Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where in the World?

At the end of the 2011-12 school year the departing sixth graders chose to make a long lasting impact on Sioux Trail.  I am hopeful that their time and experiences at Sioux Trail will have a positive long lasting impact on them as well.

The photos features one of their projects.  The sixth graders and their families chose a service project and left this behind for Sioux Trail students to enjoy.  I think it is fair to say they chose to have a "global" impact on Sioux Trail with their map of the world.  The photos feature our custodian, Mark Glende, in the final step of the installation process.

  1. The first part of the process was finding and purchasing a very large stencil, 
  2. Then Mark blocked and painted the black rectangle so that the map was visible
  3. The third step involved laying out the stencil and painting the outline
  4. The final step is featured in the photos as Mark is working his way across the world
This was the first service project that a sixth grade grade class has done in recent years and with advance planning I hope to have future students have an increasingly active role in completing the service project. 

The class of 2018 also left Sioux Trail a framed poem and photograph of the class as well as establishing an award that recognizes a member of the staff.  "The Gaitley" is named after the student who started the award and recognizes a member of the staff who has gone above an beyond to make Sioux Trail the wonderful place that it is. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Safe Routes to School

One of our most important missions at Sioux Trail is safety.  An important project between Sioux Trail Elementary School, the State of Minnesota; Department of Transportation and the city of Burnsville was finished this week.

The is project is focused on creating safe ways for students to get to Sioux Trail.  Over the summer a trail from the Highway 13 pathway was added that made it easier to ride "wheels" (bikes, roller blades, scooters etc) or walk to Sioux Trail.  With this new connecting pathway riders can stay off of River Hills Drive and stay on paths and sidewalks.  The final step of the project was done on Wednesday when two LED pedestrian signs were added along River Hills Drive.  The signs and the trail were completed with funding from a grant through the State of Minnesota; Department of Transportation.

The signs are reminders to drivers that students may be out in the crosswalks and to be extra careful.  The solar powered signs are programmed to have the yellow LED lights flash before and after school only on school days.  By doing this we hope to draw extra attention to the the fact that students may be out along the roadway and that drivers need to slow down and pay extra attention.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Safe Routes to School

Shadow and the construction crew from Barber construction have been hard at work increasing options for students to safely travel to and from Sioux Trail.  This week there have been construction crews working on three improvements to Sioux Trail.

When they are finished we will have a new path that connects Sioux Trail with the path that parallels Highway 13.  This will create a safe route for students and families to use that keeps people off of roadways.  Sioux Trail staff will be working with students and families to make them aware of this resource.

The second project is less visible, but it will be noticeable in the spring. A drainage tube was added underneath the blacktop with drains that will pull water way from the bike rack area.  In previous springs this area would have large puddles of water and it was difficult to navigate this area with bicycles.

The third project will be along River Hills Drive.  New cross walk signs with LED lights will be installed.  The signs will remind drivers along River Hills Drive to watch for pedestrians and we are hopeful that the yellow LED lights draw extra attention to the crosswalks.

All of these projects are made possible through a Safe routes to School grant from the State of Minnesota.  Staff from the City of Burnsville have partnered with us and have facilitated all of the behind-the-scenes work that is making this possible and we are thankful for their support and guidance.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Naming the Halls!

Calling all creative thinkers!

In a continued attempt to personalize Sioux Trail we are going to name each hallway in the school and this is your opportunity to add ideas.

Following the name of our school (Sioux Trail is named after a street) the hallways will be named like streets.  Name ideas need to have the following characteristics:
1. Name ideas need to directly connect with Sioux Trail.  An example would be using PRIDE, Shadow, Panthers or another idea directly connected with life at Sioux Trail.
2. Ideas need to be designed around a street; suggestions might include street, road, boulevard etc.
3. Names ideas need to use alliteration.  Alliteration is using the same first letter for both words.  A final example would be "Panther Path".

Directions for sharing your ideas:

Share ideas here!or post an idea in the comments section of the blog.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Visitors

Unfortunately, someone chose to visit Sioux Trail over the weekend and use Sioux Trail as a canvas for their artwork.  As you can see from the photos graffiti was spray painted on the back of Sioux Trail.  I believe the vandalism was done on Sunday night.

I filed a police report and our crack custodial team dealt with the problem right away.  The graffiti was painted over removed by 10 am today (Monday, July 23).

If you are in the area of Sioux Trail at any time please watch for and report any suspicious activity.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Welcome to Sioux Trail Elementary!

In addition to new Kindergarten students, new students at other grade levels, and their wonderful families we have three new staff members joining the Sioux Trail community in September.  Please join me in welcoming these staff members.

Oluwatoni Adedji will be joining the Sioux Trail team as our music specialist.  Last year Toni was teaching music at Goodman Elementary School in Houston, Texas.  I anticipate that he'll find Sioux Trail a little cozier as Goodman has over 900 students.  Mr. Adedji also has teaching experience in the Twin Cities are and a strong reputation for building great relationships and strong connections with students.

Jess Batterman will be teaching fourth grade at Sioux Trail in the 2012-13 school year.  Jess is a veteran ISD 191 teacher with 13 years of experience, and strong reputation for student success. Mrs. Batterman chose to move to Sioux Trail from Edward Neill elementary where she has been teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grade.  I am very excited to add her to our team and Jess is eager to meet Sioux Trail families and start another successful school year.

Mackenzie Oakes will serving Sioux Trail students in two roles during the 2012-13 school year.  Mrs. Oakes will be teaching third grade and working as our reading specialist.  Mackenzie comes to Sioux Trail from the Breck School in Minneapolis with experience teaching third grade and working with first grade students.  In the newly created position of Reading Specialist (funded with district-wide Title I funds) Mrs. Oakes will work with students who are below grade level in reading and need additional support and instruction to read at grade level. For the 2012-13 school year, we will have three classrooms in third grade and Mackenzie will be partnering to teach third grade with Jeff Gallus in Room 206.

Please join me in welcoming these three teachers to the Sioux Trail community.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Looking Great!

One of the things that is important to us is keeping our schools looking great so that they are safe and exciting places to learn.  Sioux Trail is getting a face-lift this summer and crews have been hard at work keeping Sioux Trail looking wonderful.

As you can see in the photos, Shadow was out working with the crew from Midwest Masonry today.  Shadow was doing some of the painting, but before he woke up from one of his many naps the crews had done some concrete repair work around the windows and in other areas around our building.

Shadow and Dale (crew leader from Midwest Masonry) got set up on the lift and Shadow is checking out the surroundings from his new perch.

Dale is teaching Shadow the art of painting and get him set up to apply a new coat of paint on Sioux Trail.

After a lesson and a little practice Shadow is at work keeping Sioux Trail looking great! Swing on by and check out how great your neighborhood elementary school looks. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Student Council collects items for PawPADs

Check out this video with some of our students and a Sioux Trail volunteer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sioux Trail LipDub

This is the debut of the Sioux Trail LipDub.  Sioux Trail staff and students are excited to show off Sioux Trail, celebrate our hard work, show off our work with PRIDE and model our awesome PRIDE t-shirts!

The Music is ABC" by Kids bop Kids and we owe special thanks to Thomas Lindolm and Noura Elmanssy from Burnsville High School for all of their work turning a fun idea into a great celebration.

If the video doesn't work please try this link: 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nice try . . .

 As members of the Sioux Trail community may recall, we regularly try to send home all of the items that we have collected in our lost and found boxes.  Before each break we take the opportunity to make the extra effort to get the word out about all of the items and try to match the owner with the lost item. All of the items that don't make it home are donated to local charity.  We made a nice try with this, but I had to chuckle when, after Gary and Lisa cleaned the hallways over the Spring Break, the lost and found boxes were already overflowing!  

Now you have to imagine me bellowing in my best salesperson voice - "Step right up and check out our specials! We have lots of boots, some shoes, snow-pants, sweatshirts along with mismatched gloves and a lunch box or two!"

Unfortunately all of these found items have left our lost and found overflowing.  Because we don't have the space to store these items we will set out items in front of the gym for the week of April 2.  We will donate all of the remaining items on Friday, April 6.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Minnesota Reading and Math Corps

Sioux Trail Elementary School won two grants! With the receipt of these grants we two full time tutor positions. We have one Minnesota Reading Corps literacy tutor and one Minnesota Math Tutor and we need your help recruiting candidates for both of these positions.

Experience life-changing growth.
Become a Minnesota Reading Corps literacy tutor or Minnesota Math Corps tutor.

You’re ready for growth. Whether you’re looking to explore a new career in education, reenter the workforce or simply want to work with kids, you’re ready. So what are you waiting for? Become a Minnesota Reading Corps literacy tutor or a Minnesota Math Corps tutor at Sioux Trail Elementary School and start creating meaningful growth.

We are looking for
  • 1 full time literacy tutor
  • 1 full time math tutor
You can be one of hundreds of trained tutors placed in schools across the state, who guide students toward working at grade level in math or reading. With Minnesota Reading Corps you will guide K-3 students to becoming successful readers by third grade. Minnesota Math Corps tutors provide research-based strategies and tools, monitor progress and ultimately, guide students who need extra support toward becoming successful in math by the end of eighth grade.

Tutors are parents, grandparents, recent college grads, and mid-career professionals. With Minnesota Reading Corps or Math Corps, you can see real results and make a lasting impact in our students’ lives, as well as in your own career. During your eleven months of service, you’ll receive training in proven strategies and support from Sioux Trail staff. You’ll not only tutor students who need extra support; you’ll also make a meaningful connection with your school and our community.

In addition to hands-on experience, you’ll receive a living allowance of about $500 biweekly (full-time), an education award of up to $5,550 and may be eligible to receive health insurance. All necessary training is provided and no licensure is necessary.

Pass the word on to a friend or family member! Positions for the 2012-2013 program year begin in August. Learn more and apply at:
Send questions to or call or 866-859-2825 with questions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Jugloo!

Sioux Trail was home to a giant jugloo!  A jugloo is an igloo shaped building made out of empty one gallon milk (or water) jugs. The jugloo was built as a collaborative effort between students, staff and volunteers.  The project started in November with our student council and the collection of empty milk jugs. The goal was to collect 1500 empty jugs and in the end we had over 2200 containers.

Over the weekend of February 11 construction of the giant julgoo began and was mostly complete by Saturday night. Unfortunately, the roof dropped on Saturday night and then the entire roof collapsed on Sunday night.  On Monday some of the walls started falling in.  With the help of several fifth and sixth graders the entire giant jugloo was disassembled by Monday evening.   The giant jugloo was over 25 feet across at the base, took over 41 man hours to build, and used over 1600 plastic jugs. It also took 4 pizzas, 18 cans of Mountain Dew and I bottle of water. 
On Tuesday morning Sioux Trail staff and student were greeted by a new medium sized jugloo.  This one is set up on the stage and will be up as a reading station during I Love to Read month (February).This jugloo is featured in the brief video with the choreographed lights and holiday music.  The lights and music were set up for effect, but do not remain in the jugloo when students are reading in it.

Martha Glende is responsible for the idea and Mark Glende gets credit for a large portion of the engineering and construction.  If you like this wonderful creation please send thanks their way!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Reading Happy Feet

Yikes!  I looked at the Panther Pages blog and saw two scary things!
1. The last post was in November
2. It was about lice!

I need to get caught up and the blog post needs to be about positive things that are happening at Sioux Trail (please no more blog posts about lice!).

Instead of writing about lice I've chosen to write about the invasion of penguins into our main hallway.  With the help of may staff and students the main hallway has been transformed into a winter wonderland for I Love to Read Month (February).  There are snowbanks to read on, a pond to ice fish from (the fish have jokes on them) and a jugloo (an igloo made out of all those one gallon milk jugs that you sent in) to curl up in and read.

When you find snowbanks and igloos you sometimes find penguins and this is true at Sioux Trail.  On random mornings a small group of penguins can be found dancing around on the snowbanks.  Mr. Popper has even come in to visit with the students and his penguins.

The next big happening in the rumored construction of another milk jug creation.  Stay tuned for more information that will be coming soon!