Minnehaha students win debate contest

A team of Minnehaha Academy students won the 2012 Classic Debate State Festival earlier this month.

Juniors Michael Everett and Hugh Mayo defeated teams from Benilde-St. Margaret, Rochester Mayo and Eastview High School to advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. The festival was sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League and held at South St. Paul High School.


Middle school collects items for VEAP

More than 8,000 food and toiletry items were collected recently by Richfield Middle School to benefit Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP), a Twin Cities-based nonprofit group helping lower-income people in Richfield, Bloomington, Edina and south Minneapolis.

The eight-day food drive far exceeded the students' goal of collecting 1,000 items, or about one item per student. It was organized by eighth-grade Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) classes, a college-readiness program which targets students in the academic middle.


Junior high teacher wins statewide award

Hopkins teacher Kim Campbell was recently named the Minnesota Middle Level Educator Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Middle School Association.

Campbell, who was honored Dec. 7, has worked as a teacher at West Junior High since 1999 and has also written two books and several articles on subjects ranging from innovative teaching techniques to classroom management strategies. She also was a semifinalist for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year.


Lego team tops regional contest

The Leggo My Lego team of Robbinsdale Area Schools won first place at the regional First Lego League tournament, beating out 31 other teams.

The team will now advance to the Minnesota First Lego League tournament in February. The tournament is part of High Tech Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps students build confidence, create opportunities and thrive in the 21st century.

On the team are Plymouth Middle School students Drew Carlson, Parker Erickson and Elise Gallup; Robbinsdale Middle School student Cole Ashley-Grochowski; Armstrong High School freshman Ben Gallup; and Providence Academy student Evan Condon. The team is coached by Paul Gallup and Paul Carlson.

The Robbinsdale students won several other awards at the contest, including first in head-to-head robot run, first in robot programming, first in robot design, second in research and second in core values.


Speech teams host two mini camps

Bloomington students in fourth through eighth grades are invited to attend two mini speech camps held by the Jefferson/Kennedy High School speech team on Jan. 5 and Jan. 19.

The sessions take place from 9-11:30 a.m. on both days at Jefferson High School, 4001 W. 102nd St. Check-in at the school's media center starts at 8:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $30; siblings receive a $10 discount.

The sessions include speech activities and exercises, an introduction to the 13 speech categories and a short competition in the storytelling category. To register, go to www.star tribune.com/a1934.

Community survey results released

Bloomington schools recently released the results from their latest community survey, conducted by Minneapolis' Decision Resources.

More than 600 district households and parents answered the survey in October, giving the district the strongest survey results since the district started the community poll in the 1980s. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent to 6.3 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.

Among the key findings: 85 percent of respondents rated the quality of education as excellent or good, up from 79 percent in 2007. Of respondents, 84 percent rated teachers and instructional staff positively, while 70 percent rated the school board positively, 69 percent rated principals positively and 68 percent rated administration positively.

Ten percent rated the district's technology as excellent while 71 percent said it's good. And financially, 68 percent strongly agreed or agreed that the district spent tax money effectively and efficiently.

For more results, go to www.bloomington.k12.mn.us.