Peggy Isaacson

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A Note From Maggie

Happy Autumn Everyone,

 
We are having such a beautiful fall and that makes our beginning of the school year that much better.  This is my favorite time of the school year and brings back wonderful memories of when I was a child in elementary school.  Around the building I see teachers putting up autumn decorations, Larry's put the corn stalk outside the front of the school, the leaves are turning and we have completed our first walk to the State Park.   I hope that your family's return to school has gone smoothly, although I know from personal experience it's one of the biggest upheavals for families each year.  
 
Over the next 3 to 4 weeks we will be giving  NWEA (Maps) testing and are hoping to have all of those results in time for conferences in November.  Only 1st through 5th graders take these tests and they are tested in both reading and math.  Please check your child's Weekly Peek to see when they will be testing.  
 
It's definitely gotten chillier this week so it looks like it's time to dig out the winter gear.  Please be sure to contact me if you have questions or concerns.  The communication between home and school is such an important part of children's success.  I hope you all feels comfortable contacting me.

 

 

Prairie Appreciation Rescheduled

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.

Family Letter

Dear Families,
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.

Sincerely,
Maggie Kiley

In Loving Memory

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.

State Rep. Brian Daniels visits Nerstrand School

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.

Parents, Friends, Community Members, Alumni, Join Our Band

Please join our 5th Grade Band on Thursday, April 30, 2015. The musical selections have been chosen for this year's Community Celebration. "America the Beautiful" by Samuel A. Ward arr. Higgins, "Popcorn Prelude" Mike Hannickel, "Jester Dance" Mekel Rogers, "Majestica" Brian Balmages,  "St. Anthony Chorale" attributed to Franz Joseph Haydn arr. Mark Williams, "Cabaret" from the musical Cabaret by John Kander, "Surfin' U.S.A." music by Chuck Berry arr. Michael Sweeney.

Parts available are: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Bari Sax, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba and Percussion. Percussionists will need to supply snare drum and bell kit. Many percussionists are needed this year.

Music can be picked up beginning Monday, February 23, 2015 in the school office.

Rehearsal will be on Thursday evening, April 30 in the gym from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Community Celebration will begin at 6:45 p.m. with the band.

Thank you for joining us for this fun evening!

State Senator Vicki Jensen Visits Nerstrand School

Minnesota State Senator Vicki Jensen was a guest at Nerstrand School today. Senator Jensen 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, Senator Jensen 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.

Art Adventure Program Comes to Nerstrand School

Kurt Klett presents Maggie's students with A Rainy Day on Hennepin Ave. circa 1902

The Art Adventure Program introduces K-6 students to works of art from a variety of cultures. Trained school volunteers visit classrooms with posters of art relating to a common theme, such as animals, celebrations, or relationships. This year the theme is How People Lived. This program is a way of bringing works of art that can't leave the museum into elementary school classrooms. Each of the ten Art Adventure reproduction sets features eight works of art chosen around a theme of particular interest to children. A Picture Person in a volunteer from the school community who presents the reproductions in the classrooms. Before they visit any classrooms, Picture People come to the museum for a training session on the reproduction set their school will be using that year.  The Picture Person encourages the children first and foremost to look at the reproduction and talk about what they see. They will facilitate the discussion with thoughtful open-ended questions and related props rather than delivering "lecture" style information.Picture Person presentations provide students with a rare opportunity to spend time looking at art and express what they see in words. Students gain confidence in their ability to find meaning in artifacts from a wide range of world cultures. They practice seeing things from another person's point of view, whether it's their classmate's or the artist's. They feel the thrill of meeting an old friend when they later come upon familiar objects at the museum. And, not least, they enjoy meaningful contact with a visiting member of the school

Holiday Sharing Project

As you step into out school these days, the halls are filled with many happy children practicing their holiday program songs. Or maybe you notice the smell of tempra paint. Why you ask? The children are busily drawing and painting some of the background pictures that will be used for the program. As you travel on down the breezeway you will notice decorated garland hanging from the ceiling and a decorated tree in the greenhouse. But these are not just any decorations. These decorations are hats, mittens and golves that will be donated to St. Vincent DePaul, in Faribault, and given to children and families in need. Our holiday program this year is titled, "The Snow Tree" and focuses on the gift of giving. In that spirit, we are asking for donations of new hats, gloves, and mittens for individuals who are in need. This is an opportunity for our school family to support this local program and help children and adults to stay warm during the winter months. Over the years, we have been impressed by how these projects collectively unite students, while at the same time teaching them the value of giving to those in need. The donations will be delivered to the St. Vincent DePaul facility in Faribault on Friday, December 20th in the morning. We have a good start, but need many more items to reach our goal. If you can help, please send unwrapped hats, mittens, or gloves to school before the 20th of December and let's see if we can fill the garland and tree. And of course, we would like to see you at our Holiday Program which will be on December 19 at 12:45 and 6:45 PM.

Our Tipi Experience as Told By Larry

Once every three years at Nerstrand School we set up the tipi to study and reflect on the life of the Dakota
Indians who lived in this area along the Straight and Cannon Rivers.  They were members of the Wapakute
Tribe.  Their villages moved often, always in rythum with nature and the seasons of the year.
 
We will share what life was like for a Dakota family and how the children learned their role as a member of the village where they lived.  The food we serve
will depend on how sucessful this seasons hunt will be. It was always that way for the Wapakute.
 
The Dakota had a very strong sense of community.They often had to work together, travel together, hunt together and share their food.  Great celebrations
were held for important events.  We remember the Dakota for all these things but most of all we remember them as survivors in a very harsh enviroment

Larry 

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