ORONO

District wins School of Character award

The Orono School District earned the state's first-ever Minnesota School of Character award during an awards ceremony at the State Capitol.

The Center for Academic Excellence and state Department of Education sponsored the event last month to recognize schools with exemplary character-education programs.

Orono received an $86,760 grant from the state Department of Education in 2006 for staff training and materials to develop a more comprehensive approach to its Character Counts program. It's rooted in principles developed by the Los Angeles-based Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics.

Students in the west-suburban district have been exposed to character-building principles at various grade levels for more than six years. Recent examples include a bullying prevention program at Orono Middle School and student leadership initiatives at Orono High School.

For more information about the award or the Character Counts program, visit www.orono.k12.mn.us.

CHASKA

Chanhassen joins Lake Conference

Chanhassen High School will join the Lake Conference when the school opens in Fall 2009, school officials said.

The Chaska School District's second high school was accepted unanimously by the Lake Conference executive committee last month, district officials said. Chaska High School also will remain in the Lake Conference.

Secondary schools in the Bloomington, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Lakeville and Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley school districts are also Lake Conference members. Chanhassen High's acceptance makes it the league's 12th member school.

For more information about activities at Chaska and Chanhassen high schools, visit www.district112.org.

WEST METRO AREA

Solstice fundraiser for Teens Alone

Teens Alone will host its "Surf's Up" fundraiser to celebrate the longest day of the year from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at the St. Louis Park Aquatics Park, 3700 Monterey Drive.

Tickets cost $3 per person or $7 per family. Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. All proceeds benefit Teens Alone, a Hopkins nonprofit agency that provides free crisis counseling and referral services to west-metro youth and their families in partnership with the Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Orono, St. Louis Park and Wayzata school districts.

At least 150 west-metro youth were homeless last year and 250 more were in housing crises, according to Teens Alone.

For more information about the event or Teens Alone, call 952-988-TEEN (8336) or visit www.teensalone.org.

BLOOMINGTON

School registration deadline approaches

Bloomington School District residents can register students for kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2008-09 school year at their neighborhood schools through June 9.

After that date, registrations must be completed in the assistant principal's office at the Bloomington Educational Services Center, 1350 W. 106th St., Bloomington.

Middle and high school registration is conducted at individual schools throughout the year.

For more information about Bloomington School District's registration process, visit www.bloomington.k12.mn.us or call 952-681-6478.

PATRICE RELERFORD