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Posted on August 17, 2018

Read Eagle Ridge Middle School's back-to-school newsletter

BHS teachers selected to share expertise at national conference

Posted on August 17, 2018

Two Burnsville High School teachers were selected to give a presentation at a national conference attended by educators from K-12 school districts and colleges/universities this summer.

Kristina Aars (at left) and Colleen Coleman shared their expertise at the 5th Annual Schoology User Conference with their presentation: “Hacking the Achievement Gap: 10 Schoology Tips to Make Every Student More Successful.” Schoology is the online learning management system used in secondary schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

“It was exciting to be able to share real-world successes at a national educational technology conference,” said Aars. “This was a chance to showcase our high school students and the progress we see in the classroom.”

Their session highlighted best practices with Schoology to help students attain high achievement. It also included feedback from their students about what worked best for them. One student said, “Schoology helped me stay organized. I really liked that I always knew what we were doing each day. Also, if I was absent, I knew exactly what I had missed.”

“Just the act of giving students access to technology and a great learning management system won’t singlehandedly make them successful” said Coleman. “Schools and teachers need to be thoughtful, intentional and consistent in how they use Schoology.”

The teachers shared data from their courses to show how Schoology helped all of their students to be more organized, collaborative and engaged with classroom instruction. Coleman and Aars said Schoology helps them individualize instruction to provide leveled learning, academic support and enrichment.

In District 191, Aars and Coleman serve as coaches who work with their peers from all different technology backgrounds and subject areas to successfully use Schoology to benefit student learning.  

“Colleen and Kristina are leaders in our district with the use of Schoology,” said Rachel Gorton, the district’s coordinator of instruction technology. “They facilitated a year-long class for teachers that was informative and collaborative. Participants especially liked the examples that Colleen and Kristina shared of what worked well in their classrooms and what did not.”

By attending the national conference, Coleman and Aars head into the new school year with exciting new ideas for expanded use of Schoology.

Posted in Academics, Achievement | Tagged staff, bhs

Five candidates will be on District 191 ballot in November

Posted on August 17, 2018

Five candidates have filed for four four-year terms on the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education and will be on the ballot for Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. The filing period closed on Aug. 14.

They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Abigail Alt, 16 Marcin Hill, Burnsville
  • Lesley Chester, 2085 Carnelian Lane, Eagan
  • Jen Holweger, 2617 London Ct., Burnsville
  • Scott Hume, 804 E. 134th St., Burnsville 
  • Jim Schmid, 11107 Territorial Ct., Burnsville

The terms of board members Abigail Alt, Dan Luth, Jim Schmid and Bob VandenBoom expire on Dec. 31. Newly-elected board members will begin their terms in January 2019.

Luth, who served 17 years on the Board, and VandenBoom, who served seven years, did not file for re-election. Others on the seven-member school board include DeeDee Currier, Eric Miller and Darcy Schatz. For more information on the Board of Education visit

Tagged school board, elections

BHS grad edits new Hollywood film premiering Friday

Posted on August 17, 2018

Vaughn Bien in his office in Los AngelesA new movie coming out of Hollywood was edited by Vaughn David Bien III, a 2005 graduate of Burnsville High School. Bien served as the chief editor of “Breaking & Exiting” which stars Milo Gibson (son of Mel Gibson) and Jordan Hinson.

A mini premiere event took place at the Emagine Lakeville theater on Aug. 17. 

The film will also be showing at other AMC Theaters in the Twin Cities. Bien previously was co-editor for “Walking With the Enemy,” which starred Sir Ben Kingsley.

Bien started his education at Hidden Valley Elementary School (where his mother Bernie Bien was the school nurse) then attended Eagle Ridge Junior High.

Originally, he wanted to be a director but when he began taking classes at Columbia College Chicago, he realized that his passion was with post-production so he became a film editor instead. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in film production and now works for Kappa Studios and lives in Los Angeles.

Posted in Alumni

Elementary classrooms get infusion of technology

Posted on August 16, 2018

This fall, students in District 191 elementary schools will have more access to high-quality learning resources and tools for communication and collaboration thanks to expanded use of Chromebooks as personal learning devices. This is made possible thanks to the voter-approved Vision One91 referendum.

Students will use varying models of Chromebooks depending on grade level. These devices are lightweight and inexpensive, and provide students access to the internet, their Google accounts and other web-based applications, including district resources such as Seesaw and our online learning system, Schoology.

Grades 5: Chromebooks are used on a one-to-one basis, with responsibility for and access to the device growing over the year. Students do not keep the devices over the summer before entering 6th grade.  

Grade 4: Chromebooks are available in classrooms at a one-to-one ratio. Students do not take the devices home.

Grades K-3: Chromebooks are available in classrooms at a ratio of two students to one device (2-to-1). Students in grades K-2 use a tablet version of the device, which is designed to be lighter and easier to use for younger students.

Students in grades 6-12 have already been using Chromebooks in school and also take them home for their personal academic work (one-to-one). 

Learn more about student devices.

Posted in Back to School, Vision One91 | Tagged learning technology, elementary

Golf tournament will support Foundation 191, classroom grants

Posted on August 15, 2018

Foundation 191 will host its annual golf tournament and fundraiser on on Sept. 14 at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville. Golfers will tee off at 1 p.m. with proceeds to benefiting Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 schools through Foundation 191 grants.

Sponsorship opportunities for the event, holes and contests are available. The registration fee of $125 includes golf, cart, range balls, lunch ticket and an evening banquet. A dinner only option is available for $20.

Foundation 191 was formed in 2005 and has provided more than $100,000 in grants to support enrichment activities for District 191 students. Past grants have supported projects including student publishing programs, the creation of student service clubs, purchasing representative literature and BrainPower in a Backpack.  

Registration is available at Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register soon. For more information visit or contact the Foundation at or 952-707-4112.

District 191 launches blog to feature inspiring stories of One91 community

Posted on August 13, 2018

Olivia BrammerIn and beyond the classroom, there are so many inspiring stories of students, staff, alumni and community members in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. To highlight the people who make us One91, the district has launched a new website that will capture and showcase their amazing stories -

Whether it’s students who are leaders in their schools, community members who share their talents as volunteers, or staff members whose dedication is opening new worlds for students, “WeAreOne91” will be the place to see the stories of people who exemplify our mission: Each Student. Future Ready. Community Strong.

Plus, if you’ve got a story to share, you can submit it right on the site. Visit now.

New teachers contract approved by District 191 board

Posted on August 10, 2018

At its Aug. 9 meeting, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 Board of Education voted to approve a new two-year contract with the Burnsville Education Association (BEA), which represents the district’s teachers.

Board and BEA representatives had reached a tentative agreement on June 20, and BEA members voted to approve the new contract in July.  

“I’m pleased that we were able to come to this agreement, which covers nearly half of District 191 employees, at this time. Having it in place will allow everyone to be focused on the important work that’s ahead,” said Board Chair Jim Schmid. “As a district — including all staff members, families, students and community members — we can be proud of the progress we’ve made in the last few years and excited for what’s next.”

The new contract is retroactive to July 1, 2017 and continues through June 30, 2019. It brings a projected two-year total cost increase of $6.4 million, compared to 2016-17 costs. This includes no increase to the teacher salary schedule in the first year of the contract and a 4 percent increase for 2018-19.

The contract includes several language changes, including a process for unrequested leaves of absence (ULA) that allows the Board of Education to designate priority areas for retaining staff. This process will allow the board to protect teachers who have specific qualifications from seniority-based layoffs to ensure priority programming will continue.

“We don’t want to lose an important class – for instance a Pathways-related course at the high school – because we were forced to layoff the only teacher who was licensed or certified to offer that class,” Schmid said. “This will help us be consistent in what we offer so our students can plan their academic careers with confidence.”

Other language changes address prep time reimbursement for traveling teachers, adoption and parental leaves, and preparation time for parent conferences, among others.

The contract covers approximately 700 district employees, including teachers, nurses, psychologists, counselors and other licensed educators.

Quick Facts

  • Contract duration: July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019
  • Employees covered: Approximately 700
  • Projected cost increase: $6.4 million over two years, compared to 2016-17 costs
Tagged contract, negotiations

Seven new and cool things for 2018-19

Posted on August 8, 2018

We hope you're getting excited for the new school year - we sure are! Here are just a few of the new things happening in 2018-19 around the district. 

1: College-credit classes for future teachers

Burnsville High School seniors will be able to take two education courses and earn seven college credits through Normandale Community College, all without leaving the high school.

The courses, “Introduction to Education” and “Multicultural Education and Human Relations in School,” are made possible in part through a “Grow Your Own” grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Although the school is actively recruiting students of color to participate, the classes are open to any senior who meets academic requirements or gets a recommendation from a teacher.

More on future teachers

2: Bus fleet includes host of safety features

District 191 students will be riding to and from school in all new buses this school year. The district’s new transportation provider, Schmitty & Sons, is building an entire fleet for the partnership. Along with being new, the buses will include several safety features, including interior and exterior cameras, a public-address system that helps drivers easily communicate with students, and a GPS tracking system. Plus, the buses will be easy to identify with our district name printed on the side.

More on buses

3: Updates for elementary media centers

Elementary schools will receive new modern furniture that is flexible and moveable to promote interaction and collaboration among students. The updates were needed because media centers are used differently now to align with how workplaces function. Schools that will receive new media center furniture this summer are Marion W. Savage, Hidden Valley, Harriet Bishop, Gideon Pond and Vista View. Other schools (Rahn, Sioux Trail, Edward Neill and Sky Oaks) received media center updates a few years ago when Vision One91 updates took place in their buildings.

4: Healthcare club

A new chapter of the HOSA-Future Health Professionals (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America), has started up at Burnsville High School. It’s the largest student organization preparing students to enter the healthcare field. HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition for secondary students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs with interests in pursuing careers in health professions.

5: National Junior Honor Society expands

This fall, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) will have chapters at all three middle schools. It honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship and character. It also challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and volunteer community service.

More on NJHS

6: Hidden Valley Hawks

Hidden Valley Elementary has a new mascot (Hidden Valley Hawks) and slogan (SOAR - Safe, On Task, Act Responsible, Respectful).

The school also started a Little Free Library this summer, and kicked it off with a book give away to all students. The goal is to increase reading throughout the summer and into the new school year. The Little Free Library is located inside the front entrance, near the main office.

7: Elementary Schools to Move Mindfully

Several District 191 elementary schools, including Neill, Sky Oaks and Vista View, are adding a program to encourage students to "Move Mindfully." It’s a national program called Yoga Calm that was developed for classroom use by a school counselor who observed her students’ varied needs for movement, mindfulness and social-emotional learning. Studies suggest that school-based yoga may have a number of positive effects on students’ mental health, behavior and academic performance.

See more important back-to-school information, including advice from elementary students, at

Posted in Back to School | Tagged 2018-19, bhs, middle school, elementary

Burnsville High School Spirit Store opens Aug. 13!

Posted on August 7, 2018

The Burnsville High School Spirit Store is a one-stop-shop for all your Blazewear! Stocked with sweatshirts, t-shirts, jackets, hats, socks, mittens and even gift certificates, the store offers Blaze nation a variety of options!

The store is open in August on the following dates:

  • Monday, August 13  •  6:30-8:30 p.m.

  • Monday, August 20  •  5:30-7:30 p.m. and 8:30-9:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, August 22 (during BHS Orientation)  •  8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Thursday, August 23 (during BHS Orientation)  •  11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Monday, August 27  •  9 a.m - 3 p.m.  

  • Tuesday, August 28  •  10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  • Wednesday, August 29 (during BHS Open House)  •  4-8 p.m.

  • Thursday, August 30  •  3:30-5:30 p.m.

The store can accept cash, check and Visa or Mastercard for payment and is normally open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., during the school year. 

Posted in Parents | Tagged bhs, blaze spirit wear, orientation, open house