Friday, October 29, 2010

New ISD #2142 School District News, Oct. 28, 2010

News Summary: 

Cook and Orr schools to combine in sports in 2011-2012
County Schools make HUGE improvement in AYP testing

Web Links:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Strategic Facilities Plan - Building Stronger Education For St. Louis County

The school district has updated its website

 with a dedicated Strategic Facilities Plan Page.

Check it out at the link below:

Friday, October 22, 2010

ISD #2142 School District News, Oct. 21, 2010

Cook News Herald Article: (10/21/2010)
New North School moves closer to a reality, County P & Z approves EAW
Article clip: ISD 2142 received formal permission to move on to the next step in the process to build the new "North" School on Olson Road.

Full Article Link here:

Cook News Herald Article: (10/21/2010)
Education Consultant Reports Findings
Article clip:
Assessment is that ISD 2142 has done well with the funds with which it has had to work, but there is room for improvement. Test scores could be higher, but were as much as 1-1/2 times better than the charter school system after which the Vermilion Charter School (Tower) is patterning itself, and even above the New Transitions (state Internet studies) test scores. Spending is as under control as possible.

Full Article Link here:

Letter To The Editor, By Bill Conger, Topic: Community Coalition Joint Powers Meeting, Oct. 14th, 2010 Regarding ISD 2142 School District

Article clip: The members of the coalition in attendance were presented with facts and opinions that were contrary to their publically stated opinions and goals, and in my opinion they were visibly disturbed.

Full Article Link Here (Letter Below In Blog):

Friday, October 15, 2010

ISD 2142 News: Supt. Rick rescinds his retirement until June, board starts closures of AlBrook and Cotton.

ISD 2142 News:

Cook News Herald Full Article:

Article Summary:

Superintendent Rick Staying Until June, 2011.
Albrook, Cotton Schools begin closure process.
5.5 Million committed to New North School already.
Consolidated Sports Programs Next Year.

Letter To The Editor, By Bill Conger, Topic: Community Coalition Joint Powers Meeting, Oct. 14th, 2010 Regarding ISD 2142 School District

October 14, 2010

To the Editor,

I just attended the Thursday evening meeting of The Community Coalition Joint Powers Board held at the Crescent Supper Club located just outside of the Cook city limits and must admit I was quite surprised.

Mr. Tom Watson, a consultant hired by the Coalition, assessed the state of ISD 2142 and found that a lot of what the district has been saying for the past three years is basically true. He also found that the district is one of the more financially efficient districts in the area. He found that compared to surrounding districts using state testing criteria they do one of the better jobs of education. He found that when compared to the model charter school being touted by the coalition, the district does a significantly better job at education. In short, it seemed that his findings on most issues aligned more with the ISD 2142 view than with the Coalition view.

I agree that the environment necessary to promote community growth will attract new jobs and young families with children. Building this environment is the job of city and township governments. Educating the children that live in this entire area is the job of District 2142.

Only when there is job and population growth can the school system react to growth. In the meantime, they have to react to decline. Having an aggressive plan to deal with enrollment and revenue decline is overdue and the right course of action, and is the course the district has chosen. Consolidation of district schools is the only recourse to declining enrollment and declining revenue.

It is time for the coalition to focus on the job of creating a progressive community atmosphere. This is the job that belongs to the units of government the members of the Coalition were elected to represent. They should cooperate with the school district to help them do the job it is in business to do, which is delivering the best education to all of the children in the district.

The members of the coalition in attendance were presented with facts and opinions that were contrary to their publically stated opinions and goals, and in my opinion they were visibly disturbed.

I agreed with most of the presentation and I was greatly disturbed. I am still greatly disturbed, because the Coalition has wasted a lot of time and energy trying to block the plan that was voter approved. I am disturbed because they have diverted hundreds of hours of District 2142 personnel time from pursuing a full agenda of reforms aimed at providing a better education for the students in the district. The delay in construction of the North School caused by their actions will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra costs that will translate into a lesser facility when it is finally completed. I am disturbed that the personal attacks aimed at individual school board members has made a difficult public service even worse. Public servants should not be attacking other public servants. It is just plain bad form and could backfire.

My hope is that after tonight, The Community Coalition Joint Powers Board will convert from a group opposing and obstructing District 2142’s plan into group that is actively working to attract jobs, provide affordable housing alternatives for young families and consolidating the services they do control in an effort to make northern St. Louis County an attractive place to live and a place for growth. If the district plan can be helped instead of hindered, there will be an improved educational system ready and waiting when growth does occur.


Bill Conger

ISD 2142 - New North School Moves Forward, Receives St. Louis County Planning Commission EAW Approval



Charles Rick
Superintendent, ISD 2142
(218) 749-8130, ext. 1104

ISD 2142 receives approval of final aspects of EAW from St. Louis County Planning Commission regarding the New North School

Virginia, Minn. (October 14, 2010) – Independent School District 2142 received formal permission from the St. Louis County Planning Commission today to move to the next step in its process to build its New North School on Olson Road in Field Township.

Following detailed presentations by stormwater and wastewater engineers, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Planning Commission voted 7-1 to issue a “negative declaration” related to an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for the school site. A negative declaration means the District's plan properly mitigates any significant environmental effects, Planning Commission questions related to wastewater treatment and stormwater management have been satisfied, that the EAW is approved with no changes, and that the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

“Both the MPCA and the Planning Commission were diligent in their environmental review to ensure that the New North School would not have any negative impacts on Flint Creek and the surrounding area,” said Charles Rick, superintendent of ISD 2142. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Commission as we work to bring a modern, new school to fruition for the people of this area.”

The next step for the district is to submit information for approval of a Conditional Use Permit, which is expected to be acted on at the November 10, 2010, meeting of the St. Louis County Planning Commission. Additional information about ISD #2142, including site plans for the new schools, can be found at

Independent School District 2142 is Minnesota’s largest school district geographically, encompassing just over 4,000 square miles of the St. Louis County. It currently serves more than 1,900 students at seven K-12 school buildings located at Orr, Cook, Tower-Soudan, Babbitt-Embarrass, Cherry, Cotton, and AlBrook. ISD 2142 employs nearly 400 teachers and support staff who make it their mission to offer every child the personal attention they need to realize their individual goals.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Babbitt-Embarrass Community Education Activities

Morning Swim (Adult)
Men and Women are invited to come and enjoy the beautiful school pool every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Use this time to get in some great exercise (aerobics, laps, walking) or casually enjoy the pool. Contact Jean (827-3223) for additional information and to register. No class on days when school is closed.
Dates: MWF: Oct-Dec ? Time: 6:30 to 7:30am ? Ages: Adult ? Place: Babbitt School Swimming Pool ? Cost: $25 per month or $4 per day

YOUR Community - Digital Photo Contest
Win a Digital Camera and Gift Certificates

The theme of this photo contest is "Community." Submissions should represent or invoke a sense of community. Photos can be abstract, figurative or literal - use your imagination. Submit photos via email to or turn photos into the high school office. Printed images should fit an 8x10 format. Submissions must include: name, age, address, phone number, brief photo description and $4.00 submission fee (up to 3 photos per entry). Submissions must be received by October 20th to be included in Red Ribbon Week Judging. Digital Camera and gift certificates will be presented to winners Friday, October 29th. All submissions will be displayed in the Main Hallway during Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23-31. Contact Community Education for more information 827-3101 ext. 3758.

October Family Festival (S.O.P. EVENT)
Friday, October 29th

Something fun for the whole family - Come dressed in a fun spirited costume and be ready to have FUN! There will be a variety of games and activities set up in the cafeteria and gymnasium, as well as open gym space for shooting hoops. Dates: Friday, October 29th ¨ Time: 7:00 to 9:00pm ¨ Ages: All ¨ Place: Babbitt School ¨ Cost: $3 per person at the door. The concession stand will be open with all proceeds going to S.O.P. (Save Our Pool fund care of Northeast Country Swim Boosters).

Swimming and Pizza Party (Boys & Girls)
Register by November 1st

Girls & Boys in 3rd thru 6th grade are invited to a swimming and pizza party after school. Swimming will be from 3:15 to 4:25 in the school pool. From 4:30 to 5:00 pizza will be served in the cafeteria. Parents are welcome to come, watch and have pizza. Must pre-register by Monday, November 1 to attend party. Turn in registration form and fee in envelope addressed to Community Education to High School Office or teacher.
Date: Nov 4 ? Time: 3:15-5:00 ? Place: Babbitt School Pool & Cafeteria ? Cost: $5 for swimming and pizza (kids) $3 for pizza only (adults)

Community Education Coordinator
218-827-3101 ext.3758

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ISD #2142 New North School - Cook/Orr PTSO Supports A Better Education For Our Children

A Message To All Concerning Education From The Cook/Orr Area PTSO - Lori Udovich
Click The Link Below:
Cook-Orr PTSO Message 1 Supporting Education

A Message To All Concerning Education From The Cook/Orr Area PTSO - Beth Hartway

Saturday, October 02, 2010

ISD #2142 News: School closings main topic at 2142 board meeting

Cook News Herald Article: (9/30/2010)

Full Article Link here:

Article Summary:
The future closings of the Cotton, Cook, Orr, AlBrook and Tower-Soudan schools was the featured topic at the regular meeting of the ISD 2142 board held in Orr Monday at 5 p.m. 

Sept. 28th, 2010 ISD 2142 School District Babbitt-Embarrass Remodeling Planning Meeting

Meeting Summary/Viewpoint by Bud Herring:

The statement was made that there are needs and wants. There is some room
as to the prioritization of areas needing the most attention dependent upon the planning committee
but much of the money needs to be dedicated towards code
and other needed updates. Comments made on future availability of capital funding
due to less need at the other new and remodeled schools in the district in the near
term which will free up money for the Babbitt-Embarrass and Tower-Soudan buildings. 

The school’s appearance will not be changing much physically from what it was in the past.
New windows are part of the plan. The remodeling that will be done will mainly be on the lower floor
and will consist of updating needed physical and technological improvements to classrooms and building needs.
(See Bond Budget On Powerpoint  .pdf link below)There will be a lot of security enhancements in regards to entrances and camera surveillance.

Less of this "refreshing" will be done on the second floor other than code and heating control requirements.
Nothing will happen to the upper floor in case of later need for its use. This can be done at a later time if needed.
It will be maintained on a ready to use basis however. It will be heated over the winter but at a lower temperature 
as it will be used on a more limited basis.

Shops (automotive,woods,metals/ALI) and the music/arts corridors will be maintained and “refreshed”.
The auditorium will remain open for school and community events.

Questions/Discussions that were brought up:

1) Fire & Emergency access to the building during peak usage times.

2) Traffic Flow issues and parking with school as it is currently set up.

3) Locker Replacement in certain sections of the building. Some were in pretty tough
shape, size an issue particularly on the high school end of the building.

4) Discussion regarding the baseball field, basically it is still under discussion in regards to the schools needs.
The school may still need the property owned between the old Bryant building and golf course yet so no sale
to the city in progress until thoroughly thought out.

5) Size of Flexible Science and Home Economics Labs? Number of learning stations enough?

6) Public Bathroom and changing area for swimming pool for increased use during other events. 
Limited now because of sporting events going on at the same time. Want to increase public use of the swimming pool. 

7) Need for automated lift systems for basketball backboards.

8) Question about the configuration of computer system being used for the educational workstations.

Discussion by Gary Friedlieb towards the end of the meeting that he was happy with the improvements in automation
systems and technology for education but also understanding of the fact that there was only so much money
to go around and that expectations should not become unrealistic. 

For the district PowerPoint presentation click below:

Web Link: Babbitt-Embarrass 2142 School Remodel Presentation: Sept. 28th, 2010,%20MN.%202142%20School%20Presentation%20Sept.%2028,%202010.pdf