Friday, September 25, 2009


Hola! Yesterday we hosted the informational session on our first ever Spanish class. This is an exciting opportunity for students K-6 at Sioux Trail. This is an after school class organized through Community Education, but taught by teachers from the University Language Program in Minneapolis. They are currently working with over 1,000 students in other school districts (196 has several sites). The class costs $599 and interested families are encouraged to contact Deb at Community Education to discuss payment plan options. The class is organized by grade level and Spanish speaking ability; the cost includes 48 one hour lessons on Tuesday and Thursday right here at Sioux Trail.

The registration deadline is October 8 and based on last night's attendance there is definitely interest in the program.

If you have questions please feel free to contact me at 952.707.3301 or Deb (Community Ed) at 952.707.4150. You can get more information on the program by calling the University Language Program at 612.379.3823.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Clean Up

Yesterday (Saturday, September 19) we hosted the second annual Sioux Trail school clean up event. The number of participants was smaller than our group last year, but we were just as successful. One of our first grade students was in charge if the sign in sheet and she counted at least 35 people! The primary focus was weeding and we added some plastic edging around the air conditioning unit.

What I get excited about is that parents, students and staff truly own Sioux Trail. It is our school and this is demonstrated by the willingness to give up part of a Saturday to come in and take care of our school. In addition to owning the outside of the school we ALL need to own what happens inside the school. We need more volunteers inside the school, if you can help our volunteer coordinator can match you with the right opportunity. Please continue to pass the good word about Sioux Trail and please let me know about areas where you think change should take place.
Thank you to everyone that participated.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day

Yesterday was a wonderful day at Sioux Trail! I was able to greet all of the students that arrived by bus and there lots of bright white sneakers, new haircuts, big smiles and yes, a couple tears too. The first day of school was wonderful success and I look forward to a school year that continues down this same road of success.

We all met in the gym at 2pm for an all school "Welcome Back" assembly and one of the students told me "Mr. Akin, thank you for welcoming me back to school" - that told me we were doing the right thing.

I told students (a.k.a. the Panthers) that they only had two jobs to do this year:

* Be Here (except when you are sick)
* Do your Best

I did let them know about AYP in a student friendly way and that we need to continue to work hard and highlight all of the many ways that Sioux Trail is great.

All of the Sioux Trail staff spoke to the students about success by taking students on a tour around the gym and introducing them to the words on the walls. These words are the traits of a successful Sioux Trail student. There are 10 words, they are:
Enthusiasm (demonstrated by Mrs. Boche and Mrs. Engdahl in the photo)
Persistence (demonstrated by Mr. Kleven and Mr. Khamratthanome - trying to make shot)

Staff members had terrific ways of sharing these words - and I posted photos of two examples.

We concluded our assembly by singing the Sioux Trail Rouser and Shadow was on hand to help with the symbols!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to School Speech

Thanks to all of the families that have called or emailed with questions about the president's welcome back to school speech. The first day of school at Sioux Trail will not involve watching President Obama's speech. We will be orienting all students to Sioux Trail and getting another successful year off of the ground.

Personally, I look forward to hearing what the President has to say about education, because he will set the rules for our work with students much like President Bush with No Child Left Behind. The No Child Left Behind Law has a large impact on what we do and now that Sioux Trail has been identified as not making AYP it will have an even greater impact. I'm curious to see what is next and I will read or watch the speech on Tuesday after school.

Some classrooms at Sioux Trail may share the speech later in the week (if it fits with their instruction), but parents will be notified before hand. Please contact me or your child's classroom teacher directly with questions or concerns. Additionally please watch for a "first day of school" post and keeping telling other Sioux Trail families about Panther Pages.