Inspire 199 - September 2016
Published on Sep 30, 2016 17:26

ISD 199



The Inver Grove Heights School Board met on Monday, Sept. 26, with the following items on the agenda:

        District highlights

o    Transportation Department earns perfect vehicle inspection score for the 4th year in a row

o    District introduces communications and marketing manager, Katie Sheridan

        Consent agenda

o    Minutes from previous School Board meetings

o    Cash disbursements

o    Personnel transactions and donations

o    Gifts and grants

        Information items

o    Salem Hills/Atheneum Elementary staff (Joe Melde, Rachel McLaughlin, Jessica Swanson and Tina Willette) share makerspace learning

o    Board committee reports

        Action items

o    Certify proposed levy for taxes payable in 2017

o    Approval of Apple Lease Agreement to replace outdated iPads with the latest version

o    Approval of Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Bond refunding. This refunding will potentially save ISD 199 taxpayers a minimum of $1,800,000 for over 10 years

o    Approval of Intermediate School District 917 Facilities resolution

o    Approval of the Paraprofessional Agreement

o    Approval of Non-Bargained Salary Increases

o    Approval of the 55+ Adult Service Agreement with the city of Inver Grove Heights

The meeting video and supporting documents are available on the district website. Future School Board meetings include a Work Session on Monday, October 10, at the District Office and a regular meeting on Monday, October 24, at Pine Bend Elementary. Both meetings are at 5:30 p.m.



District Discusses School Start/End Times

The ISD 199 School Board has requested a team of community members and district staff to review school start/end times. This request is due to research conducted on the sleep patterns of teens and the impact on student achievement. There are two community meetings to provide information and talk about some options under consideration. Those able to attend will have the opportunity to provide input on the discussions.

The information sessions will be held:

        Monday, October 3, at 6:00PM at Simley High School IMC (2920 80th Street East)
        Thursday, October 6, at 6:00PM at Hilltop Elementary School Gymnasium (3201 68th Street East)

If you are unable to attend, an online survey will be available after the community meetings. 

Before attending the community meetings or completing the survey, you are encouraged to view the research presented to the district review team last summer. The presentations and notes were provided by University of Minnesota director of sleep medicine, Dr. Conrad Iber, and College of Education and Human Development senior research fellow Kyla Wahlstrom          

           Click here to see the full presentations.

·          Click here to see highlights of the presentations.

·          Click here to see Dr. Conrad Iber’s research notes.

·          Click here to see Kyla Wahlstrom’s research notes.

For more information about the review, click here to see the full article.


Inquire, Inform, Inspire Community Talks

Join ISD 199's Inquire Inform Inspire Community Talks

During the 2016-2017 school year, Superintendent Dave Bernhardson will be available at locations throughout the community for informal community talks. ISD199 invites you to visit with him and ask questions about the district. Join the October 20 talk for a tour of Simley High School’s new facilities, including the Performing Arts Center, and a chance to ask questions.

*Thursday, October 20

10:30AM - 11:30AM

Simley Performing Arts Center (2920 80th Street East)

Thursday, November 17

10:15AM - 11:15AM

Cahill Diner
(6504 Cahill Avenue)

Monday, December 12

8:30AM - 9:30AM

Caribou Coffee
(9008 Cahill Avenue)

Thursday, February 16

10:15AM - 11:00AM

Timber Hills
(6307 Burnham Circle)

Monday, April 17

8:30AM - 9:30AM

Cahill Diner
(6504 Cahill Avenue)

Monday, May 15

8:30AM - 9:30AM

Caribou Coffee

(5763 Blaine Avenue)

*The October 20 talk will also involve a tour of Simley High School’s new facilities, including the Performing Arts Center.



Two Simley Students Selected as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Simley National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists

Every year, the National Merit Scholarship Program awards thousands of scholarships to high achieving students across the U.S. Less than one percent of high school seniors qualified as semifinalists this year. Two of the qualifiers are Simley High School seniors Moriah Elkin and Annika Herdtle who earned outstanding PSAT scores.

The National Merit Scholarship Program will hold finalist and winner rounds to determine which students will receive scholarships. Students will be judged on their academic record, school and community activities, leadership skills, employment, and honors and awards. Judges will select winners based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in college.

Finalists will be announced in February, and scholarship winners will be announced starting in April. Congratulations and good luck to Annika and Moriah!


Nearly 50 ISD199 Students Earn Spots at WE Day Minnesota

IGH Middle students attend WE Day

More than 70 ISD199 students earned a spot at Minnesota’s WE Day at the Xcel Energy Center on September 20. WE Day celebrates young people making positive local and global change through community service. Tickets to the event can only be earned through demonstrated volunteerism, and this year, 26 Salem Hills Elementary School 5th graders, 23 Inver Grove Heights Middle School 8th graders, and 27 Simley High School juniors and seniors earned the opportunity.

“WE Day was awesome!” Salem Hills 5th grader Jaidyn said. “I learned about ways to help people so we can make the world a better place.”

The ISD199 students joined 18,000 students from across Minnesota to celebrate service learning with musical performances by popular artists like OMI and to hear from student speakers and famous figures, such as Buzz Aldrin and Paula Abdul, about the importance of helping others.

“It is important for students to build a sense of empathy and work for the common good,” Simley Student Council advisor Rebecca Ney said of the WE Day opportunity. “Service learning provides students with an opportunity to learn and grow from the people in their local community and around the world.”


Simley Alumnus Returns to Hoist the Stanley Cup

Simley alumnus Scott Bell visited IGH with Stanley Cup after successful season with Pittsburgh Penguins

Simley High School alumnus and Pittsburgh Penguins scout, Scott Bell, brought the Stanley Cup to Inver Grove Heights on Wednesday, September 28. Simley hockey players, students, and staff joined the more than 1,000 visitors who came to the Veterans Memorial Community Center to take pictures with Scott and the Cup. Thank you for sharing your exciting accomplishment with Inver Grove Heights, Scott!


Salem Hills Introduces New Outlets for Student Innovation

Salem Hills makerspace

At the September 26, 2016, school board meeting, Salem Hills Elementary School talked about its new makerspace and Genius Hours, which will encourage student innovation. A makerspace is an area with everyday materials, such as craft supplies, and new technology, such as 3D printers, that allows students to explore and innovate. Students do projects, test their own ideas and inventions, and learn to use technology at their own speed.

“A makerspace is basically a place where students can come in and experiment,” Atheneum Gifted Magnet Program teacher Jessica Swanson said. “They can use the foundation they’ve built in the classroom as a springboard into developing their 21st Century Skills, such as creating, collaborating, analyzing and innovating, in the makerspace.”

Mrs. Swanson also said the students will use the scientific process to come up with ideas, test them and refine them on their own.

“Their teachers will act as mentors and guides, especially for the younger students,” she said. “But we really want students to come up with their own questions and find the answers.”

Salem Hills teacher Joe Melde added that a makerspace is a safe place for students to fail and try again.

“They’re not improving if they’re not at least trying something that’s really hard for them,” he said.  

Classes will start using the makerspace in coming weeks for their Genius Hours, which are held at the end of every Friday. A Genius Hour gives students time to pursue their interests through a project. Students must think of a question they want to answer and gather research on the topic. The result of their project must also help someone, whether it has a community service component or a lesson that they can teach to other students.

Though many students were unsure of what they wanted to learn at the beginning of the first Genius Hour, everyone had an idea by the end.

Principal Tina Willette said, “At the end of the Genius Hour, when Mr. Melde asked students what they wanted to explore, every hand shot up and the room was filled with energy.”

Salem Hills Elementary School will accept donations of items to stock their makerspace. Needs include items such as knitting needles, circuitry sets, robotics, patterned duct tape, Scotch Tape, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, beads, elastic cord, potholder looms and fabric loops, but the school will accept a range of donations.


For more District News, visit and click the “News and Events” tab.


Check out the Inver Grove Heights Community Schools Facebook page for photos, updates, and more!

-This month, see photos of Link Crew, 9th Grade Orientation, the district in the IGH Days Parade and Simley Soccer’s food drive, Hilltop’s Cinnamon Bun Breakfast, the Atheneum and Salem Hills teamwork field trips and Simley’s Homecoming.



  •        Monday, October 3, at Simley High School IMC (2920 80th Street East) and Thursday, October 6, at Hilltop Elementary School (3201 68th Street East) at 6:00PM: Start/End Time Community Informational Sessions
  •       Friday, October 7: Early Release (11:45AM for Elementary Schools, 11:05AM for Secondary Schools)
  •       Monday, October 17-Wednesday, October 19: K-12 Conferences (evening conferences on October 17 and 18)
  •       Wednesday, October 19-Friday, October 21: NO SCHOOL
  •       Thursday, October 20, 10:30AM-11:30AM at Simley’s Performing Arts Center (2920 80th Street East): Community Talk with Superintendent and tour of Simley's updated facilities
  •       Monday, October 24, 5:30PM at Pine Bend Elementary School (9872 Inver Grove Trail): School Board Meeting