School news around town

Compiled by Sarah Clark

Avalon School

Film features Avalon School

During the 2020-2021 academic year, Avalon School hosted a documentary film crew as they followed the journey of a graduating Avalon senior.

Showcasing three seniors from three schools across the U.S. and Canada (St. Paul, Atlanta and Toronto), the documentary explores the impacts of schools that focus on the needs of the student.

The film, titled “Cure for the Common Classroom,” will be shown at 7:30 pm. Tuesday, March 12 at Avalon and the movie is open to publicll.

Avalon School’s program coordinator, Tim Quealy, asks that those interested in attending let him know via email, tim@avalonschool.org.

St. Anthony Park Elementary School

by Sarah CR Clark

Gymnastics for everyone

Every winter, the gymnasium at SAP Elementary is transformed. Tumbling mats, balance beams, a foam floor and a beginner vault are taken out of storage and set up, to the great delight of the students.

“When I tell them gymnastics is starting most students give a big cheer!” ’said Karen Paulsen, SAP Elementary’s physical education teacher. “It is one unit that most students look forward to every year.”

SAP Elementary’s equipment came from a gymnastics club that used to practice twice a week in the school building. Paulsen said that when the school was remodeled in 2017, the club had to relocate.

“After the construction was complete they (club members) came back to grab some things but left us most of the equipment we have now,” Paulsen said.

Paulsen’s gymnastics unit was scheduled to run the entire month of February,

“Gymnastics is like no other unit we do in PE class,” Paulsen said. “Many students will not get coaching in gymnastics skills because of the cost, so I’m very happy to give them a little taste of this sport.”

Paulsen’s students learn tumbling skills (forward rolls, backward rolls), and also practice handstands, cartwheels and roundoffs. They experience both high and low balance beams and explore beginning vaulting skills.

“I love watching students overcome their fears,” Paulsen added.

Books bring libraries together

SAP Elementary students recently hosted librarians from the SAP branch of the St. Paul Public Library in their school library.

Tina Tsui, SAP Elementary’s library and material management education assistant, said the librarians’ visits were a part of the Minnesota’s Youth Reading Awards (MYRA).

“It is exciting to see our kids talking about these MYRA books and having a chance to vote for their favorite ones,” Tsui said. “The nominees are a really diverse set of books that kids might not have discovered by themselves.”

Laura Christopherson, children’s specialist at the SAP Branch Library, met with students in kindergarten through second grade in January and read MYRA-nominated picture books to each class.

“This was my first time going to SAP Elementary for Storytime and it was a joyous experience,” Christopherson said. “It was such a pleasure to go to the school and reach out to young readers that aren’t already regulars at St. Anthony Park Library.!”

Terrie Meath, library associate at the SAP Branch Library, met with third through fifth grade students and summarized each of the 10 MYRA nominated chapter books.

“The kids seemed really interested and engaged as I told them about the books,” Meath recalled. “They had good questions for me and were comfortable commenting on books they had read.”

Meath and Christopherson weren’t the only people to notice the students’ enthusiasm. Tsui said, “After the book talks, I’ve had waiting lists of students hoping to check out each nominated book. Even the picture books!”

Students will vote for their favorite MYRA nominated books in March. Tsui expects to know results in time for a celebration in April.

Annual fourth grade puppet show

In January, 85 fourth-grade students participated in an eight-day artist-in-residency program. Students worked with artists from Hinter Hands to build larger-than-life puppets, elaborate paper mache masks and the set and props for a puppet show.


Puppet show at SAP Elementary. Submitted photo.

The title of the show, performed on Jan. 19 for all SAP Elementary students and families of fourth graders, was titled “Plantzilla” and was based on a book of the same name by Jerdine Nolen. Funding for the residency was provided by St. Anthony Park School Association and a grant from the St. Anthony Community Foundation.

Murray Middle School

Submitted by Jamin McKenzie and Stefanie Folkema.

Activity Day

On Jan, 25, 400 Murray students participated in Activity Day, a more- than-20-year school tradition.

“The goal behind Activity Day is to observe a mid-year celebration where students and staff can have fun together and enjoy being a part of a positive community,” said Murray principal Jamin McKenzie,

For this year’s Activity Day, all Murray students were invited to attend one of four field trips: Badlands Snow Park (snow tubing), Grand Slam (arcade, batting cages, bumper cars, laser tag, mini-golf, ninja course), ice fishing, and Skate­ville (rollerskating).

Students who chose to remain at Murray watched movies, played board games, read books, and had time in the gym.

Two teams go undefeated

by Sarah CR Clark

Murray Middle School is celebrating perfect records posted by its volleyball A-team and girls’ basketball teams this season.

Marshall Little, Murray’s athletic director, coached the volleyball team, which was not only undefeated (14-0), but won every set of each game.

Asked what he was most proud of about his team, Little pointed to their coachability.

Meanwhile, girls basketball coach Gabe Gravert concluded his first season at Murray, overseeing an 8-0 record.

Gravert said his favorite moment of the season came in the team’s closest game, against Hidden River Middle School.

“We were down by six with 30 seconds left,” Gravert recounted in an email to the Bugle. “Our point guard, Autumn VanNett shot a 3 pointer, made it, got fouled and made her free throw for a total of 4 points to bring us within 2. Then we got a steal and tied it with a 2-pointer from Keegan Campos. Took it to overtime and sealed the game with a 3-pointer by sixth grader Pae’Science Anderson. This game was also the ‘City Championship Game’ because — at the time — both teams were undefeated.”

Twin Cities German Immersion School

Submitted by Paige Yurczyk

Teacher makes good on bet

In January, sixth grade TCGIS history teacher, Herr (Mr.) Tabisz made a unique deal with his students: If they collectively achieved the highest average grade on their history test, he would shave his head.

The students embraced the challenge, forming study groups and collaborating to prepare for the test.

To everyone’s surprise, the sixth graders not only exceeded their own expectations but also got the highest average score on the test in comparison to every previous cohort (83%).

True to his word, Tabisz arrived at school the next day with a bald head!

School spokeswoman Paige Yurczyk said, “Tabisz’s commitment to his promise highlights the extraordinary efforts TCGIS educators are willing to make to inspire and motivate their students.”

Sarah CR Clark lives in St. Anthony Park and covers school news for the Bugle.

Feature Photo credit: Puppet show at SAP Elementary. Submitted photo.

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