Sessions for parents of preschoolers

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District is holding two sessions next week for parents wanting information on kindergarten classes and choices for next school year.

Parents of preschoolers can learn about kindergarten, including the district's return to all-day free kindergarten, during the one-hour sessions.

The first session is Thursday at 5 p.m. and the second is Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. Both sessions will be at the Diamondhead Education Center on the upper level. The center is at 200 W. Burnsville Parkway in Burnsville.

Topics for discussion also will include magnet school options and other issues of interest to parents and guardians. A school principal and kindergarten teacher will be available to answer questions.

For more information or to register by phone, call the district at 952-707-4150.

The district also has a series of kindergarten orientations that are scheduled at each of the 10 elementary schools in January.

Teacher's family gives books to school

The family of a longtime teacher in the Burnsville school district has donated more than 1,000 books she collected to Sky Oaks Elementary in her memory, the school district announced.

The district on its website said Donna Swindal's family donated the 1,047 books last month. The books, accumulated during 35 years of teaching, are a collection of children's literature, including fairy tales, and some non-fiction.

Swindal, who died in 2006 from cancer, taught in the district from 1969 until retiring in 2000. She was the district teacher of the year in 1993 and the runner-up to the state teacher of the year.

"These books will leave a lasting legacy to students at Sky Oaks Elementary and we are honored by the generosity of Donna's family," said Nancy Meyer, the district's elementary media specialist. "I was lucky enough to work with Donna at the beginning of my career as a teacher, and her enthusiasm and expertise were influential to me as an educator."


Robotics team OK'd by board

The Belle Plaine school board has authorized the creation of a robotics team at Belle Plaine High School.

The vote earlier this month will allow a school team to compete this winter if enough students sign up to participate.

The goal is to spur student interest in math and science through the robotics team, which a number of districts now have.

As a means of attracting interest, a robot built by students from Prior Lake will be on display at the Belle Plaine High School on Tuesdays.