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2015 Minnesota Promising Practices Award Program

AFSA High School – Vadnais Heights
Overnight Leadership Conference
The Overnight Leadership Conference engages grades 7-12 students in a variety of student-led leadership workshops, peer-mentoring activities, and teamwork exercises to promote a positive and supportive community of learners.
Contacts – Liz Burkwald:
Principles: 4 and 9
Topics: Mentoring; Relationship Building; Student Autonomy Empowerment
Bridges Community School – Mankato
Class Theme Video – Make Mistakes
The class focused on how mistakes can lead to better learning. Students assisted in writing, recording and acting in a music video, “Make Mistakes.”
Contact – Briana Miller:
Principles: 1 and 7
Topics: Academics, Behavior Management/Positive Discipline; Student Autonomy Empowerment
Cedar Ridge Elementary School – Eden Prairie
“Choose Kind”
The school adopted the saying “Choose Kind” from the book “Wonder” by RJ Palicio in order to value every student and member of the Cedar Ridge Community.
Contacts – Ann Swanson: and Nancy Benz:
Principles: 2 and 3
Topics: Assemblies; Relationship Building; Social Issues/Diversity/Tolerance
Cologne Academy – Chaska
Core Virtues Program
The school focuses on core virtues to develop students as a whole person, so that they will make a positive contribution to the community. Restorative justice practices are tied in with the virtues as part of discipline procedures.
Contact – Jenna McInnis:
Principles: 1 and 2
Topics: Assemblies; Behavior Management/Positive Discipline; Integration into Curriculum
Concordia Academy – Roseville
Family Life Groups
Instructional school-wide intent to foster a caring culture, by encouraging respectful relationships through microcosm, student-led group that emphasize vibrant and inclusive relationships.
Contact – Timothy Berner:
Principles: 4 and 9
Topics: Leadership Groups; Mentoring; Orientations/Welcoming
Ellis Middle School – Austin
Ellis NJHS Contributes Globally
NJHS builds compassion and caring within their school by conducting a shoe drive, which benefits those in need and provides funds for a service learning activity.
Contact – Jennifer Gosha:
Principles: 5 and 7
Topics: Leadership Groups; Service to Community/Service Learning; Visual Display of Core Values
Henry Sibley S.A.D.D. – Mendota Heights
Henry Sibley Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.)
S.A.D.D. empowers young people to help each other make healthy life choices. The group investigated and implemented educational, positive and creative ways to bring information to the student body about e-cigarettes, texting and driving, drug usage, energy drinks, and relationship violence.
Contact – Ann L. Lindberg:
Principles: 2 and 5
Topics: Assessment & Action; Social Issues/Diversity/Tolerance; Teen Programs/Personal Responsibility
Orchard Lake Elementary School, Impact Academy – Lakeville
How Can We Impact Another Generation?
A service-learning project built intergenerational relationships between students and seniors. Students, after reflecting on how they can make an impact on the older generation, interviewed seniors, identified needs and created a plan to celebrate the lives of the seniors they met through books, plays and video productions.
Contact – Marilynn Smith:
Principles: 4 and 10
Topics: Community Members; Service to Community/Service Learning; Student Autonomy Empowerment
Lakes International Language Academy – Forest Lake
LILA’s Thumb-Tree Painting*
At a community-wide celebration, students, parents, staff and community members each made a fingerprint leaf on a pre-painted tree to symbolize the importance of individuals putting their “fingerprints” on the school and contributing to the school community’s continued growth.
Contact – Tracy Maurer:
Principles: 4 and 10
Topics: Parents & Grandparents; Relationship Building; Visual Display of Core Values

*Denotes a Minnesota Promising Practice that has received national recognition by 

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