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Tiger Cub Beat - Morris Area Elementary School 030814

A note from Principal Ken Gagner

As a person who enjoys reading (especially leadership topics) I have found author/speaker John Maxwell to be one of my favorites.  In a recent column he commented on the following Mark Twain quote: “I knew a man who grabbed a cat by the tail and learned forty percent more about cats than the man who didn’t.”

Maxwell’s reflections centered on factors affecting learning; in the case of the cat this means close proximity and a memorable experience. Research certainly supports Twain’s perceptions and if each of us considers our own memories I think we would agree as well. My challenge to you is to engage a younger learner in some type of memorable experience (preferably not grabbing a cat’s tail). Talk about your experience, ask questions, Google it, and if you are an over-achiever, write about it. You have just helped a child learn.

As always, if you have any questions or would just like to visit, please stop in; this is your school!

1. Kindergarten Round Up (eligible for kindergarten in the fall of 2014) is scheduled for Friday, March 28, starting at 8:45 a.m. There will be no school for kindergarten students on this day. Letters will be mailed out in the next couple weeks. Please contact the elementary office for more information.

2. All are invited to the M.A.E.S. Science * Math Expo on March 27. The public viewing will be held from 12 to 5 p.m.

3.  Calendar changes: School will be in session on Friday, March 14. The fourth grade ski trip will also be March 14. School will be in session on Monday, April 21.

4. Minnesota Statute #121 A.17 requires all children entering kindergarten in a public school to attend an early childhood developmental screening prior to kindergarten enrollment. Early Childhood Screening (ECS), which is targeted at three and four year old children – but can be done at any time, has a new look for the Morris Area School District. While ECS has been around for years, recently the Morris School contracted with Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health (STG PH) to complete the screenings. Your child will be screened by trained, experienced public health nurses at the STG office at 10 East Hwy 28, Morris, instead of at the school.  

While the location has changed, the components of ECS have not.  They include height, weight, vision, hearing, development, immunization review, health history, social emotional screening, and a parent summary interview. If any problems are found, referrals are made. There is no ECS cost to families.  

Chelsea, the Child and Teen Checkup Outreach Worker at STG PH, will be contacting families to set up a screening time and date for your young child. She will contact families based on the school’s census list.  If for some reason you do not think your child is on that list, please call public health at 320-208-6670.  

5. Early Dismissals: Morris Area Schools will have early dismissals during March and April. Students will be released at 12:30 p.m. on March 19 and April 9. The final two hour late start will be May 14.  Faculty will be participating in staff development activities on these days.

6.  Great news! Morris Area Elementary School has been awarded two full time MN AmeriCorps positions for the 2014-2015 school year. Each position will be for 40 hours a week providing one-on-one literacy tutoring to kindergarten through third grade students. Please contact Jody Maanum – Literacy Specialist for the Midwest Special Education Cooperative ( – if you, or someone you know, are interesting in serving in these critical positions.  The 11-month opportunity includes a stipend and scholarship.  

7. Third grade students recently attended, “A Whale in my School,” and fourth grade students, “The Wonder of Wolves.”  Thanks to the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District for sponsoring both programs.

Dates to Remember

March 14: Regular school day

March 14: Fourth grade ski trip

March 17: Rescheduled Dare Mighty Things Day, 2;15 p.m.

March 19: Early dismissal, 12:30 p.m.

March 21: Monroe Crossing, 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

March 10-28: Obstacle Course

March 27: Science * Math Expo

March 28: Kindergarten registration

March 28: End of third quarter

April 4: Third quarter report cards distributed

April 7: Conferences, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

April 9: Early dismissal , 12:30 p.m.

April 21: Regular school day

April 24: First and second grade concert