Inspire 199 - August 2017
Published on Aug 31, 2017 17:20

Inspire 199 Family Newsletter

The Inver Grove Heights School Board met on Monday, August 21, with the following items on the agenda:

District highlights
  • Superintendent Dave Bernhardson introduced Michele Carroll as the district’s new Director of Human Resources. She has previous work experience at Minneapolis Public Schools and Hopkins School District.

  • Superintendent Bernhardson introduced Glen Ritter as the new ISD 199 Director of Food Service. Mr. Ritter has more than 25 years of experience in food service.
Consent agenda
  • Minutes from previous school board meeting
  • Cash disbursements
  • Personnel transactions and donations
  • Gifts and grants
  • Memorandum of Understanding for District Office Administrative Assistants
  • Teajai Anderson Schmidt Approved as LEA Representative
Information items
  • Superintendent Bernhardson presented an update on the MDE Review and Comment
  • Superintendent Bernhardson presented an election update 
  • Board committee reports
  • Membership reports
Action items
  • Approval of the Food Service Contract
  • Approval of the Bus Drivers Contract
  • Approval of the District Office Administrative Assistants Contract
  • Approval of the Second Reading of the 600 Educational Programs Policy Series
Meeting information and video of the August 21 meeting are available on the district website. The next board work session will be held on Monday, September 11, at 5:30PM at the District Office, 2990 80th Street East in Inver Grove Heights. The next board meeting will be held on Monday, September 25, at Hilltop Elementary School, 3201 68th Street East in Inver Grove Heights. Both meetings will start at 5:30PM. 

Inver Grove Heights School Board Approves November Referendum
Residents of the Inver Grove Heights School District will be asked to vote on two referendum questions on Election Day, November 7. Voters will also vote for three school board members.

The two referendum questions are intended to allow the district to increase students’ career and college readiness, help the district remain competitive, and stabilize the district’s finances.

More information about the referendum is posted on the district's website at, and the district will mount an intensive information campaign so voters can learn more and make an informed decision.

Apply for Free and Reduced-Price Meals for 2017-2018
Elementary Lunch

Families can apply for free/reduced-priced meals any time during the school year. If you received free or reduced-price meals last year, you must complete an application before October 16, 2017 for uninterrupted benefits.

Free and reduced-price meal applications are available online in English and Spanish. Please click the ApplyNOW button at:

Paper copies of the Application for Education Benefits, household income guidelines, and instructions in Spanish or English are available at the District Office (2990 80th Street East in Inver Grove Heights) and in all of the school offices and cafeterias. Click here to learn more about applying for Free and Reduced-Price Meals.

Apply for free and reduced-price meals.
Solicite comidas gratuitas oa precio reducido.

ISD 199 and Simley Earn South West Review Readers' Choice Awards
South West Review Readers' Choice Awards

The South West Review, a publication of Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Inc., holds Readers’ Choice Awards for its communities each year. Readers from Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota Heights, St. Paul, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul vote for their favorite businesses and organizations in each category. For the 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, South West Review readers from the newspaper’s six communities chose Inver Grove Heights Schools in the “Best Use of Taxpayer Money” category and Simley High School in the "Best School" category.

Inver Grove Heights Schools is honored to be selected as the winner in the “Best Use of Taxpayer Money” category. In 2013, our community helped us construct and update facilities at Salem Hills Elementary School and Simley High School after a year-long facility study. The media center added at Salem Hills and the theatre, community center, student center, and track and field added at Simley have maximized educational programs and services for our students as well as our community members.

Since all of the projects were completed during the 2016-2017 school year, hundreds of informational and extracurricular events have been held at the new facilities. Community members and organizations have used the Spartan Center and Student Center for gatherings and informational sessions, enjoyed numerous performances by elementary and secondary students in the new Simley Performing Arts Center, and cheered on their favorite Spartans as they competed on the new track and turf field. The new construction also put updated security measures in place to reduce any potential risks to student safety. Click here to read the South West Review entry for "Best Use of Taxpayer Money." 

This is the fourth year in a row that Simley High School has been chosen as the Readers' Choice "Best School." Simley was chosen out of a pool of more than 60 eligible schools. Simley High School strives for whole student development, helping students gain the skills they need for graduation and beyond. The school emphasizes earning college credit or certification while in high school to give students opportunities upon graduation. While the school promotes high academic standards, staff work to create a supportive environment where all students can thrive.

“Along with offering relevant and rigorous curriculum so students see the value of lessons, we have an excellent staff that focuses on developing relationships with the kids,” Simley Principal Jerry Sakala said. “They let students know they care, and that is an important factor in motivating students to graduate, especially those who are at-risk.”

Click here to read the South West Review entry for Simley's "Best School" Award.

Thank you to the community for its support of ISD 199's students and staff and the future of Inver Grove Heights.

ISD 199 Introduces New Directors
Barb Pierce, Director of Community Education
Director of Community Education
Inver Grove Heights Schools is pleased to announce Barb Pierce as the district’s next director of community education.

Mrs. Pierce has been the Adult and Community Programs Coordinator for Farmington Area Schools since 2008. Prior to her position in Farmington, she held numerous leadership positions with the American Red Cross.

She received a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in statistics from the University of Minnesota, and she earned her master’s in education administration and leadership with a Community Education Director License from St. Cloud University.

Mrs. Pierce has an outstanding framework that will enhance our district’s efforts to more actively engage our community. She will be leading a strong group of community educators, and we are excited to welcome her to our district.

As Mrs. Pierce transitions into the director position, ISD 199 extends its thanks and congratulations to former director of community education Bernadette MacKenzie, who retired this July. We wish her the best on her new adventure.

Glen Ritter, Director of Food Service
Director of Food Service
This summer, Glen Ritter accepted a position as ISD 199’s new director of food service. Mr. Ritter has 25 years of experience in the food service industry, in both the public and private sector. Most recently, he worked as the assistant director of student nutrition services at Hopkins Public Schools. In his role, he oversaw catering, concessions, vending, and high school food services.

Mr. Ritter is stepping into the director of food service position as Cathi Krick retires. Congratulations to Mrs. Krick, and welcome to Mr. Ritter! 

Michele Carroll, Director of Human Resources
Director of Human Resources
ISD 199 is pleased to announce Michele Carroll as ISD 199’s new Director of Human Resources.

Michele most recently served in the Minneapolis Public Schools as the Business/Personnel Manager for Culinary and Wellness Services. In this role, she managed the departments’ human resource, financial, compliance, and strategic functions. Prior to this position, she worked in the Hopkins Public Schools as a Human Resource Specialist and School Nutrition Manager.

“Michele has a passion and love for education,” Superintendent Bernhardson said. “Her varied background, ability to work with people, and strategic perspective is a great fit for our school district.”

Michele holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science and a master’s degree in Human Resources Industrial Relation from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

Michele will assume her role as Director of Human Resources Monday, August 14. She replaces Julie Coffey, who has assumed the Director of Human Resources position at the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools. 

Infinite Campus
Infinite Campus
ISD 199 has switched from the SchoolView Student Information System to Infinite Campus. In August, parents should have received will a letter in the mail with more information about the switch, including their account information. Parents who have not received a letter should contact their child's school. Parents only need one login regardless of how many children they have enrolled in ISD 199.  

Parents can also learn more about Campus on the district website at

Simley Students Can Earn College Credit with CLEP Exams 
Simley High School offers a variety of post-secondary preparatory courses, including the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). High school students can take CLEP exams to earn college credit for a fraction of the cost of a college class. Simley students can choose to take CLEP exams in communications, sociology, and college algebra. Students who earn a qualifying score on the CLEP exams can skip introductory college courses at nearly 2,900 colleges and universities across the country. Earning college credit through CLEP could not only make college more affordable, but it could also help students graduate college on time, reducing the cost of any extra semesters and providing space in their class schedules for more career exploration. 

Bus Routes
Bus Routes
Bus routes for the 2017-2018 school year are now available. The most up-to-date routes are available through the Campus Portal under the Transportation tab. Bus routes are also available on the Transportation Department webpage at Parents can also contact their child's school for bus route information or questions.

If parents receive a blank alert message for bus information, it means the student is not on a scheduled bus route. This usually means they are a walker or open enrolled student.

If your child should be on a bus route and did not receive bus information, please contact your child's school.

Student Expectations and Handbooks
ISD 199 Student Expectations and the Elementary Student Handbook for 2017-2018 are available on the district website:

ISD 199 is Now Hiring!
ISD 199 is now hiring for administrative, teaching, paraprofessional, and custodial positions. Click here to see all of the vacancies.

Volunteer as a Learning Buddy with DARTS
DARTS Learning Buddies is a volunteer program that matches community members with schools throughout Dakota and Scott Counties, including ISD 199's Hilltop, Pine Bend, and Salem Hills elementary schools.

This year, the Learning Buddies program finished out the 20th year with 135 Learning Buddies helping volunteer in 205 classrooms spending over 6,500 hours in classrooms working with students throughout Dakota and Scott counties. Click here to learn more about DARTS Learning Buddies.

For more District News, visit and click the “News and Events” tab.
Check out the Inver Grove Heights Schools Facebook page for photos, updates, and more!
-This month, we're getting ready for Back to School! See photos and get more information about the new school year.

  • Monday, September 4: NO SCHOOL for Labor Day
  • Tuesday, September 5: First day of school for grades K-5, 6, and 9
  • Wednesday, September 6: First day of school for grades 7-8 and 10-12

2017-2018 Year at a Glance Calendar Now Available

The first day of school for elementary school students, 6th graders, and 9th graders will be September 5. Click here to see the "2017-2018 Year at a Glance Calendar."