Windom students build wood duck houses
WINDOM — Windom Dual Spanish Immersion and Open School students assembled more than 30 wood duck nesting boxes in March, with plans to install the boxes in urban parkland later this spring.
Teams of 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students built the nesting boxes over several days. The school has proposed installing the boxes on area lakes and streams.
Parent Kevin McDonald said wood ducks seek out cavities in dead trees for nesting. Dead or dying trees are often cut down in urban areas, though, creating a need for the wooden duck houses.
McDonald said there were plans to install a small camera in one of the duck houses that would transmit video from the nest viewable on the Windom website (www.mpls.k12.mn.us/).
After the nesting boxes are installed, Windom students will need assistance from community members willing to maintain the boxes. Anyone interested in adopting a duck house should e-mail McDonald at email@example.com.
The project was funded through a Thrivent Financial for Lutherans service learning grant.
Southwest schools face off in basketball
TANGLETOWN — Teams from two Southwest schools faced off in the Minneapolis middle school girls’ basketball championship March 6 at Washburn High School.
Anthony Middle School defeated Lake Harriet Upper School 46-37. It was Anthony’s first-ever city championship in girls’ basketball, school Athletic Director
Cornelius Bishop said.
“We had two tough games against Lake Harriet (during the season), so it wasn’t an easy championship,” Bishop said.
He said the Anthony team went undefeated this school year.
Southwest students win Tracy Awards
LINDEN HILLS — Four Southwest High School students were awarded college scholarships in March for their artistic achievement in the 2008 Tracy Awards, Achieve!Minneapolis reported.
Southwest students Sif Nave, Nathan Lee and Keegan Curry will split a $7,500 scholarship for their first-place finish. Southwest student Libby London took second place, earning a $5,000 scholarship.
The annual Tracy Awards for visual art are open to all Minneapolis Public Schools high school students. The awards are sponsored by Louvre It or Leave Gallery owners Gary and JoAnn Fink, along with their son Ken Fink, in honor of their daughter Tracy, who died in a 1981 car crash.
This year’s entries were judged by: professor Kinji Akagawa of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design; Weisman Museum Director Lyndell King; and visual artist Megan Rye.
The works will be exhibited April 5–21 at the Minneapolis Central Library as a part of the Viva City arts celebration. A reception for the winners is 5–7 p.m. April 10 at the library.
After the exhibition, the prize-winning works will go on display for one year at district headquarters or the Achieve!Minneapolis offices.
STEP-UP seeks to expand
Achieve!Minneapolis challenged the Twin Cities business community in March to open up 700 positions for high school students this summer, the organization
Last year, more than 600 high school students found work through the STEP-UP Summer Jobs Program sponsored by Achieve!Minneapolis and the city. Achieve!Minneapolis reported 131 employers participated in 2007, making STEP-UP the second largest summer jobs program in the nation.
STEP-UP trains students ages 16–21 for paid positions at local businesses.
Planning director named
Minneapolis Public Schools announced the creation of a new executive director of planning position to lead work on the district’s long-term strategic plan.
Jill Stever-Zeitlin will head a two-person team in charge of implementing the plan, a set of strategies that aims to improve student performance and close the achievement gap between white students and students of color over the next five years.
Stever-Zeitlin is a former partner with McKinsey & Company, and in that position helped develop the recommendations that form the framework of the strategic plan. She is also a 1983 graduate of South High School, the district reported.