Inspire 199 - February 2017
Published on Mar 1, 2017 17:29

Inspire 199 Family Newsletter


The Inver Grove Heights School Board met on Monday, Feb. 27, with the following items on the agenda:

- District highlights
   - TriDistrict Community Education Youth Programs Coordinator Annie Platek and Simley Theatre Director Jim Davis presented Simley Theatre’s “This is a Test” cast and crew. The students competed in the MSHSL One Act Play regionals for the first time in school history and earned a spot in the finals round.
   - Superintendent Dave Bernhardson presented the board with certificates for School Board Recognition Week.
   - The school board recognized Superintendent Bernhardson for earning the Paul Harris Fellow Award.

-Consent agenda
   - Minutes from previous School Board meetings
   - Cash disbursements
   - Personnel transactions and donations
   - Assistant Director of Food Service contract
   - Director of Instructional Technology contract adjustments
   - Gifts and grants
   - Innovative Pilot Project application

- Information items
   - Hilltop Elementary School teachers Lisa Quinlan and Stephanie Taufen presented on a recent Black History Month assignment, and students presented their projects to the board
   - Superintendent Bernhardson presented on the possibility of a different first day of school for Inver Grove Heights Middle School 6th graders for the 2017-2018 school year
   - The Policy Committee presented on the 400 personnel policy series
   - Board committee reports
   - Membership reports

- Action items
   - Approval of the Achievement and Integration Plan and Budget.
   - Approval of the Community Survey.

The School Board adjourned to a closed session to conduct a mid-year evaluation of the Superintendent of Schools. Meeting information is available on the district website. The next school board meeting will be Monday, March 13, at 5:30PM at Inver Grove Heights Middle School, 8167 Cahill Avenue in Inver Grove Heights.



ISD 199 Student Advisory Meets with Mayor Tourville
ISD 199 Student Advisory Council members speak to the Inver Grove Heights mayor.

ISD 199 students in 4th, 7th, 10th,11th, and 12th grade met with Inver Grove Heights Mayor George Tourville as part of Student Advisory Council. The mayor gave a lesson in the city’s history and in civics, including how the electoral college works. Mayor Tourville also gave students a tour of City Hall. He showed students where the city’s administrators work and explained how each position supports the city's daily operations. 

IGHMS Hosts Career Day

Local professionals present at the middle school's Career Day.

Professionals from the community visited Inver Grove Heights Middle School 8th graders to teach them about their careers during Career Day. Students learned about the daily responsibilities, requirements, and benefits of different jobs. Students heard presentations about careers such as attorney, nurse, accountant, biomedical engineer, cosmetology educator, pharmacist, business systems analyst, and many other to give them an idea of all the career paths available and what they needed to get them someday. 

Thank you to all of the local professionals who shared their insight and made Career Day possible!

Pine Bend Learns Trades, Crafts, and More at SALT Day

A Pine Bend student holds a chicken from the Dodge Nature Center during SALT Day.
Pine Bend Elementary School had its annual SALT (Students and Adults Learning Together) Day this February. Students had the chance to take part in a number of hands-on activities, including learning magic, crafting dream catchers, and doing karate. SALT Day also featured visitors from the Dodge Nature Center, the local police department's K9 unit, and more. Thank you to all of the adults who volunteered to help make SALT Day happen!

Simley Student Presents at Conference Alongside Medical Professionals

A Simley student presented her research at a national medical conference.

Kyra has been volunteering at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare since age 15. The Simley High School senior has also participated in the hospital’s summer program, which prompted her interest in research. Kyra did not realize her work with the hospital and knowledge of research would lead to a spot as student presenter at a national medical conference.

Kyra asked Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s Dr. Supreet Deshpande if she could get involved in a research project, and the pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialist assigned her to do a retrospective study on the effectiveness of certain medications for patients with traumatic brain injuries.

“I sorted through hundreds of doctors’ notes just for the experience,” she said. “I didn’t expect to be invited to present my study.”

The Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) contacted Kyra, asking her to be a student presenter at the 2017 AAP Conference in Las Vegas. During the conference, which brings together leaders in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Kyra displayed her research alongside doctors, residents, medical students, professors, and other healthcare professionals who also presented during the poster gallery reception.

“I was kind of nervous to answer the doctors’ questions,” she said. “But I know my research and I stand by it.”

IGHMS Poetry Project Turns into a Featured Flavor at Grand Ole Creamery

IGHMS students taste the first batch of their original ice cream flavor.

February may not be the typical time to think about ice cream, but the winter chill was exactly the inspiration Inver Grove Heights Middle School 6th grader Jacob Haider needed to create an ice cream mixture so good that St. Paul’s Grand Ole Creamery asked to sell it on Monday, February 20.

Students in Jacob’s reading class were asked to think of their own ice cream flavor and write a poem about it. Students would then vote on the flavor that sounded the best, and the teacher would get a custom batch made for the class.

Jacob wrote a poem called “Cookie Blast” to accompany his recipe of cookie dough ice cream, Snickers candy bar pieces, Oreo cookies, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The class chose his flavor to win, and the teacher brought the recipe to Grand Ole Creamery. When she picked up the custom ice cream, the Grand Ole Creamery staff asked if they could feature it in their shop. 

“Grand Ole Creamery specializes in ice cream, so if they like it, it must be really good!” the teacher said.

Simley Students and Alumni Join Local Night to Shine

Simley students pose with teacher buddies at Night to Shine.
Students and community members worldwide, including a few Simley High School students and alumni, celebrated Night to Shine on February 10. Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine offers a full prom experience for people with special needs who are age 14 and up. The free event includes limousine rides, hair and makeup or shoe-shining stations, a red carpet walk, dancing, and more. Every guest was paired with a buddy to guide them through the experience. This year, Simley teachers Jenny Eversman and Heather Murphy attended as buddies.   

Simley AP German Students Recognized in Minnesota Zoo Competition 

Simley AP German students won Most Proficient Language at Minnesota Zoo's German Day.
Simley High School’s AP German students spent a day at the Minnesota Zoo. But instead of learning about the animals, Simley students taught elementary visitors about each exhibit in German. The Minnesota Zoo’s German Day, a part of World Language Day, brought students from all over the state to present on each exhibit, and judges chose which groups earned awards for Most Proficient Language, Most Creative, and Best Visual Display. Simley’s three groups presented on the sea star, moray eel, and sea horse. They tied for Most Proficient Language Award. 

Pine Bend Student Makes Big Donation to Blood Cancer Research

A Pine Bend student donated all of her Christmas money to the school's Pennies for Patients fundraiser.

The Pine Bend Elementary School Student Council organized a campaign this January to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Students began contributing coins to the Pennies for Patients campaign after hearing a patient’s story. A 4th grade student, Grace, even decided to donate her Christmas money. With Grace’s major contribution, her class raised more than $400 to help find treatments for all blood cancer patients.

Hilltop to Hold International Night on March 7

The Hilltop Equity team is proud to present our very first International Night on March 7, 6:00-7:30PM at Hilltop Elementary School, 3203 68th Street East in Inver Grove Heights! Families will have the chance to explore cultures from around the world by viewing artifacts, sampling different foods, and enjoying performances. 

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 Hilltop's Jump Rope for Heart event, IGHMS's CPR lessons, Simley band students who were chosen for the Augsburg Honor Band, and Bus Driver Appreciation Day.



  • Thursday, March 2: End of Trimester 2
  • Friday, March 3: NO SCHOOL
  • Monday, March 6: Beginning of Trimester 3
  • Tuesday, March 7: Hilltop International Night, 6:00-7:30PM
  • Monday, March 27-Friday, March 31: NO SCHOOL for Spring Break

2017-2018 Year at a Glance Calendar Now Available

Click here to see the approved 2017-2018 calendar.