South-West Review Schools


Learning by Heart

The new Visitation School entrance in Mendota Heights at twilight. (submitted photos)

Visitation School celebrates opening of new commons area
March 17 was a historic day for Visitation School in Mendota Heights. For perhaps the first time ever, students couldn’t wait to go to school on a Monday.


District 197 seeks voter approval for referendum

Money would go to technology upgrades, new building
On May 6, School District 197 will be asking voters to approve a two-question tax-levy referendum that would improve technology, expand early learning and boost the district’s security systems.


St. Thomas Academy students keep watch over Rogers Lake

For years, students from St. Thomas Academy have kept a close eye on “their” lake.
The school overlooks Rogers Lake in Mendota Heights, and students in the environmental sciences class have been studying the water quality of Rogers Lake in Mendota Heights since 2001. Students collect samples from the lake every fall, analyze them with an array of laboratory tests and present their findings to the Mendota Heights City Council in the spring.


Visitation teacher wins top social studies award

Second-grade teacher Molly Hickok of Visitation School is being praised for her creativity and innovative teaching methods and activities. The Minnesota Council for the Social Studies recently named her the elementary teacher of the year. (Submitted photo)

Hickok recognized for ‘thinking outside the box’
A favorite teacher from Visitation School in Mendota Heights has received top honors from the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies.
Second-grade teacher Molly Hickok was recently named the 2014 Elementary School Teacher of the Year.


ISD 199 superintendent announces resignation

Inver Grove Heights Schools Superintendent Dierdre Wells has announced she plans to step down from her position following a hard-won $24.8 million bond referendum last November.
Wells announced her resignation in a memorandum to ISD 199 staff dated Jan. 10. Wells was hired by the district in 2005; she will remain in the position until the three-year contract she signed in 2011 expires June 30.


SSP resident teaches ‘clean eating’ success

Carisa Rasmussen (submitted photo)

Since losing 80 pounds, South St. Paul resident Carisa Rasmussen has been spreading the word about “clean eating,” an eating philosophy that strives for eating food in its most natural, unprocessed state.
Her lifestyle is certainly healthy now, but this wasn’t always the case. Several years ago, she weighed 210 pounds.


Somerset Elementary celebrates 25 years of friendships

Second grader Alexis Ramirez and SPIFF pal Nancy Plath pored over an activity packet together in teacher Alex Messicci’s class Nov. 22. (photos by Luke Reiter/Review)

When you’re an elementary-age student, having a good friend in the same grade can change the way you feel about school.
Second graders at Somerset Elementary in Mendota Heights, however, are learning that a good friend who’s a bit older (sometimes more than 80 years) can change you for life.
On Nov. 22, second-grade students at Somerset met for the first time with the grownup counterparts who will mentor, help, play with and write to them through the upcoming school year as part of the school’s Special Pals in Fun Friendship program.


IGH school referendum passes narrowly

It may not have been an overwhelming show of support, but the slim 127-vote margin by which Inver Grove Heights residents voted in favor of the school district’s bond referendum was enough to yield some big fixes for community schools.
The $24.8 million bond referendum received 1,761 yes votes in the Nov. 5 election, or 52 percent of the total vote, compared to 1,634 votes against.


New year, new computers for SSP students

When South St. Paul High students go back to school Sept. 3, they’ll be equipped with a new educational tool: a Google Samsung Chromebook.
Recently the district purchased 800 of the laptops in an effort to equip all juniors and seniors with a computer for use at home and school. Students in the upper elementary grades will also be able to use additional Chromebooks available in student areas.


We the (young) people

submitted photo

Third graders from Somerset Elementary in Mendota Heights toured the Minnesota State Capitol and met their State Representative Rick Hansen April 25.


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