I have been looking through old binders and files in my office and came upon our Mission Statement, which we still have today. Our mission statement says that Nerstrand Elementary School will empower students to be self-directed, lifelong learners by providing a nurturing, multiage environment that fosters cooperation and character development.
Happy Autumn Everyone,
Because of the large amount of rain we've had the last couple of days, we have decided to reschedule Prairie Appreciation Day for next Friday, Sept. 25. Two staff members went out to the Prairie this morning and it was very muddy and wet where our activities are to be held, The forcast is also calling for more rain around 1:00 today, about the time we are to board busses. We hope you will consider volunteering next week, Thank you for your help.
It has been a busy first week of school and we are off to an exciting start! I am so pleased to be back at Nerstrand School as the Director. It has been such fun to see familiar families and to meet new ones. I hope you always feel comfortable talking to me about concerns or questions and positive things happening with your child(ren) at our school.
Monday, September 14th, we will start having Homeroom. Homeroom is a time when siblings are together in one of our classrooms in a kindergarten through 5th grade experience. A big focus of homeroom is to establish community within our school, and also for children to be in the Spotlight each year. I will kick off Spotlight on Tuesday, September 15th with an all school meeting. I am grateful to Lori Amy for designing the Spotlight posters each year and this year it will be tied to the Peace Garden. Homerooms will be studying one of the areas of the Peace Garden this year and will learn a bit about the culture and customs of their country. Homerooms will be sharing their knowledge with each other in the spring.
We have also made plans to purchase ipads for classrooms. We are finalizing this order but are looking at purchasing 5 ipads per classroom for student use. Because of our internet infrastructure we are challenged with technology use but teachers are excited about using ipads in their classrooms in a variety of ways.
Next week we head to the Prairie on Friday as we study the Prairie and Savannah biome. According to Larry Richie two weeks ago he saw hundreds of monarchs on the Prairie preparing for their migration to Mexico. We may luck out and see some monarchs that have come down from Canada making their way to Mexico.
Finally, I want to thank Bonnie Jean Flom for stepping in as interim Director until the position was filled and I was able to get back to the U.S. Bonnie Jean has been a wonderful friend to this school for many years and has always done so much to promote it and to ensure its success. Thank you Bonnie Jean!
Also, thank you parents for your support of your children and this school. Our staff knows the importance of your involvement in your children’s lives and in your involvement of this school.
Dear Families of Nerstrand Elementary School,
As promised, I am getting back to you regarding the search for your new school director. The interviews with two outstanding candidates were concluded late last week, after which the selection committee made their decision.
I am pleased to announce that Maggie Kiley has accepted the offer to serve as your new director. As most of you know, Maggie taught grades 4/5 at Nerstrand School for the majority of her career. In 1999, when Nerstrand School was chartered, all teachers at Nerstrand were granted Leaves of Absence from the Faribault School District. When the Leaves of Absence expired in the spring of 2013, Maggie returned to the Faribault District, assuming a 4th grade teaching position at Lincoln School.
Maggie shares that she greatly enjoyed working with the students and staff at Lincoln, but that she feels better suited to a small school environment. She considered applying for the directorship at Nerstrand during the last search but decided at that time to remain in the classroom. She now feels that the time is right for her to assume a leadership role and she is grateful for the opportunity to serve the school that means so much to her.
Nerstrand School has always been greatly supported by the Faribault Public Schools. The District served as the charter school authorizer for many years and they continue to support Nerstrand as responsible and responsive landlords. Upon receiving her resignation, the District immediately posted her position at Lincoln.
I want to thank the interview team for coming together on such short notice. Maggie is currently in Ireland with her family – where the time zone is six hours ahead of ours - so we conducted a teleconference interview. Thank you, Mike Ross, Carmen Bonde, and Tara Vondrasek for your participation on the interview team. It was a privilege to work with you on this very important task. They designed excellent interview questions that enabled us to gain critical feedback from our highly qualified candidates.
Maggie will be in Ireland with her family until returning in time for Workshop Week. She has asked me to share with you how honored she is by the invitation to serve Nerstrand School as its new director. She looks forward to greeting you at the Open House on September 3rd and working with you and your children throughout the school year.
Bonnie Jean Flom,
Hiring Committee Coordinator
This past summer Nerstrand School lost a past principal and friend to our school and community. Dennis Deanovic passed away last July and leaves a lasting memory with us in the shape of an elephant in our Peace Garden. The Jack Cruikshank family made a memorial gift donation to the Deanovic family who in turn passed it on to the Peace Garden Committee at Nerstrand School. A trellis with a Chinese motif was purchased and placed in the garden by the Great Wall of China. We thank both the Deanovic family and the Cruishank family for the beautiful donation.
We would also like to thank all the families who have generously donated monetarily to the Peace Garden in the past. It has allowed us to add to the Peace Garden every year. Thank you very much!
Pictured: Alex, the grandson of the Cruikshanks' and a member of the Peace Garden Committee.
On April 30th, the school community will host the 18th annual ‘Community Celebration of Place: Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song,’ beginning at 6:45 p.m. Each year students interview an honored elder community guest and weave stories together into an original song, with lyrics written by students, that is shared at the program. This year community celebration will pay tribute to honoree 91 year old, Pete Keller, a lifelong resident of the area. The celebration also includes 38 elder’s medley’s from previous years, all sung by kindergarten – 5th grade students. The program also entertains the crowd with a community band to start the evening program, with alumni, community members and 5th grade students in the school’s gymnasium. The Community Celebration began at the school in 1998, with a residency at the school, with Larry Long, troubadour, and it has been taking place every year since.
School will be closed due to poor road conditions. Nerstrand Elementary follows the Faribault District closings.
Minnesota State Representative Brian Daniels was a guest at Nerstrand School on Friday, Feb. 20. Representative Daniels was given a tour of our school by two of our student ambassadors. The ambassadors described some of the many things that make Nerstrand school so unique, such as our multi-age classrooms, our K-5 family based homerooms, daily instruction in music and phy-ed for all students, and the many opportunities our students have to be involved in their school through student committee participation.
After the tour Representative Daniels met with Director, Lori Arndt and Business Manager, Keith Johnson to discuss small school revenue for charter schools, a legislative proposal which would positively impact Nerstrand School.