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District to expand school choice at middle level
District 196 is expanding school-choice options to the middle school level this fall with the addition of districtwide transportation service to Valley Middle School of STEM in Apple Valley. The district has offered magnet school choice with transportation at three elementary schools for the past eight years; Valley will be the first magnet option with transportation at the middle school level.
 
District spends more on classroom instruction, less on support and district administration
The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools (District 196) spent nearly $500 less per pupil than the average of the 10 largest districts in the state last year, according to statewide data on school district expenditures for fiscal year 2014.
 
Fifteen seniors named National Merit finalists
All 15 District 196 seniors who were selected semifinalists in the 2014-15 National Merit and Achievement scholarship programs last fall have been named finalists and are eligible for the more than 7,500 merit scholarships totaling more than $33 million which are being awarded this spring.
 
Soliday selected elementary education director
Echo Park Elementary School Principal Sally Soliday has been selected to be the next director of Elementary Education for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools, Superintendent Jane K. Berenz announced March 20. Soliday started in District 196 as an elementary teacher in 1980 and has been principal at Echo Park since 1997. She will replace Julie Olson, who is retiring at the end of this school year after 38 years in the district, the last 11 as director of the Elementary Education Department.
 
Task force recommendations address safety, space and technology needs; survey is next
Safety and security, space for learning, and learning technology are the focal points of facilities and equipment recommendations developed by a District 196 task force over the past seven months and presented at the March 9 School Board meeting. "The final recommendations are intended to support continued safe and successful schools in District 196," said presenter Julie Olson, director of Elementary Education and one of three task force chairs. To review the recommendations presentation, click here.
 
Citizens sought for Budget Advisory Council
District 196 residents are invited to apply for membership on the Budget Advisory Council (BAC). The district is accepting applications through April 30 for four parent/guardian or other community resident positions. The terms of all four positions are for three years beginning July 1, 2015.
 
Board considering attendance-area adjustment
The District 196 School Board is considering an attendance-area adjustment to a parcel of mostly undeveloped land in Apple Valley's southeast corner in order to maximize use of space at Highland and Parkview elementary schools. The board is expected to take action on the recommendation under old business at its next regular meeting on Monday, April 13.
 
Thirty qualify for national speech and debate
Thirty high school students in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools have qualified to compete at the National Speech and Debate Association tournament that will be held June 15-19 in Dallas. Students earned spots for the national tournament based on their performance at separate qualifying events that were held this winter.
 

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