Food, entertainment, resources featured at free Burnsville Family Fest Oct. 13

Posted on September 12, 2018

The first annual Burnsville Family Fest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Burnsville High School, 600 E. Highway 13.

This free event with more than 50 exhibits is an opportunity for residents to connect with their local businesses, clubs and civic organizations, along with their city and school district. Sponsors are Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, the City of Burnsville and the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s exciting to host a family-friendly event at Burnsville High School that brings the entire community together and shows off what Burnsville has to offer families,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “A variety of foods, activities and entertainment will highlight the best of Burnsville and give residents a chance to enjoy getting to know their community better.”

“Sponsors and exhibitors from businesses and civic groups are currently being added to represent the diversity of resources and people of Burnsville,” said Jennifer Harmening, president of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce.

Exhibitors and sponsors from Burnsville businesses and other organizations are encouraged to register with the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce in order to reserve a space at the Family Fest. For more information, contact the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce at 952-435-6000 or go to

Posted in Community

Residents invited to build community through food, conversation at Oct. 4 event

Posted on September 12, 2018

Community members will come together to enjoy a meal and engage in conversations about strengthening the community at a special event on Oct. 4 called “A Celebration of Healthy Communities.”

The event will use a well-established and intentional social interaction model to facilitate discussions about important issues in the District 191 community. Spanish and Somali interpreters will be present.

Presented in partnership by Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Community Education, Know Your Neighbor and the Burnsville YMCA, the event is schedule for 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 4 at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy.

All are welcome to attend and there is no cost to participate. Please register at

Posted in Community

Accountability report shows growth trends, need to continue efforts

Posted on August 30, 2018

Results from the new Minnesota schools accountability system show growth in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, especially in places where the district has had success personalizing learning for students and growing stronger relationships within the school community. Those are central elements of Vision One91, the district’s work to redesign schools to meet the needs of today’s learners.

The new accountability system – called North Star by the state Department of Education — takes a broader measurement of school effectiveness that reflects achievement on state standardized tests, as well as individual student growth on those tests, attendance rates and graduation rates.

Areas of Growth

New literacy curriculum, teaching model help elementary reading results

Year-to-Year growth for grade cohorts in reading.

Student cohorts – the groups of students as they move through the grades – showed growth from one year to the next on state tests. In 2017, 43.7 percent of third graders scored “proficient” on the reading test. As fourth graders in 2018, 44.6 percent of that group scored “proficient.”

Improvement for the 5th grade cohort was even more pronounced, going from 47.1 percent proficient the previous year to 55 percent proficient in 2018.

Third grade scores were up compared to last year, too, meaning more students are reading at grade level by third grade, which is a major indicator of future academic success.

“Using the new teaching model and curriculum, teachers are personalizing each student’s learning more,” said Dr. Jenna Mitchler, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for District 191. “It’s thanks to the efforts of the literacy steering committee and the work of our teachers to reach each and every student that we see positive results and can expect more growth in the future.”

Improvement in Middle School Reading and Math

At the middle school level, scores in reading and math went up among both 6th graders and 8th graders.

Recent changes at the middle schools have focused on providing more individualized attention and building stronger relationships between staff and students to ensure all students succeed. These include daily enrichment or interventions for all students, a daily advisory period for all students, expansion of AVID college prep to all three schools, and one-to-one Chromebooks that allow students to access high-quality resources, as well as collaboration and communication tools.

Improvement in High School Reading and Math

Scores on the state reading and math tests went up among 10th and 11th graders, respectively. District leaders pointed to the emphasis on using data to address individual student needs, as well as the Pathways model that has been engaging students and helped them become more focused on preparing to succeed in the future.

Building Strong Relationships

Mitchler highlighted District 191’s efforts to build stronger relationships between staff and students as a key reason for areas of growth, and specifically noted the work to become a culturally proficient schools system (CPSS). That district-wide work, now in its third year as part of Vision One91, focuses on understanding students’ strengths and building on them to ensure students are ready to succeed in their futures.

“Our focus is on addressing the needs of each student so that they can be ready to succeed at their next step, whether that’s kindergarten or middle school or going on to college and a career,” Mitchler said. “That means providing excellent resources, opportunities, curriculum and instruction. But that’s not enough without strong, trusting relationships between staff and students so they know they are welcome and valued in our schools.”

To learn more about CPSS in District 191, go to

Areas for Improvement & Next Steps

Some District 191 schools were identified for support based on missing targets for one or more measures in the North Star system. This means the state will provide some support with the schools’ plans for improvement.

The followings schools were prioritized for support by the state, listed with the measure for which they were identified.

  • Neill Elementary, Achievement for a Specific Group (Special Education)
  • Hidden Valley, Achievement in Math & Reading
  • Sky Oaks, Achievement and Progress in Math & Reading
  • Sioux Trail, Achievement for a Specific Group (Special Education)
  • Vista View, Achievement in Math
  • William Byrne, Achievement in Math & Reading
  • Burnsville High School, 4-year Graduation Rates for ELL, Hispanic & Special Education student groups
  • BAHS, 4-year Graduation Rates for All Students

District 191 was also identified for support based on achievement levels as measured by the MCA tests. However, student growth in both math and reading were high enough that the district was not identified for support on that measure.

District 191 will continue its work around building strong relationships and personalizing learning for students, which has shown positive results. New and expanded efforts this year include:

  • Providing staff with better access to student data so instruction meets student needs using a new tool called Viewpoint
  • Expanding efforts to provide targeted individual interventions to students
  • Curriculum review including math beginning this school year and science in 2019-20

Detailed results are available on the Minnesota Department of Education website at

Posted in Academics

Vista View teacher receives award from Minnesota Reading Corps

Posted on August 27, 2018

Mary Borrell, a special education teacher at Vista View Elementary, was among three outstanding individuals to receive the first-ever alumni awards presented in recognition of Minnesota Reading Corps’ 15th year and Minnesota Math Corps’ 10th year.

Award recipients were selected based on continued service after Reading Corps and Math Corps and their dedication to making a difference in their communities. Alumni who had completed their service during the 17-18 school year or earlier were eligible for the award.

Borrell served in Minnesota Reading Corps for two years at Vista View after earning a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Mankato State University.

“We're so proud of all the work Mary has done for our programs and continues to do for children and her community,” said Kelsey Cummings, a spokesperson for Minnesota Reading Corps. “We thank her for her service helping Minnesota students succeed.”

While in Reading Corps, Borrell began working on her Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) licensure through the University of St. Thomas. After her Reading Corps service ended, she was hired at Vista View in 2012, first as a 6th grade classroom teacher, then as a resource special education teacher, and finally as a teacher for students identified on the ASD spectrum.  

"Mary is a teacher leader and is beloved by fellow teachers, students and their families for her warmth, ability to make personal connections and expertise," said Cindy Crawford, a reading specialist at Vista View who nominated Borrell for the award. "She is a model for both students and teachers in learning and leadership; having served as an adviser for both student leadership and patrols, a coach for Girls on the Run and now on our district Cultural Proficiency team."

Borrell also serves on the district’s Writing Steering committee, as a special education lead teacher, and as advisor to the school’s Chess Club.

“Mary continues to be an enthusiastic ambassador for Minnesota Reading Corps; welcoming and supporting our tutors and sharing her positive experience for the program,” said Crawford.  

The Alumni Spirit of Service Awards were presented at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Aug. 14 in front of hundreds of people who will serve as reading or math tutors throughout the state during the upcoming school year. Borrell received a copy of “Going Places” by Paul Reynolds, who was the keynote speaker at the event, along with a certificate and alumni jacket.

Nicollet students share AVID experiences at national conference

Posted on August 27, 2018

Cody Hoang and Kaelyn Ambuehl pictured in front of a mural in downtown Minneapolis with music notes on a white wall.Two students from Nicollet Middle School were selected to be part of a four-day national conference attended by educators from around the country to learn more about Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) in June in Minneapolis.

The soon-to-be-seventh grade students, Kaelyn Ambuehl and Cody Hoang, are in the AVID college prep program at Nicollet. At the conference, they shared their experiences in AVID and their plans for the future. Speaking to teachers, counselors and principals, the two students showed the AVID methods they use including how to organize their binder, along with how to create Cornell notes and tutorial request forms. Kaelyn said they spent three days being leaders and demonstrating what AVID students should be.

"It is a huge honor for Kaelyn and Cody to have been selected from all the students that applied. They did an amazing job representing themselves and Nicollet Middle School,” said Amy Smalley, the school’s AVID coordinator. “All of us at Nicollet were so proud to see them speak so confidently about their AVID experiences in front of such large groups of educators."

At Nicollet, AVID is both a building-wide initiative and an elective class designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college by developing critical thinking and organizational skills. AVID schools also develop a school-wide “college-bound” culture among students.

Nicollet has been so successful with AVID that it has been named as an AVID National Demonstration School and serves as a model for other schools implementing the program.

Other teachers and administrators from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 also attended the AVID conference.

Posted in Academics | Tagged AVID, nicollet, middle school

2018-19 Homecoming Week begins Oct. 1

Posted on August 22, 2018

Burnsville High School students, staff, alumni and community members will be celebrating homecoming during the week of Oct. 1. There will be many festivities, including themed dress-up days, a student-wide pep assembly, an array of athletic events and the homecoming dance on Saturday night.

Listed below are the scheduled events for homecoming:


Professional Day — No school for students

  • Powder Puff football games @ BHS Pates Stadium — 6-9 p.m.


  • Morning assembly — Pep Fest


  • Outdoor movie @ BHS Pates Stadium — 7-9 p.m. 


  • Morning Coronation Assembly
  • Boys’/Girls’ Cross Country Invitational @ Nicollet Middle School, 3 p.m.
  • Girls’ Volleyball v. Shakopee, 7 p.m.
  • Boys’ Soccer v. Lakeville North, 5 p.m.
  • Girls’ Soccer v. Lakeville North, 7 p.m.


  • Blaze Day
  • Homecoming Football Game vs. Farmington @ BHS Pates Stadium — 7 p.m.


  • Homecoming Dance @ BHS Main Gym — 8 p.m. - Midnight
    • Presold dance tickets are $15 per person and $20 per person at the door (cash only)
Posted in Athletics, Parents | Tagged bhs, homecoming, athletics, royalty court

Mother donates school supplies in memory of son

Posted on August 22, 2018

This was the seventh annual year that Lisa Raley has collected school supplies and donated them for use by students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

She’s done this in loving memory of her son, Brett Raley, who died in an accident in May 2012 when he was 18. Brett had attended schools in the district so Raley wanted to bring the donations here to benefit current students.

Raley gathers notebooks, markers, glue sticks and more then drops the donations off every year just before the new school year begins. She has continued to do so even though she moved from the community a couple of years ago because memories continued to be painful.

“We greatly appreciate this heartfelt donation from Ms. Raley, and we thank her very much,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “What an amazing action this is for a mother to take in memory of her son.”

Donations will be sent out to school social workers to be dispersed as needed to students.

Tagged donations, school supplies

2018-19 School Supply Lists

Posted on August 21, 2018

Supply lists for elementary schools in District 191 are available below. This list will be updated as more supply lists are finalized and made available. For questions about a specific supply list, please contact the school directly.

More back-to-school information is available at

Posted in Parents, Back to School | Tagged supply list, 2018-19, elementary

District 191 students selected for national innovators event

Posted on August 20, 2018

Aaden Spencer and Shrey PothiniTwo youth in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 were selected from a nationwide search for young innovators to participate in an immersive lab experience at T-Mobile’s headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., during August.

Shrey Pothini and Aaden Spencer, who will be 9th graders at Burnsville High School this year, received in-depth mentorship and skills training with T-Mobile leaders and collaborated with their fellow innovators during the lab. Each team formally pitched a big idea to a panel of T-Mobile senior executives to receive real-time feedback and advice on how to put their plans into action. All winning teams also received a new device and a portion of nearly $60,000 in seed funding from the T-Mobile Foundation.

This all started with Shrey (at right in photo) applying for a grant through T-Mobile and the Ashoka Foundation to create a toolkit that cities around the country can use to create a community-wide day of service, modeled after an event Shrey started in his hometown of Savage.

Over 330 proposals were submitted, and 30 were selected for the experience, which is designed to fast-track world-changing ideas. Shrey was able to select a team member to accompany him, so he chose Aaden.

Shrey’s community involvement began when he was three years old visited a shelter for homeless youth where his mother was volunteering. That prompted him to ask for new bath towels on his birthday instead of presents. Since then, he’s collected over 3,000 towels.

“In third grade, I started a service club in my school (Harriet Bishop Elementary) to teach fellow students about needs in the community to get them passionate about volunteering,” said Shrey. “This year was the sixth year of the club, and we had over 85 students in grades K-5 involved. I have also started clubs in other schools in my district.”

As a sixth grader, Shrey expanded the project to the entire community, and called the youth-led event, "Service Day Saturday." The annual event has involved hundreds of community members of all ages in volunteer service of all kinds.

Posted in Student Success, Achievement | Tagged bhs, shrey pothini, t-mobile, innovators, #futureready

BHS school store will expand hours in weeks before school begins

Posted on August 20, 2018

The school store at Burnsville High School announces expanded hours during the last half of August.

Burnsville Spirit Store August Hours:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during BHS Orientation
  • Thursday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. during BHS Orientation
  • Monday, Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. during BHS Open House
  • Thursday, Aug. 30, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The school store is a one-stop-shop for all Blazewear including sweatshirts, t-shirts, jackets, hats, socks, mittens and even gift certificates. The store can accept cash, check and Visa or Mastercard for payment.

During the school year, regular hours of operation are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Kelly Tomas manages the school store and can be reached at or 952-707-2195.