Windom students on TPT
WINDOM — Windom middle-grades students are featured in a segment of the public television program "Venture North" scheduled to air on Twin Cities Public Television Nov. 23.
Students from Windom Spanish Dual Immersion and Open School were filmed in May at Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield during an outing with noted nature photographer Dudley Edmondson.
Edmondson, who lives in Duluth, said students were given digital cameras and sent into woods to capture photographs of wildlife. He remembered one girl photographed a barn swallow, a species Edmondson had not personally photographed.
"It was better than anything I’ve ever done," he said.
Windom parent Kevin McDonald, who works for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, helped organize the event, which was held as a part of the school’s Earth Day celebration. Environmental professionals from several state agencies as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service participated in the event.
"It really was a cool day, and the kids almost universally at Windom ranked it as one of their most memorable experiences of the year," McDonald said.
About 100 Windom 6th-, 7th- and 8th-graders participated.
Edmondson said the field trip was intended to get students thinking about careers in the outdoors.
"Photography was the vehicle we tried to use to get them connected with nature," he said. "… With urban kids, there’s so much they don’t know about nature and the environment."
He said some children who grow up in an urban environment are not exposed to wild places, and a lack of familiarity breeds fear.
Edmondson said he tries to "teach kids that nature is a good thing, not a bad thing. It’s not something that’s out there trying to harm them."
Edmondson, who is African American, is the author of "Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places."
The collection of photographs and interviews documents persons of color who share a connection with nature. Windom students were given the children’s version of his book.
For more on Edmondson, visit www.raptorworks.com.
"Venture North" is a production of Duluth Public Television. The episode featuring Windom students was set to premiere on that channel Nov. 15.
It will air at 10:30 p.m. Nov. 23 on TPT MN, one of Twin Cities Public Television’s digital channels.
Community meeting on strategic plan
THE WEDGE — Families from Minneapolis Public Schools’ Area C have an opportunity to provide feedback on long-term strategic planning recommendations Nov. 26 at Jefferson Community School, 1200 W. 26th St.
The School Board received nine recommendations Nov. 6 that aim to improve student achievement, close the racial achievement gap and prepare all students for college (see story on page 11). The recommendations came after six months of information gathering led by consulting firm McKinsey and Company.
Community meetings are also planned for the district’s areas A and B.
The Board of Education plans to vote Dec. 11 on which recommendations it will accept.
The meeting at Jefferson is 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
Information on strategic planning is available on the main page of the district’s website, www.mpls.k12.mn.us.
New Whittier principal named
WHITTIER — Shawn Harris-Barry was named principal of Whittier International Elementary School in October.
Harris-Barry formerly served as assistant principal at Anwatin Middle School. She has spent her entire education career with Minneapolis Public Schools, beginning in business education at Sanford Middle School in 1987.
Former Principal Armando Comacho was named assistant director of St. Paul’s alternative learning programs in August. Assistant Principal Shelley Berken led the school in the interim.