• Student Services News - March 2021

    Posted by CommPR on 3/30/2021


    The first edition of the Student Services newsletter brings you quick and current information about our department and what the department is working on to support the students and families of the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

    English Language Learners

    Victoria Campoverde and Kari Xiong-Carlson hosted a virtual graduation celebration on March 9th for parents who completed the 7-week Best Legacy Program. This program is a partnership program between Anoka-Hennepin and the University of Minnesota and is affiliated with the Partnering for School Success project. The objectives of the program are to:

    • Strengthen the interaction and partnerships between parents and children, and parent and schools.
    • Increase parents’ knowledge and skills to navigate the school system.
    • Build parents’ self-efficacy to help their children succeed in school.
    • Increase the number of students graduating from high school and continuing to higher education.

    Rahmo Ali will host an information session on Ramadan.

    Equity Updates

    • District-wide Culturally Responsive/Equity team professional development - March 24-25 with Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (Goal 2) June 2 with Midwest & Plains Equity Assistance Center (Goal 1).
    • Equity Reflection Tool 1st edition shared with numerous departments for feedback in May.
    • YMCA Cohort 4 (principals, assistant principals, etc.) on Transforming Workplace Culture.
    • Equity Achievement Plan-feedback will be requested in May on scope/sequence of monthly professional learning activities for 21-22 school year.
    • Parent Advisory Committee for Racial and Ethnic Equity (PACREE)-Parents presented recommendations to the board in January for recruitment and retention of staff/teachers of color.
    • Affinity Groups-Teacher of Color Mentor/Mentee program - featuring a few former MN Teachers of the Year as guest speakers.
    • Equity Fireside Chat - Principals are participating in monthly facilitated sessions on Equity Instructional Leadership.

    HOPE Office

    The HOPE Office school social worker continues to provide direct support to students and families experiencing housing instability through referrals by school social workers and homeless education leads. Since the start of the school year, 15 families have stabilized while working with the HOPE Office school social worker, including 9 families during trimester 2!

    Homeless Liaison had an opportunity to share information about the rights of students experiencing housing instability with housing/homeless providers during the recent statewide housing/homelessness provider webinar hosted by the Minnesota Heading Home Alliance.

    • Faith Community Partnership Spring Celebration: Each spring, in collaboration with Anoka-Hennepin Parent Involvement Program, we host a celebration to highlight the incredible work happening across our system to meet the needs of students through school/faith partner collaborations. Additional information to come on this upcoming virtual event.
    • Anoka County Children & Family Council (ACCFC) Fund Distribution: The HOPE Office continues to partner with school social workers and homeless education leads to meet the basic needs of Anoka-Hennepin students during this challenging time for many. ACCFC funds are available to meet the basic needs of any Anoka-Hennepin student/family. Please connect with the student's school social worker or homeless education lead to connect students/families with this resource.
    • McKinney-Vento & P-EBT: The HOPE Office worked with the Anoka-Hennepin MARSS coordinator to ensure students experiencing homelessness without a stable/reliable mailing address were able to access P-EBT benefits (food support).
    • MV Meal Delivery: While many students have returned to in-person learning, for students experiencing housing instability who continue in the distance learning model, the HOPE Office continues to partner with Child Nutrition and Transportation to ensure students are able to access school meals.
    • Every Meal: Continue to partner with Every Meal, Child Nutrition, Parent Involvement Program, and school social workers to ensure availability of Every Meal bags at all Anoka-Hennepin schools and at distance learning meal pick up. Continue to plan for what this partnership will look like as we look to the future. 

    HOPE Office contact information:

    Jessica Jasurda: Homeless Liaison 763-433-4685

    Megan Lagasse: HOPE School Social Worker 763-433-4686

    Kate Grimm: HOPE Secretary 763-433-4692


    Working with sites to determine which Teachers will attend the annual professional development for AVID, Summer Institute. The conference dates for this year are August 3-5. This training is required for teachers who are new to AVID as well as returning AVID staff members who need to continue their professional development.

    School Counseling

    Intern Interviews were held on Friday, March 5th at the ESC. A special thanks to School Counselors: Amy Harnack (CPHS), Erin Kelly(JMS) and Samuel Hicks (CPHS) for participating on an interview panel with Hope Rugemalira. Several candidates were selected for an internship with the district.

    Health Services

    School nurses continue to do contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine notifications for COVID-19.
    Vaccination for dose one COVID19 in partnership with Anoka County is complete for educators in our district.

    Educators not yet vaccinated will still be a priority for the vaccine, but will need to access their appointments through the vaccine connector.

    Second dose notification for our staff received through district/county clinics will occur as an email to each staff member. It will go directly to the email address you gave the county when you registered for the first dose. The county will send it about one week before your next dose is due.

    Saliva testing for staff continues every two weeks at each school site as provided by the state of MN. So far, we have tested over 2200 samples with only 5 positive cases.

    Health service continues with our normal duties as more students return to school.

    The state immunization report for each site is completed and filed with the state as required each year.

    The OSHA reports for each site were posted as required by law.

    Mental Health

    The School-Based Mental Health department has been busy. All three agencies that we contract with, Headway Emotional Health, People Incorporated, and Lee Carlson, are actively working on hiring.

    This program has an integrated and systematic approach, district-wide. We will be adding therapy referrals and requests for information Google Forms to the mental health pages. Additionally, we have added procedures to improve collaboration and communication between mental health therapists and building staff.

    The Mental Health Advisory Team continues to bring together a multidisciplinary team of leaders working with school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, school health providers, special education, and mental health therapists. The team engages in dialogue and plans for crisis intervention, suicide awareness and prevention, professional development, process and procedure, and mental health trends.

    If you have any questions or feedback about mental health services, please contact Dr. Nita Kumar, director of mental health services/asst. director, student services.

    Indian Education

    • April 13: YouTube Video Premiere - 7:00 PM. Scott Sochay is an enrolled member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. He will be talking about how he answers the question "What does it mean to be Native?"
    • April 27: Live Discussion - 7:00 PM. Shauna Coons and Dennis Olson Jr. Shauna Coons is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and is an alumnus of Coon Rapids High School. Shauna is a Managing Attorney at Kwe Law Firm. Dennis is an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and is the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner. Before his current appointment, Dennis was the Director of the Office of Indian Education for the Minnesota Department of Education.

    Anoka-Hennepin Indian Education is currently in the planning stages of offering a six-week summer program for American Indian elementary students. This program is sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund and is part of their Freedom School Program.

    Curriculum Integration

    Here are some things cooking up at AMSA:

    This week and the week after spring break, our Art Lab and Painting 7-8th grade students are attending a virtual field trip through the New Orleans museum of Art. I can send you the times and a link to join. We will be learning of art that deals with social issues.

    In April, we have another field trip through the Smithsonian African American Art Museum.

    Our theater will have a couple of virtual shows in May and students in art classes are making background drops and props to be used during the virtual shows.

    Our theater students are attending a virtual show at The Children's Theater "Seed Folk" this week and the teacher is planning on some neat discussions.

    Dance students will have an artist in residency in April (in person, unless things change, of course).

    Student Services Management Team

    • James Greer, Inclusion and Diversity. 
    • Cynthia Hiltz, Health Services. 
    • Dr. Nita Kumar, Mental Health Services. 
    • Todd Protovinsky, Indian Education.
    • Amanda Romano, Lead Secretary, Student Services.
    • Hope Rugemalira, Academic Supports and Accomodations.
    • Dr. Keith Brooks, Student Services. 
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