180 bowls and counting

Posted on October 27, 2014

Thanks to the nearly 40 volunteers who came out to the Potter's All Call on Saturday, Oct. 25. The Bowls for Brainpower initiative kicked off with students and potters making 180 bowls. Bowls for Brainpower aims to reach its 2015 goal by making 650 beautiful pottery bowls and raising more than $13,000 in donations for BrainPower in a BackPack!

Great job, potters!



Posted in Community, Arts | Tagged bhs, potters all call, Bowls for BrainPower, BrainPower in a Backpack

Order your letter jacket at the BHS Store

Posted on October 27, 2014

Traditional letter jackets can be ordered through the BHS Store! In order to receive your jacket before winter break, jackets need to ordered by Thursday, Nov. 20. Regular store hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The store will also be open the evenings of November 6 and 13 during parent-teacher conferences.

For additional information,contact Kristin Swenson, School Store Manager, at (952) 707-2195 .

Posted in Parents, Athletics | Tagged bhs store, letter jackets

Board reviews Vision One91 proposal, will consider funding requests

Posted on October 24, 2014

At its meeting on Oct. 23, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education heard a comprehensive overview of Vision One91, a plan for the future to ensure the district's mission of "Each Student Real-World Ready." Board members also heard about possible funding options to make that vision a reality.

Vision One91 is based on input received by Superintendent Joe Gothard during more than a year of parent and student conversations, community forums, staff meetings and PTO meetings.

While the school board has been receiving ongoing reports about Vision One91 as it has been developing over the past several months, Thursday night’s presentation was the first review of two possible ballot questions to provide the financial resources it would require.

Vision One91 is about redesigning our district to better meet the needs of today's learners,” said Gothard. “It’s the way to make sure their hopes and dreams for a bright future are realized and that they are ready for success in a competitive global economy.”

The board meeting included presentations by:

  • Assistant Superintendent Cindy Amoroso, who discussed how Vision One91 would create the right learning environment for students of all ages and positively impact daily classroom experiences. She explained how shifting to K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 schools would not only address the special social and emotional needs of middle school students, but would also reinforce the fact that 9th grade academic performance really matters for graduation and is a critical part of any post-secondary education application.
  • Director of Technology Doug Johnson, who explained how technology used to be a “nice to have” extra but has now become a “have to have” to increase learning opportunities for all students and provide staff with the support they need to maximize technology use in the classroom.
  • Executive Director of Business Services Lisa Rider, who outlined the estimated costs to implement Vision One91 and explained what financial tools the district has available, including two possible school funding requests on a special election on Feb. 24, 2015.

The four parts of Vision One91:

1) Organize our schools to best support learning and ensure each student graduates real-world ready:

  • Realign grades and schools to K-5, 6-8, 9-12 to match current best practices and state standards. This would move 6th graders from elementary schools to middle schools, and move 9th graders from junior highs to high school.
  • Remodel some elementary schools to enlarge some kindergarten classrooms to meet district standards and to make space for more early childhood classrooms where possible; remove aging portable classrooms at William Byrne and replace with a classroom addition to provide appropriate classrooms for those students.
  • Close the senior campus and add classrooms at Burnsville High School to provide adequate learning spaces for up to 2,800 students in grades 9-12 – a shift from the current 2,080 students in grades 10-12 who attend BHS today, including seniors who now spend half of their day at a separate building.
  • Build an Activity Center at Burnsville High School to expand the curricular, extra-curricular activities/athletics, and community activities available to both students and residents.

2) Improve security for a safer learning environment:

  • Create secure entries in schools that don't already have them.
  • Upgrade surveillance cameras

3) Relocate programs and repurpose offices for effectiveness and efficiency:

  • Move BEST (District 191’s transition program for 18- to 21-year-old students with disabilities) and related programs from leased space into district-owned building to reduce lease costs.
  • Consolidate districtwide employees in Diamondhead Education Center for a more integrated and efficient work environment.
  • Repurpose district-owned Diamondhead Education Center to provide expanded early childhood learning space, expanded classrooms for Adult Basic Education and additional space for professional development for staff members.

4) Increase technology to enhance classroom teaching and learning:

  • Student resources – equitable access to technology, online individualized learning plans, portable wireless hubs.
  • Classroom resources – online curriculum and learning systems, E-books, course management systems.
  • Teacher resources – on-going training and support.
  • School and district resources – infrastructure to support technology use in schools, classrooms and districtwide

While the school district can pay for some portions of Vision One91 through existing funds, it will require community support to be fully realized. Two proposed ballot questions were presented to provide the major funding needed:

  1. Bond referendum of $63 to $70 million (amount not determined yet) – the first one proposed since Harriet Bishop Elementary in Savage was built in the late 1990s – to fund the cost of re-aligning schools to K-5, 6-8 and 9-12, paying for expanding early childhood spaces, security upgrades and relocating programs and offices.
  2. Technology levy – a “capital project levy” – to provide $2.5 million per year for 10 years to provide critical technology for students, classrooms, staff and the district.

At its next meeting on Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m., the Board of Education will make a final decision about whether to put the two school funding requests before voters in a special election on Feb. 24, 2015. Board meetings take place at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville. They are aired on local cable channels, live-streamed from the school district’s website and also archived there.

To learn more about Vision One91, go to

Posted in Finance, Community, Alumni, Referendum | Tagged Vision One91, joe gothard, school board

Congratulations to Cross Country Runners at Sections

Posted on October 24, 2014

Congratulations to senior Faysal Mahmoud, junior Dillon Wong and sophomore Nate Blichfeldt at the Section 3AA Cross Country meet in Apple Valley on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Mahmoud won the 5,000-meter boys' race, qualifying for state. Both Wong and Blichfeldt also earned a spot at state.

On the girls' side, Burnsville's Kelly Koch, a ninth-grader at Metcalf Junior High, took 11th place at the Section 3AA meet, making her a state qualifier as well.

The state meet is Saturday, Nov. 1 at St. Olaf in Northfield.

Great job to both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams on a great season, and good luck to those who are moving on to state!

Go Blaze! 

Posted in Achievement, Athletics | Tagged bhs, boys cross country, girls cross country, sections, state

District 191 receives financial reporting award for 26th consecutive year

Posted on October 23, 2014

For the 26th consecutive year, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 has received an award for financial reporting from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International.

The comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) award is considered to be the gold standard and the highest recognition for school district financial operations. It is only conferred to school districts that have met or exceeded the standards of the program.

About 20 school districts in Minnesota receive the award each year and District 191 is one of the very few to have received it for so many consecutive years. The award is for the 2013 report. 

By preparing and presenting this report, District 191 validates the credibility and transparency of its financial operations, measures the integrity and technical competence of its business staff, and strengthens presentations for bond issuance statements, according to an announcement from ASBO.

“This award recognizes our continuing effort to meet the highest standards of financial integrity,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard. “It is a prestigious accomplishment that demonstrates that we are using tax dollars wisely.”

For more details, visit

Posted in Finance | Tagged awards, finance

Educators to be honored as TIES Exceptional Teachers

Posted on October 23, 2014

Bjorn Anderson and Bobby Griffiths from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 have been named TIES 2014 Exceptional Teachers and will be honored during the TIES Education Technology Conference in December.

Bobby Griffiths

Bjorn Anderson

They are among teachers selected for modeling best practices in using technology to engage students in learning. School districts participating in the TIES Exceptional Teachers award program are members of TIES, an education technology consortium of 48 Minnesota school districts.

For Bobby Griffiths, media specialist at Metcalf Junior High in Burnsville, the most enjoyable part of his job is working with students every day to learn and practice the technology-related skills they’ll need to succeed both in their classes and after they graduate. Partnering with teachers in all disciplines, Griffiths teaches students everything from the basics of using Google Docs to photo and movie editing applications and especially how to be responsible technology users.

Metcalf Principal Kelly Ronn calls Griffiths a leader in the school when it comes to technology and praises his work to help other teachers learn and integrate technology into their lesson plans. Whether considering their future careers or simply finding reliable information online, students will be using Griffiths’ lessons now and for a long time to come.

Bjorn Anderson, science specialist at Edward Neill Elementary in Burnsville, knows that being tech savvy is essential to his students becoming real-world ready and prepared for their futures. Whether he’s taking students on virtual field trips to the Grand Canyon to understand erosion and weathering or teaching video game design and animation through coding after school, Anderson models curiosity and fearlessness to both students and colleagues when it comes to using technology for learning.

According to Principal Elizabeth Vaught, Anderson provides opportunities for all students in grade K-6 to explore their world with tools that enhance their learning experiences on a daily basis. This makes him a technology leader in his school and throughout the district.

Posted in Achievement | Tagged TIES, awards, technology, Bobby Griffiths, Bjorn Anderson, edward neill, metcalf

Former School Board member Vicki Roy earns Burnsville’s Community Builder award

Posted on October 23, 2014

Longtime Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board Member Vicki Roy is among seven recipients of Community Builder awards presented by the City of Burnsville on Oct. 21.

Vicki Roy is presented the Community Builder award by (from left) Burnsville City Council Members Mary Sherry, Suzanne Nguyen, Bill Coughlin, Dan Kealey and Mayor Elizabeth Kautz.

The award started in 1998 and is presented annually to individuals, groups and businesses that have made contributions to build the Burnsville community and make lasting impact on the quality of life in the city.

Roy moved to Burnsville in 1976 and quickly became involved as a volunteer at her children’s schools, which led to 20 years as a member of the District 191 School Board.

“As a board member, she was committed to student achievement, determined to build support for the schools and unwavering in the pursuit of what's best for students,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard, in his nomination. “Since leaving the board in 2011, Vicki has continued her dedication to learners, especially as a champion for the youngest ones.”

Roy worked alongside 191 Community Education staff to secure donations to support the innovative "Ready! For Kindergarten," which instructs parents on preparing their children for success in school. She recently gave a presentation on “Ready! For Kindergarten” at the Minnesota School Boards Association.

Roy organizes the Rockin’ Reader program which boosts literacy by having District 191 elementary principals read their favorite books with children every week during the summer in Nicollet Commons Park. She also organizes District 191's involvement in Read for the Record, a national event focused on young learners. She recruits community members to read to students and also secures over 100 donated books so that readers can leave behind the book they read as a gift to the classroom.

Roy serves on the Board of Directors of Foundation 191, a non-profit organization created to enhance, enrich and expand educational opportunities within District 191. She also serves on the selection committee for the Burnsville High School Hall of Fame.

“Over the years, Vicki has had a tremendously positive impact on this community and is certainly deserving of this award,” said Gothard.

For more information, go to

Posted in Achievement, Community | Tagged community builder, community, burnsville, vicki roy

ASVAB test slated for Friday, Oct. 31

Posted on October 22, 2014

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB), a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military, is scheduled at Burnsville High School on October 31 at 8:00 a.m. If you have not passed the Reading or Math MCA test you need to take the ASVAB, ACT or ACCUPLACER test in order to graduate.

If you are interested in taking the ASVAB, a sign-up sheet is located in the Attendance Office. You must sign up for this test by Tuesday, Oct. 28. This test will be given at both the Senior and Main campuses. A meeting discussing your test results will be held at a later date. All students who took the ASVAB test must attend this results meeting.

Posted in Parents | Tagged bhs, ASVAB test, real-world ready

BHS will open Academic Resource Center (ARC) on Oct. 28

Posted on October 22, 2014

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Burnsville High School will open the Academic Resource Center (ARC), a designated space for all students to complete homework and get after-school academic help. It is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Media Center. Teachers and staff members are on hand to assist students with their work. The open study space features tables, computers with internet access and printers. This academic workspace is intended to provide students with resources to meet their academic potential.

To attend the ARC, please sign up online here or scan the QR code to visit the sign-up form.

Or, you can sign in upon arrival in the Media Center. Contact Mr. Pettinelli or Mr. Bellmont if you have any questions. 

You can access the ARC webpage via the Academics and Resources sections of the BHS website.


Additionally, the Writing Center is open 2:15-2:45 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Media Center. Peer coach assistance is available. The sign-up is located just outside the Media Center. Contact Ms. Hansen if you have questions. 


Posted in Parents | Tagged bhs, academic resource center, real-world ready

Winter sports registration and meeting

Posted on October 21, 2014

Winter athletics start as early as Monday, October 27. Online registration, payment and current sports physicals need to be completed before the winter sport begins. If you previously registered for a fall sport this year, you do not need to complete the registration form again. If you have any athletic registration questions, please contact Jeanine Riggs in the Athletic Office at (952) 707-2151.

Also, tonight there is an athlete-parent meeting for those students planning on participating on either the girls hockey team, boys hockey team, Nordic ski team, alpine ski team, girls basketball team or Olympic Weightlifting team. The meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Mraz Center. Individual sports meetings will follow the all-sport meeting. Boys swimming, boys basketball, and wrestling athletes will have their meeting on Monday, November 17.

Posted in Athletics, Parents | Tagged bhs, winter sports, registration, meeting