Inspire 199 - October 2016
Published on Oct 31, 2016 17:17


The Inver Grove Heights School Board met on Monday, Oct. 24, with the following items on the agenda:

  • District highlights
    • Pine Bend University, a before- and after-school program, offers students extra learning time and a focus on foundational skills during the school year.
  • Consent agenda
    • Minutes from previous School Board meetings
    • Cash disbursements
    • Personnel transactions and donations
    • Gifts and grants
  • Information items
    • TriDistrict Career and College Readiness Design Lead, Ben Kusch, presented the board with a TriDistrict update
    • Director of Learning, Teajai Anderson Schmidt, and Director of Instructional Technology, Caroline Little, presented an overview of October 1 enrollment and demographics.
    • Director of Learning, Teajai Anderson Schmidt, and Director of Instructional Technology, Caroline, Little, presented a summary of 2015-2016 state testing data results.
    • Director of Human Resources, Julie Coffey, presented information about the district’s Insurance Dependent Eligibility Audit, which is anticipated to take place in January 2017.
    • Superintendent Dave Bernhardson discussed an Equity Alliance extension for the 2017-2018 school year.
    • Board committee reports
    • Membership reports
  • Action items
    • Approval of Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Bond refunding. This refund and refinancing will save ISD 199 taxpayers $2.3 million over the next 10 years.
    • Approval of the state-funded competitive Support Our Students Grant, which will match special education funding to hire a full-time social worker for Simley High School.
    • Approval of the School Board Appraisal Process, which asks board members to conduct a self-appraisal that will be presented at the November 28 regular board meeting.

The meeting video and supporting documents are available on the district website. Future School Board meetings include a Work Session on Monday, November 14, at 5:30PM at the District Office and a regular meeting on Monday, November 28, at 6:30PM at Simley High School.



93 Simley Students Earn AP Scholar Awards
Advanced Placement (AP) classes provide college-level coursework and a final exam that can earn students college credit if they score high enough on the 0-5 point scale. Students can also earn recognitions for high scores, such as the College Board’s AP Scholar Awards. Each year, the College Board gathers data from high school AP tests across the U.S. to find students who have shown outstanding achievement. The organization awarded 93 Simley High School students with AP Scholar Awards in four categories, 8 of those students earned both the AP Scholar with Distinction Award and National AP Scholar Award. Congratulations to all of Simley’s AP Scholars!

Click here to see all of the AP Scholar Award recipients and award descriptions.


Simley Theatre Presents “You Can’t Take It with You,” November 10-13
"You Can't Take It with You" play poster
“You Can’t Take It with You”

At first, the Sycamores seem mad. But if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. 

In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. "You Can't Take It with You" follows the story of attractive young Tony Kirby and sweet Alice Sycamore as they fall in love. But Tony invites his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The Kirbys are shocked at the cheap food and Alice realizes that marrying Tony is out of the question. However, the Sycamores, though sympathetic to Alice, find it hard to understand her point of view. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and $3 for children (under 5 years old). 

Performances November 10-13

  • Thursday, November 10, at 7:00PM
  • Friday, November 11, at 7:00PM
  • Saturday, November 12, at 7:00PM
  • Sunday, November 13, at 2:00PM


Students Start Futures in Career Discovery

Construct Tomorrow

Simley High School’s Career Discovery classes help students develop an understanding of the work world before graduation to help them choose a career path and achieve success. Classes focus on developing acceptable business behavior and providing available resources and other tools for successful employment. Students also tour businesses, colleges, technical schools and training sites to see all the components of different career paths firsthand and connect with professionals.

Most recently, the students participated in the Construct Tomorrow program, which features contractors, government representatives and other construction professionals as well as hands-on activities that help students understand the construction industry. Students were able to try 25 different tasks, from brick laying and painting to plastering and metal working. They were also able to ask questions about the industry and gather information about career paths and apprenticeships.

“A 4-year college program is not for everyone,” counselor and field trip chaperone Amy Powers-Johnson said. “This field trip was a great way for students to find out what is out there and what jobs are in demand right now.”


Vikings Teach Hilltop How to S.T.O.P. Bullying

Vikings STOP Bullying Campaign

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness month, and Hilltop Elementary School students learned more ways to stand up to bullying with some familiar faces from the Minnesota Vikings. Viktor the Viking and a Vikings cheerleader visited Hilltop to teach students about their S.T.O.P. Bullying Campaign.

Viktor, Vikings player Blair Walsh, radio announcer Paul Allen, and Vikings cheerleaders all explained the different aspects of bullying, such as the different kinds of bullying and the roles people play in bullying, and how to prevent it. The campaign encouraged students to S.T.O.P. (Stand up to bullying, Take appropriate action, Open up to an adult about the details of the incident, and Protect themselves and others). 

Student volunteers showed their peers how bullying in the form of physical or emotional attacks, such as hitting or teasing, stick with the person being bullied for a long time. Students were also able to identify the bully, the person being bullied, and the bystanders who watched the situation in clips that showed examples of bullying. Before the end of the assembly, Viktor gave Hilltop students a banner that said "I pledge to S.T.O.P. bullying" with players' signatures on it. 


ISD 199 Celebrates Spartan Football Announcer

Simley Spartans

The Rev. Orv Osmundson will be the first to admit he has no training in announcing games. But that didn’t stop him from dedicating 27 years to the craft and Simley High School’s Spartan football.

“Rev. Osmundson has been the voice of Simley football for more than 25 years,” Simley athletic director, Will Short, said. “He has given so much to Simley football, and we can never thank him enough for his years of service.” 

Click here to read the full article about Spartan announcer Orv Osmundson.


Adapted Bowling Coach Recognized with MSHSCA Award

MSHSCA Award winner Renita Jones

Simley High School adapted bowling coach, Renita Jones, was recognized at the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association (MSHSCA) Awards Banquet. She received the award for State Assistant Coach of the Year for Adapted Sports. Mrs. Jones has been coaching for more than 20 years, spending the past five with Simley adapted bowling. Under her guidance, the team has won three state championships and earned a second and third place finish last year.

Mrs. Jones has a history of excellent coaching, leading the Apple Valley Girls Track and Field team to four state championships before coming to Inver Grove Heights Schools. Congratulations and great work, Mrs. Jones!


Logo and Website Updates Coming Winter 2016 Will Reflect Strategic Plan and Goals

In July, the ISD 199 School Board approved a new strategic plan that seeks an “involved and invested community and district” by 2020. To accomplish this, the district has initiated changes to its logo and website that will make them more accessible and reflect the district’s current goals.

The updated district logo will serve as a symbol of the new strategic plan, illustrating the district’s move forward into the future. The simple, modern graphic will also provide flexibility in its use.

The website update is focused on cleaning up the district and school websites, eliminating duplicated or out-of-date links and information, and making the website as a whole easier to use. The website update will offer more accessibility through simplified navigation. The updated layout will also provide a better mobile experience. Many students, families and community members now use mobile devices more often, if not exclusively, to access websites, and a portion rely on mobile devices for internet access. In the interest of increased inclusivity, which is another goal of the 2016 strategic plan, the updated layout will provide a more user friendly experience for those stakeholders who access the website on mobile devices.

More information on launch dates will be available in the coming weeks. ISD 199 is eager to develop a website that will work better for students, staff, families and community members and a logo to reflect the district’s strategic directions.

Simley Finishes Facilities Updates

Student Center

The construction dust is slowly clearing from Simley High School after three years of renovations. In 2014, the school finished updates to the stadium and field. In late 2015, the building unveiled its first transformations, featuring the Performing Arts Center, band and choir rooms, the outdoor activities building, and the wrestling and dance rooms. The district used the funds it had saved and reallocated over time to finish the planned improvements for Simley this year. The final additions will include two innovative spaces focused on providing resources for students, staff and the community.

Click here to read the full article about Simley's facilities updates.

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 Pine Bend Elementary School’s Glow Run and Student Council speeches, Kindness Day at Salem Hills Elementary School, Hilltop Elementary School’s S.T.O.P. Bullying assembly with Viktor the Viking, and Simley High School’s AVID college visits in Duluth.



  • Thursday, November 10 - Sunday, November 13: Simley Theatre presents its fall play, “You Can’t Take It with You.” Tickets are available now at
  • Thursday, November 17: Superintendent Dave Bernhardson will host an informal Inquire Inform Inspire Community Talk at Cahill Diner (6504 Cahill Avenue), 10:15AM-11:15AM, and answer questions about the school district. No registration required; event is free and open to the public. Please click here to learn more about the Inquire Inform Inspire Community Talks.
  • Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25: NO SCHOOL
  • Monday, November 28, 6:30PM at Simley High School (2920 80th Street East): School Board Meeting