Moorhead Area Public Schools' District Blog

November, 2010Archive for

First-grade class helping others with Winter Wonderland Store

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

First-grade students in Mrs. Seljevold’s class at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School opened the Winter Wonderland Store on Nov. 15. The store provides free winter coats, snowpants, boots, mittens and hats to Moorhead students and their families who need them.

The service-learning opportunity allows the first-grade students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to help others in the community.

The students collected a supply of gently used winter clothing from their families and other students at school to stock their classroom store. So far, they have given more than 54 items to students to help keep them safe and warm during outdoor play.

The store continues to need donations of gently used winter clothing, especially snowpants (children’s sizes 8-16 blue and black), boots (size 3 youth, adult sizes 5-8), and most of all, warm mittens and gloves (neutral colors). Donations may be dropped off in the Hopkins Elementary main office.

Students are involved in different aspects of the project. Students made signs, and others track items that are distributed.

The tasks connect to aspects of the curriculum. The students learn writing skills by writing letters and making signs for the store. They learn math skills by tallying the number of clothing items they distribute. The project connects to science as the students learn about reusing and recycling and to social studies where the students learn about wants and needs and developing a sense of community. Students also learn personal skills of showing empathy and caring.

The store is open before and after school. Additionally, teachers, school counselors and school social workers contact the Winter Wonderland Store to place orders for students who need items.

Robert Asp students celebrate tenth year of selling clay frogs to raise money for homeless shelters

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Second-graders at Robert Asp Elementary School will be selling clay frogs to the community to raise money for area homeless shelters as part of the “Hopping to Help the Homeless” project. This project began 10 years ago with second-grade students and teachers at the former Edison Elementary School.

After learning about homelessness in the Fargo-Moorhead community, this year’s second-grade students decided do something about the problem by helping to raise money for the shelters. The students will donate the proceeds of the clay frog sales to the four area homeless shelters.

The students began making the one-of-a-kind clay frogs in art class in November. Several Moorhead High School students, who were part of the first second-grade class to do the project 10 years ago, returned to make clay frogs with this year’s second graders.

The students will paint the frogs in early December.

Starting Monday, Dec. 13, the students will be selling the frogs in the lobby area of the school for a $5 suggested donation. Frogs will be sold before and after school and at lunchtime Dec. 13-17.

A frog made by art teacher Kathy Larson-Carlson and special frogs made by principal Kevin Kopperud, counselor Maret Kashmark and teacher Becky Wolford will be sold through a silent auction.

Author Laurence Pringle shares thoughts on writing with Moorhead elementary students

Friday, November 19th, 2010
Writing is very hard work.

That was one message that author Laurence Pringle shared with students at Robert Asp, Ellen Hopkins and S.G. Reinertsen Elementary Schools during visits Nov. 16-18. Pringle, who has published 103 nonfiction and four fiction books, shared his thoughts on writing with the elementary students.

“Good writers go back over their work to make it more clear. Revising and editing are an important part of the writing process,” Pringle said.

Moorhead High School adds additional performance of rock opera The Who’s “TOMMY”

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Moorhead High School’s celebrated theater department invites you to “SEE. . . FEEL. . . TOUCH. . . and HEAL. . .” the rock sensation “TOMMY.” The rock opera exploded onto the Moorhead High stage with performances 12-14. Performances continue Nov. 19-21 and 27 and an additional performance has been added for Nov. 28. Call the Moorhead High School Activities Office at 284-2345 for reserved tickets.

Audit report shows district budgeted well for 2009-10 school year

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The Moorhead School Board learned that differences between the original budget, final budget, and actual revenue and expenditures for the 2009-10 school year were very close.

Brian Stavenger, Eide Bailly LLP, presented the district’s 2009-10 annual financial report to the board at the Nov. 8 meeting. The report provides an overview of the district’s finances and demonstrates the district’s accountability for the money it receives.

According to the audit, total revenues budgeted were $50.2 million and actual revenue was $49.7 million with a difference of only 1 percent or $514,152.

For expenditures the district had budgeted $48.69 million. Actual expenditures were $48.74 million for a difference of $36,701 or .1 percent.

According to Stavenger, those variances are very small. “The district was right on for revenues and expenditures,” he said.

The district had a balanced budget for 2009-10.

Stavenger also reminded board members how the general education aid payment delays are affecting the district. Previously the district received 90 percent of its general education aid in the current fiscal year, with the remaining 10 percent paid the following year. However, that changed to 73/27 for 2009-10 and will be 70/30 for 2010-11.

“At the end of fiscal year 2010 you still have left to receive — so the state has not yet paid you — $8.9 million. That represents about 27.7 percent of the total,” he said.

No reportable conditions were found during the audit, Stavenger said. The report indicated that the district complied with applicable state and federal requirements.

“It’s clear fiscal responsibility,” said School Board member Bill Tomhave. “In this time of tight assets, we’re seeing expenditures being controlled.”

The complete audit and the executive summary are available on the district’s website at

Residents approve school district’s operating levy

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Voters in the Moorhead School District approved the district’s operating levy referendum 6,950 to 6,045. The ballot question required a simple majority to pass. School district election results were canvassed by the School Board on Nov. 8 and are now official.

The operating levy will provide the school district $850 per pupil or approximately $5.2 million in additional funds each year for the next seven years beginning with the 2011-12 school year. Moorhead Area Public Schools was one of 35 districts out of the state’s 337 districts that did not have an operating levy.

Read the complete article on the district’s website at

Voters approve operating levy

Monday, November 8th, 2010

I want to thank our community for demonstrating its support of our students and schools by passing the Moorhead Area Public Schools’ operating levy referendum. Unofficial results are available on the district website at Results will be canvassed by the School Board on Nov. 8.

The success of this effort tells us many things.

* We did not pass the levy with parent support alone. In our community, the majority of our residents do not have students in our schools. That means residents of all ages view our schools as worthy of support.

* In this economy, we need to be accountable to our taxpayers. We will provide information to our taxpayers so they know how the money is being used. Voters have trusted us to spend the money wisely, and we will.

* A 2009 community survey showed 82 percent of district residents are pleased with the quality of education provided by the school district and 79 percent believe they receive a good value from their investment in Moorhead Area Public Schools. I think the vote on Nov. 2 reaffirms those sentiments and means we can maintain our quality schools.

This levy will play an important role in maintaining current class sizes and programs. Because state funding remains unpredictable, the operating levy alone will not offer a long-term solution to every financial challenge we will face, but it does provide critical assistance to our schools.

On behalf of Moorhead Area Public Schools, I extend our gratitude for this demonstration of support.

Dr. Lynne A. Kovash

Operating levy referendum passes

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Voters in the Moorhead School District approved the district’s operating levy referendum 6,950 to 6,045. The ballot question required a simple majority to pass. School district election results are unofficial until canvassed by the School Board at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

The referendum will provide the school district $850 per pupil in additional funds each year for the next seven years beginning with the 2011-12 school year.

Unofficial results of the Moorhead School Board election held Nov. 2 have been announced. Four candidates ran for the three four-year seats on the board. The candidates and vote totals are:
Karin L. Dulski: 5,901

Laurie Johnson: 7,648
Kristine Thompson: 6,292
William K. “Bill” Tomhave: 6,609

Three candidates filed for the two-year seat to fill an unexpired board term. The candidates and vote totals are:
Bryce Vincent Haugen: 4,440
Sylvia Hernandez-Cruz: 2,584
Trudy K. Wilmer: 3,696

School Board election results also are unofficial until canvassing at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.