Compiled by Sarah CR Clark

Murray Middle School

“Matilda, Jr.” a Success

After four years without a performance, the Spring Musical Theater was back at Murray Middle School with the staging of “Matilda, Jr.”

More than 50 students were involved in performing, singing, dancing and operating sound and lights. A stage crew of students created sets and props and handled transitions during performances. Just over 800 tickets were sold for the three-performance production.

Theater advisors Todd Rogers, Maddie Helmen and Erin Dooley; Crew advisor Megan Steinhoff; and Tech lead Carrie Bittner give a huge shout-out to all students and much appreciation to family volunteers and all who came to support the program by attending a performance.

Murray Middle School students performed Matilda, Jr in March. Photo courtesy of Stefanie Folkema.

Submitted by director Erin Dooley.

SAP Elementary School

Citizen Science: The Tulip Test Garden

Last fall, St. Anthony Park science teacher James Schrankler assisted the students in Ruth Krider’s first and second grade class with planting 30 red emperor tulip bulbs.

The planting was part of a continuing international citizen science project called Journey North’s Tulip Test Gardens.

More than 900 St. Paul Public School students planted a total of 1,400 tulip bulbs across 23 different school sites in the fall of 2022, according to Josh Leonard, education director at St. Paul Public School’s Belwin Outdoor Educational Lab. Students across North America, from Texas to Alaska and Canada, plant the same species of tulip and compare when their tulips emerge and bloom.

Students observe the “Green Wave’’ on Journey North’s online map (, which shows tulips emerging in southern latitudes as early as January and those in Minnesota generally emerging two months later, Leonard explained.

With data going back to 1998, students can also explore climate trends over time, explained Leonard, as well as the effects of the Urban Heat Island phenomenon.

Schrankler’s students watched for the tulips’ emergence and blooming and reported that activity on Journey North’s website. Tulips in SAP’s Test Garden began emerging on April 6, according to Schrankler.

“I came in over spring break to check on them,” he said. “Only three emerged on that date. However, by April 10, all 30 had emerged!”

“There are so many learning opportunities that this project has to offer!” Schrankler said. “The data the students are collecting, along with other schools’ data, is valuable to scientists as they look at the impacts of global warming.”

Twin Cities German Immersion School

Host a young educator from Europe

The intern program at TCGIS serves a fundamental part its mission to provide an innovative education of the whole child through German immersion.

Interns are native, German-speaking young adults training to become teachers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They are integrated into every grade level at TCGIS and provide more than 6,000 additional hours of classroom support for our school’s students each semester.

The interns’ positive impact and intercultural engagement extends into the community as every intern lives with a volunteer host family. The opportunity for interns to be immersed into everyday U.S. life benefits both the intern and their host families.

Our Como neighbors are welcome to host, too! Interns come in two phases: late-August through late January, and February through mid-June. To learn more about hosting an intern, visit

The TCGIS Community Garden

The TCGIS Community Garden is a 14.5-foot by 17.5-foot plot at the District 10 Como Community Garden near the State Fairgrounds.

TCGIS community members sign up for slots throughout the summer to do light gardening such as pulling weeds and watering plants.

Volunteers begin planting seeds in May and each year some of our harvest is donated to the Keystone Midway food shelf. Last year, TCGIS donated over 24 pounds of produce! This is the TCGIS Community Garden’s fourth year.

Submitted by Mary Zimmerman.

Avalon School

New Online Program

Avalon School advisor Kevin Ward has announced that Avalon will be adding a 9-12 grade online program beginning with the 2023-2024 school year.

According to Ward, the program will be flexible and entirely project-based with no online classes. Online students will have the option to meet in-person on Fridays with staff for, among other things, a variety of learning activities.

Online students will have the option to participate in Avalon’s extra-curricular activities, such as sports, theater and robotics.

In an email to the Bugle, Ward said the online program would be “supportive of students who are doing PSEO (post-secondary enrollment options), have a job, and/or are taking care of children.”

Sarah CR Clark is a regular contributor to the Bugle.

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