By Sarah Clark

Avalon School

New Online School Option

Avalon School’s brand new grade 9-12 online program marked its first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 5, with a full roster of 21 students.

Kevin Ward, an advisor at Avalon, explained the motivation behind creating the online school option. “We saw that during the pandemic some students thrived with an online approach,” he said. “The flexibility of an online schedule allows students to take college classes through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option program, to have a job or to help their families with childcare.”

Students enrolled in Avalon’s online program will participate in project-based learning — Avalon’s trademark, award-winning learning method. Ward said, “Some students live very far away from the school but excel in project-based learning, so this gives them an opportunity to learn the way that works best for them without worrying about the distance to travel.”

Online students are invited to come to the school on Fridays. “Our in-person Fridays allow students to connect in the same space with other students and to follow up with staff about the progress of their projects,” Ward explained.

Enrollment for Avalon’s online program is currently full. Families interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Gretchen Sage-Martinson at to learn more.

St. Anthony Park Elementary School

Welcoming New Staff

The 2023–24 school year at SAP brought with it nine new staff members. This month we introduce three of them.

The Visual Arts teacher is Mara Schriver. She has been an art teacher in many different schools and educational settings for the past 20 years, most recently at Gideon Pond Elementary School in Burnsville. Her favorite art mediums are clay and printmaking. She loves to garden and bike. Schriver’s longest bike ride was 150 miles in two days, as a participant in the MS 150 Minnesota. She is looking forward to building relationships with the students, staff and community at SAP while also having fun making art.

Marlee Leebrick-Stryker is a special education resource teacher who spends half of her days at SAP and the other half at St. Paul Music Academy. She is also an alum of SAP. She reported that her biggest goal for the year is “to be the best advocate for my students that I can be.” When she is not teaching, Leebrick-Stryker plays roller derby for the Roller Vortex, whose season opener is Oct. 14 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Her skate name is LeBrick House. “Come see us!” she invited.

Maria Roth is SAP’s newest fifth grade teacher. She’s been teaching for about 18 years, most recently for grades 4 and 5 at Obama Elementary in St. Paul. She has two middle school daughters and loves to cook. Ruth’s biggest goal this year is to “connect and get to know the closely knit St. Anthony Park school community. I’m very excited and already feel so welcomed by everyone!”

Save the Date for SAP Fall Festival

St. Anthony Park Elementary School’s annual Fall Festival will happen on Friday, Oct. 13. The SAP School Association (SAPSA) wrote on their website, “This is a super fun community event and a fundraiser we depend on to supply resources for our kids.” At the time of publication, event details were forthcoming. Please check for updates and times.

Twin Cities German Immersion School

Oktoberfest Races

Community members are invited to join TCGIS on Sunday, Oct. 8 at the Como Park South Pavilion for a day of Oktoberfest fun. Kids are welcome to sign up for the fun run which starts at 11 a.m. and the whole family is invited to sign up for the 5K, which will begin at 11:30. There will be a range of prizes for runners and winners and the TCGIS Capstone Committee will be selling treats to raise funds for our students’ senior trip to Germany. We believe that no student should ever be excluded from community events because of the cost of admission, therefore our fun run has a no-cost option. To learn more and to sign up visit

Openings in Enrollment

TCGIS has open enrollment spots in kindergarten and 3rd–7th grade for the 2023–2024 academic year.

We accept applications in ANY grade throughout the year and make offers as space becomes available. Students without previous German language skills are offered language-learning support.

TCGIS is a unique school in many ways and is proud to offer opportunities focused on the whole child:

• Art, drama or music, sport (P.E.) and recess through 8th grade.

• After-school music, enrichment and athletic activities for K-8.

• A public charter school (which means no tuition or fees).

• Located in St. Paul and open to all families in Minnesota; busing is available.

• Innovative education delivered in German

Learn more about the Twin Cities German Immersion School at (Submitted by Paige Yurczyk) 

Sarah CR Clark is a regular contributor to the Bugle.

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