance abuse prevention program of Minnesota Teen Challenge.


Teachers get new contract

The Farmington Education Association and the Farmington district have come to agreement on a new two-year contract. The contract was approved at the Jan. 27 school board meeting and ratified by the teachers the week before that.

It is retroactive to July 1, 2013, and includes a one-half percent increase the first year and a 4.25 percent increase the second year. There's also a new stipend for teachers who earn national board certification.

Negotiations began last spring and continued through the fall. The process took a bit longer than in previous years "due to some very good conversations between the parties," said MaryAnn Thomas, the district's human resources director.

Staff reports