Feb. 12, 2015 

Concord students attend 'Book Tasting'
Valentine-themed event turns media center into fine 'dining'

This week, Concord Elementary School students met in the media center for a special Valentine's Day-themed event hosted by media specialist Laurie Holland. "To celebrate Valentine's Day, I am taking you all out to a fancy restaurant," Holland said. "But instead of serving food, this restaurant serves books." With candle-lit tables donned with heart-shaped balloons and roses, and jazz playing in the background, the media center felt like a fine-dining establishment. Holland carried chromed serving trays of books to each table, where they were passed out to the students. Each student spent four minutes with each book followed by a short review and rating - one to four hearts. Headlines

The latest stories about what's happening in our schools

Class of 2014 gives EHS experience high marks

Survey results provide feedback, offer advice for continuous improvement

It was the final assessment of their high school career, but when the Class of 2014 took the senior student survey last spring, the tables were turned -- they were doing the assessing. Six hundred seniors responded to 60 questions pertaining to their Edina High School experience in the days before they graduated last spring. According to the majority, life at EHS was pretty good and they wouldn't change a thing. READ MORE


Concord Elementary School's own culinary expert and Certified Executive Chef, Robert Velarde, was honored with the 2014 Cheffy Award from a local professional chef's organization. 

 "I've worked in hotels and corporate kitchens, but I realized that I really like working with kids."



Four Edina High School (EHS) students will be recognized for their artistic talents at the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards (MSAA) Exhibition on Feb. 21. Each of the students will be recognized multiple times for their various entries. The Edina honorees include two sophomores, a junior and a senior.


Students, staff and volunteers at Countryside Elementary School teamed up for "Countryside Against Hunger," an all-day food packing event on Feb. 6, in partnership with Impact Lives. Students raised a total of $12,869.28 and packed 71,496 meals, which will feed more than 195 people for one year. 

District's Next Generation Facilities Plan receives positive review from State

Formal approval required for May 5 Bond Referendum

Edina Public Schools (EPS) has received a positive review and comment from Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius regarding the proposed renovations and additions included in the district's Next Generation Facilities Plan Referendum.


"We are pleased that the commissioner responded quickly and favorably to our project plan and we are able to move forward with our information sharing and engagement efforts with the Edina community," said Superintendent Ric Dressen. "We look forward to connecting with voters ahead of our bond referendum on May 5 to share with them our strategic plans for redesigning and aligning our facilities with the needs current and future learners."



Priya Rao

Parent Educator, Edina Family Center

"I came to work in Edina Public Schools first as a cultural liaison for the new Indian families at the Edina Family Center. Having been a parent in the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program for many years, I was able to help new parents from India coming into the center to adjust to a new system of early childhood learning."

Priya Rao has worked as a parent educator in the Edina Family Center for three years. She received a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Priya also has a master's of philosophy degree in linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, India. After coming to the United States, Priya earned a master's of education degree in family education from the University of Minnesota and a license in parenting education. 


Do you know a teacher or group of teachers who deserve recognition? Send your nominations to communications@edinaschools.org to be considered for the weekly blog spotlight.EPSinthenews 


EHS hockey coach Giles featured in Sunday Star Tribune

Curt Giles' 16-year tenure as EHS hockey coach was the subject of a features story on page one of last Sunday's Star Tribune sports section. Read more about his personal history with the North Stars, the growth of the Edina hockey program and Giles' coaching philosophy. (Star Tribune photo)Ric


Thoughts from Superintendent Ric Dressen

Maximizing education resources to support learning

A district tradition of putting learners first

We in Edina Public Schools are committed to our 47-word educational mission statement, which places a high value on partnering with students, staff, families and the community to educate all learners so they have the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly global world. A key leadership strategy to advancing our mission is the maximizing of our available educational resources, including time, talent (staff), funding and space (facilities). 

We have a long tradition of successfully using this resource alignment strategy to support student learning. Some examples include being among the first districts in the nation to start high school later in the morning to accommodate physiological changes in adolescents; using a creative budgeting tool to address funding shortfalls; and providing extensive training opportunities to enrich our teachers' skills. And about once every 10 years since the 1990s, the district has received community support through a bond referendum to ensure our school facilities meet the evolving educational needs of our learners.

We are proud that the effectiveness and efficiency of our available resources are continuously assessed and improved through this alignment process. The power of creative ideas and appropriate use of technology continues to enhance our efforts by enriching our access to data, streamlining operational procedures, and improving internal and external communications. As we look ahead to the 2015-16 school year and beyond, we will continue to utilize this resource alignment strategy in everything we do.  

In our budgeting process, we will be seeking additional school formula funding support throughout the 2015 legislative session. We will continue examining our evolving educational program needs to ensure we are placing our financial resources squarely on the district's educational priorities. And we will continue to partner with the Edina Education Fund to seek creative new revenue opportunities to support educational innovation that advances our Next Generation Strategic Plan.

As we look at time, we will continue assessing the benefits and limitations of various school year calendars, with the goal of implementing new approaches in the fall of 2016. In addition, we are studying elementary and secondary daily schedules to ensure they allot time in the most effective way to maximize learning for both students and staff.

Finally, on Tuesday, May 5, district voters will weigh in on a bond referendum to update our school facilities to enhance building security, create a variety of learning spaces to meet a variety of learner needs, and improve district infrastructure. If approved, renovations and/or additions will be made at all 10 of our learning sites, including additions at our west campus to accommodate the future move of grade nine to the high school. As with most school construction projects, the detailed design process will commence after we receive voter authorization, but in the meantime, we continue our input gathering from staff, families and community members as we refine the concept plans approved by the School Board in January and work to align our spaces with educational program and learner needs, to serve our community well into the next decade.

As has been our history, Edina Public Schools is focused on keeping the needs of learners at the forefront, implementing a strategic plan that is committed to creatively using our various resources. The continued support of our entire district community will ensure that we are preparing each learner to achieve success in college, career and life. The strong support our district receives from our community will ensure this plan will be successful.StaffNews

Important EPS employee news

Staff Milestones

  • Congratulations to Sarah Duffy, instrumental music teacher at EHS, on the recent birth of her son, Benjamin Thomas.
  • Congratulations to Meriah Chamberlain, vocal music teacher at Creek Valley Elementary, on the recent birth of her daughter, Willa Jean.
  • Condolences to Jeff Simmons, night head custodian at Countryside Elementary, on the recent passing of his father-in-law.

To submit an entry for Staff Milestones, please include staff name, job title/type, employment location and major life event/announcement information to communications@edinashools.org.


Free tax preparation available

Tax preparation assistance is available for income qualifying households. Call the Edina Resource Center at 952-848-3936 for:

  • Local tax clinic locations
  • Dates and times
  • What to bring to the tax clinic
  • Learn more about the Earned Income Tax Credit and MN K-12 Education Subtraction
FAFSA help available for families of EHS seniors
Edina High School (EHS) College and Career Center, in collaboration with Minnesota College Goal, will offer a free financial aid workshop on Sunday, Feb. 22, 1-3 p.m. at the EHS Media Center. This workshop is for students who plan to attend any post-secondary institution next year. Attendees will receive professional assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The workshop is designed for families who are in lower income brackets or have no family history of attending college, and any student or family who feels they need financial aid in order for their student to attend college. Find out more and see a list of items to bring to the workshop on the EHS College and Career Center website, or contact Tri Pham, College and Career Center coordinator:  952-848-3836


2014 Electronic W-2 now available in myView

You may still elect to receive the electronic version if you have not done so yet. Consent for the electronic W-2 remains for future years unless withdrawn. Login to your TIES myView account to access your electronic W-2 or to request the electronic version.


Your official 2014 electronic W-2 is now available in myView for employees who requested it. For others, the paper W-2 forms will be mailed to your home address on file by the end of January. You can verify your address in your myView account and change it if needed. This paper format is required only if you file your taxes on paper.


Flexible spending account deadline

The flexible spending plan offered by Edina Public Schools includes a Grace Period provision.  Our Grace Period is Jan. 1-Feb. 28. During this period of time, you may:

  • Incur and be reimbursed for new expenses from the prior plan year's balance.
  • Be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the prior plan year, from the prior plan year's balance.

The deadline to submit claims for 2014, January, and February is March 31, 2015. Board 

February Board Meetings 

FEBRUARY 9, 2015


  • Next Generation Strategic Plan Update - Administration provided a progress update to the Board on implementation of the district's Next Generation of Edina Public Schools Strategic Plan. Specifically, the Board discussed implementation of:
  • Next Generation Facilities Planning - The Board heard an update on the May 5 Bond Referendum communications plan, including key dates for information sharing with voters. Administration also shared an update on recent conversations with the City of Edina regarding partnership on a traffic study, and west campus parking study.
  • School Board Professional Development - The Board discussed upcoming training and learning opportunities, including an option to take the Intercultural Development Inventory, which is currently being administered to district administrators and managers as part of its ongoing equity work.

Next regular meeting of the School Board - Monday, Feb. 23, 2015

Full agendas are available online.  


Previous School Board Meetings  

Recaps and videos of past School Board meetings are available onlineEvents



We're off to see The Wizard of POPZ

Annual pops concert Feb. 20-21, 26-28 at Fick Auditorium

The Edina High School (EHS) Concert Band, under the direction of Paul Kile, presents
The Wizard of POPZ, Feb. 20-21 and 26-28. An Edina community tradition, the Edina pops concert is in its 62nd year. This year the band celebrates the 75th anniversary of the MGM classic, The Wizard of Oz, with music from the film and from the Oz-inspired shows Wicked and The Wiz. The band will also debut an original piece, The City of Emerald, commissioned for the band specifically for this year's pops concert. The magic of Oz and the colors of the Emerald City are recreated as a vibrant mix of musical selections, song, dance and video performances combine to create the Edina pops experience.

The Wizard of POPZ performances are Feb. 20-21 and 26-28 at 7 p.m., at Edina High School's Fick Auditorium. Tickets are $6 for senior and student general admission, $10 for adult general admission, and $13 for reserved seating. On Thursday, Feb. 26, student tickets are just $3, and all other tickets are half off.


MiniPops matinee returns

The EHS Concert Band is excited to offer an abbreviated version of The Wizard of POPZ on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 1 p.m. This unique show is a one-hour condensed version of POPZ, geared for our younger and senior audience members. It features a sampling of the full Wizard of POPZ show with the same magic, color and sound.


More information about the Edina High School Band program, including The Wizard of POPZ ticket information and purchasing, can be found at www.edinabands.com.


All-City Orchestra Concert

Feb. 21, 1 p.m. at South View gym


Edina Public Schools orchestra students will combine their talents for the All-City Concert on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. at the South View Middle School gym. This multi-age event includes orchestra ensembles from 5th, 6th and 9th grades, along with the high school varsity and symphony orchestras. This is an all day event for the students, who will work with guest conductor William Schrickel, a member of the Minnesota Orchestra's bass section and music director of the Metropolitan Orchestra. The concert will include a variety of music from each ensemble, concluding with two mass pieces featuring all of the students and orchestras combined. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.


PCN Forum: Parenting Different Personality Types

March 2, 7 p.m. at South View Auditorium

Jane Kise, founder of
Differentiated Coaching Associates, will address the strengths and needs pertinent to each of the unique children in your care at the next Edina Parent Communication Network (PCN) Forum on Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Titled Parenting Different Personality Types: Identifying Strategies for Success, this forum will help you: 

  • determine how your child learns best
  • identify strategies that best assist each child in finding their success
  • find better ways to help your child navigate the worlds of school, friendships, siblings and sports

With these tools you can better develop homework, discipline, and family routines, and other strategies that will work to strengthen your child's development.


Kise is a consultant who works with business and education leaders, including teachers, who are leaders in the classroom. She is the co-author of 20 books, holds an MBA from Carlson School of Management, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. She has worked with various organizations across North American, in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Saudi Arabia.


The forum will be in South View Middle School auditorium. Admission is free; CEU credits are available for $20.


DID YOU KNOW?didyaknow

2015-16 Edina Family Center Preschool catalog online now

Registration begins Feb. 18

The Edina Family Center Preschool and Childcare catalog for the 2015-16 school year is available online now. Programs for every age, with a wide variety of days and times are available to meet your young family's schedule needs. Be sure to read page 4 of the catalog for information about the new program registration system. And check out the other Community Education Services catalogs for youth and adult enrichment program information. 

Help us keep the 2014-15 school year Hope & Happiness theme alive. 

Contact the communications team at 952.848.3919 or email us at  communications@edinaschools.org with news, story ideas or photos! 
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Edina, MN 55424