Podcast: Sabre Speaks

  • Episode 16 special education 2

    Sabre Speaks Podcast: Special Education - part 2
    Episode 16

    Benton-Stearns Special Education Director Dawn Gent and Interim Superintendent Tom Lee continue their conversation about Special Education with part 2 of our podcast (www.isd748.org/SpecialEducationPart2)

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

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  • Podcast 15 special education
     
    Sabre Speaks Podcast: Special Education Overview
    Episode 15
    Listen to the latest episode (www.isd748.org/SpecialEducationOverview) for part 1 of an overview of our Special Education services and our 25+ year partnership with Benton-Stearns Education District with Benton-Stearns Special Education Director Dawn Gent and Interim Superintendent Tom Lee. 
     

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

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  • podcast pollinator project
    Sabre Speaks Podcast: Pollinator Project
    Episode 14
    Learn about the student-driven Pollinator Project. Interim Superintendent Tom Lee hears from SHS student (and Sustainability Club member) Annabelle Tautges and ISD 748 Grounds Staff Member Dale Westaby.
     
    Save the Date: Pollinator Planting Opening Day on Sunday, May 19 from 3-5p at Sartell High School! 🦋 🌾🌻
     
    On May 19, families will be able to:
    🫶 hear from students about their educational, aesthetic, & environmental project to plant pollinator-friendly, pheasant-friendly plants on 13+ acres of land around the campuses of SHS and ORELC
    🌾 plant plugs to kick off the project
    🤝 learn about their exciting partnership with Stearns County Water and Soil Conservation District, Pheasants Forever, ProFields, and St. Stephen’s Sportsman Club
     
    Links mentioned in the podcast:

    Listen to the latest episode at www.isd748.org/PollinatorProject.

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

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  • Episode 13 Winter Spring Activities
     
    Sabre Speaks Podcast: Winter/Spring Activities
    Episode 13
    Interim Superintendent Tom Lee and Activities Director Bruce Thompson discuss the successes and experiences of Winter and Spring Activities for Episode 13 and "...emphasize the importance of Activities to provide a well-rounded educational experience."
     
    Over 300 students are involved in Winter Activities including Boys & Girls Hockey, Boys Swimming & Diving, Nordic Ski, DECA, One Act Play, Dance, Knowledge Bowl, Speech, Robotics, and more!
     
    Highlights include:
    • DECA - in its first year at Sartell High School, there were 25-30 students who participated and 11 qualified for state and one student qualified for Internationals (22,000 from across the globe)!
    • Boys Hockey - won the Central Lakes Conference Championship for the third consecutive year.
    • Spring Signing Day - Wednesday, May 15

    Listen to the latest episode at www.isd748.org/WinterSpringActivities.

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

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  • Sabre Speaks Podcast: READ Act
    Interim Superintendent Tom Lee and Dr. Megan Rogholt, director of learning and teaching, discuss the Minnesota Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act.
     
    Visit for the latest episode or visit www.isd748.org/announcements for all the podcasts (available in two formats).
     

    Listen to the latest episode at https://www.isd748.org/READ_Act.

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

    Episode 12

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  • Podcast 11 - Community Education Needs our Community
    Featuring Community Education Director Jen Traver and Safety & Facilities Coordinator Alex Gion

    "....Yes, we want to enrich the lives of people that live here and make it a place we want people to stay...engaging with the Senior Connections and all the things we have to offer..." 

    Community members are needed to share their talents and lead classes, activities, camps, and more! Community members are also needed to learn from their neighbors through Community Education! Interim Superintendent Tom Lee speaks with Community Education Director Jen Traver and Safety & Facilities Coordinator Alex Gion and learns about opportunities for community members to lead classes/activities, reasons for programming, and the best way to say Alex's name.

    Listen to the latest episode at www.isd748.org/EnrichingCommunityEducation

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

    Community Ed needs photos

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  • Podcast 10 - Career & Technical Education (CTE) at SHS
    Featuring: SHS students and Technology Education Teacher Joe Schulte

    "...It's given me a different perspective when I'm walking into any building now 'cause I just look at it and think about the process it took to build it." Interim Superintendent Tom Lee learns about CTE opportunities and gets an update about SabreCON (the capstone course for construction) directly from SHS students and Technology Education Teacher Joe Schulte. 

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

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  • January 19, 2024

    Episode 9 - The Sabre Journey Starts Here! Learning Opportunities for Young Learners at Oak Ridge Early Learning Center (ORELC)
    Featuring: ORELC Principal Julia Bjerke and Early Childhood Coordinator Julie Thom

    Sabre journey starts here

    Sabre Speaks Podcast: Episode 9 - The Sabre Journey Starts Here! Learning Opportunities for Young Learners at Oak Ridge Early Learning Center (ORELC)
    "...when you choose to come to Oak Ridge for Preschool, you are really guaranteeing that your child has an environment that is supporting them for Kindergarten readiness." 

    Get to know the learning opportunities for our youngest Sabres - there are more full day Preschool class offerings for the 2024-2025 school year than this year! There are parent/guardian information nights for Preschool (January 30) and Kindergarten (February 5)...and this conversation with Interim Superintendent Tom Lee, ORELC Principal Julia Bjerke, and Early Childhood Coordinator Julie Thom gives families a taste of early childhood programming at Sartell-St. Stephen ISD 748!

    Please note: there are two file formats for each episode to help you access according to your device.

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  • December 15, 2023

    Podcast 8 - Overview of Truth in Taxation meeting on Monday, December 18, 2023
    Featuring: Director of Business Services Joe Prom

    Episode 8

    Monday, December 18 is our Truth in Taxation meeting. Learn more about what will be discussed at that meeting in this episode from Director of Business Services Joe Prom and Interim Superintendent Tom Lee!

    To listen, please click the graphic or click:

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  • December 1, 2023

    Podcast 7 - English Language Arts
    Featuring: Teachers of 9th grade English Language Arts 

    episode 7

    “We want kids to be readers.” Our latest episode continues our conversation about the Language Arts curriculum in the District. Teachers from our 9th grade English Language Arts department at Sartell High School talk about instruction and curriculum (research, reading, and writing) with Interim Superintendent Tom Lee.

    To listen, please click the graphic above or these links:

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  • November 22, 2023

    Podcast 6 - Veterans Day Recognition Events at Sartell Middle School
    Featuring: Lori Dornburg from Sartell Middle School

    Veterans day episode 6

    Sartell Middle School hosted their 16th annual Veterans Day recognition events earlier this month. Lori Dornburg, recently retired teacher and current substitute teacher, speaks with Interim Superintendent Tom Lee about the lunch and assemblies. Students welcome active duty and veteran military members, design cards, create posters, serve as greeters and speakers...and welcome special guests like the mayors of Sartell and St. Stephen and other elected officials.

    To listen, please click the graphic above or these links:

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  • November 17, 2023

    Podcast 5 - Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA)
    Featuring: Teachers from Oak Ridge Early Learning Center and Pine Meadow Primary School

    CKLA episode 5

    Scamper on over and listen to Episode 5 to continue the conversation about our new Language Arts curriculum, Amplify: Core Knowledge Language Arts. Episode 4 (link) featured teachers from Riverview Intermediate School and our latest episode features teachers from Oak Ridge Early Learning Center and Pine Meadow Primary School! In addition to learning the essential skills of reading, the teachers share about how students are building their background knowledge in multiple content areas, therefore increasing engagement and interest in learning. 

    Click the graphic above to listen or use these links:

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  • November 3, 2023

    Podcast 4 - Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA)
    Featuring: Teachers from Riverview Intermediate School

    Podcast 4 CKLA at RIS

    In this episode, Superintendent Lee met with two teachers at Riverview Intermediate School to discuss the new Language Arts curriculum, Amplify CKLA. These teachers discuss the initial positive impacts the curriculum has had on students whose teachers are implementing the curriculum this year ahead of the district-wide implementation next year. In addition to learning the essential skills of reading, the teachers share how students are building their background knowledge in multiple content areas, therefore increasing engagement and interest in learning.

    Listen by clicking the graphic above or use these links:

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  • October 13, 2023
     
    Podcast 3: Students with Grit
    Featuring: SHS Student Athletes Isabelle, Calvin, and Brett with Activities Director Bruce Thompson
    podcast 3 sudents with grit
    In the third episode, Interim Superintendent Tom Lee learns about "Students with Grit" from his guests: SHS Student Athletes Isabelle Benninghoff, Calvin Braegelmann, and Brett Schlangen along with Activities Director Bruce Thompson.

    To learn more about our Activities and Athletics, please visit www.isd748.org/sabres or visit their Facebook page at @GoSartellSabres.

    Click the graphic above to listen or use these links:

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  • September 29, 2023

    Podcast 2: Indoor Air Quality Project at Riverview Intermediate School
    Featuring: Director of Buildings & Grounds Jesse Paggen and Director of Business Services Joe Prom

    podcast 2 HVAC

    Our second podcast features Interim Superintendent Tom Lee, Director of Buildings & Grounds Jesse Paggen, and Director of Business Services Joe Prom. Together, they discuss Riverview Intermediate School's Indoor Air Quality/HVAC.

    To learn more, please visit www.isd748.org/construction.

    Click the graphic above to listen or use these links:

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  • September 14, 2023

    Podcast 1 - Learning & Teaching 
    Featuring Director of Learning & Teaching Dr. Megan Rogholt

    podcast 1 2023

    Interim Superintendent Thomas R. Lee is debuting a new podcast for Sartell-St. Stephen ISD 748!

    His first conversation is with Dr. Megan Rogholt, director of learning and teaching for the District.

    Click the graphic above to listen or use these links:

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District Announcements

  • July 2, 2024

    ISD 748 families and staff,

    It is with great excitement that I greet you as the new superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District. As we prepare for a new school year of learning, growth, and community building, our dedication to excellence in education remains steadfast. 

    As a resident of Sartell for more than 20 years, I know many of you as neighbors and friends and know firsthand that the Sartell-St. Stephen School District values unity, collaboration, and a shared focus on our students’ education. I am eager to continue to meet with community members to hear your thoughts, concerns, and ideas. 

    Both of my children spent their entire K-12 education in Sartell-St. Stephen ISD 748. This personal connection deepens my commitment to our community's success. As your new superintendent, I am honored to have the opportunity to lead our school district and work collaboratively with our dedicated staff, students, families, and community members. 

    Your input is invaluable as we strive to create the best possible educational environment for our students. Please feel free to reach out to me via email or introduce yourself when you see me at school and community events.

    We deeply appreciate the strong community and family involvement that enriches our district. Thank you for being a part of our Sartell-St. Stephen School District family. 

    Thank you, 
    Mike

    Dr. Michael Rivard  
    Superintendent  
    Sartell-St. Stephen School District

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  • April 24, 2024

    This email was sent to staff and families.

    ISD 748 Families:

    During the summer of 2024, Minnesota plans to introduce Summer EBT, a fresh initiative offering grocery benefits. This program will furnish families with $120 per eligible school-aged child, aiding them in purchasing groceries when school is not in session. Summer often poses challenges for families as children lose access to meals provided at school, necessitating additional support for meal provision. While most families will receive these benefits automatically, some parents may need to apply. 

    Benefits of Summer EBT

    • Helps parents and caregivers buy healthy foods for their children.
    • Gives families the flexibility to select foods that fit their culture and lifestyle.
    • Improves food security and diet quality for participating children.

    Eligibility
    Children are eligible for the program if:

    • the household already participates in SNAP, MFIP, FDPIR, Tribal TANF, Medicaid, and/or Foster Care, OR
    • the child attends a school that offers the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program and the household has already been approved for free or reduced-price school meals in the 2023-24 school year.

    Enrollment
    Many families will get Summer EBT automatically if they are getting other benefits, but some families may need to apply.

    • If the household already participates in SNAP, MFIP, FDPIR, Tribal TANF, Medicaid, and/or Foster Care, they will be automatically enrolled in the Summer EBT program. Households do not need to fill out an application.
    • If the household is not automatically enrolled and may be eligible, they can get Summer EBT by filling out an application for educational benefits via Skyward or by visiting our Nutrition Services website at www.isd748.org/MealBenefits.
    • To learn more about filling out an application or to find out if you already qualify contact Sue Fibranz at 320-656-3781 or at sue.fibranz@isd748.org.

    How Summer EBT Works
    The benefits will be provided on a separate EBT card, and can be used to buy groceries. Families will receive $120 per eligible child for the summer. Benefits can be used at authorized retailers, like grocery stores and farmers markets, to purchase healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, meats and other protein sources, whole grains, and dairy. Please visit the MDE Summer EBT Website to learn more.

    Children and teens need healthy food year-round to play, grow, and learn. Summer EBT will help families stretch their grocery budget during the summer and provide their children with the nutrition they need to thrive.

    Sincerely,

    Shelby Tanner
    Director of Nutrition Services

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  • April 18, 2024

    This email was sent to staff and families.

    Sartell-St. Stephen Families:

    During the 2023 State Legislative Session, the Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act was passed that requires school districts in Minnesota to train their teachers (up to 140 hours) in the Science of Reading beginning after July 1, 2024. This training needs to be completed by July 1, 2026. In order to meet this state-mandated requirement, districts across the state are needing to alter their school calendars to allow for the appropriate amount of time for this training to occur.

    2024-2025 Calendar Changes
    On April 15, 2024, Sartell-St. Stephen’s School Board approved an altered calendar for the 2024-2025 school year to accommodate this training requirement. Over the next two years, our district’s best option will be to utilize a combination of scheduled professional development days and monthly early release days to ensure the required teachers are trained by the state’s deadline of June 30, 2026. The following early release dates - all Wednesdays -  have been added to next school year’s calendar: September 25, 2024; October 30, 2024; November 27, 2024; December 18, 2024; January 29, 2025; February 26, 2025; and March 19, 2025. The calendar is available at www.isd748.org/calendar on the lower left.

    Childcare and Transportation Options
    In an effort to lessen possible burdens on students and families, the district has partnered with KIDSTOP to provide childcare at no cost for elementary students for the duration of the two-hour early release time period. Families will need to sign up with KIDSTOP in advance in order to utilize this service. 

    If families choose to:

    • Not to utilize KIDSTOP during the early-release school time period: families will need to either pick up their student(s) two hours earlier or have their student(s) ride the bus two hours earlier. Buses will run two hours earlier than usual on these days and family pick-up will occur two hours earlier if not utilizing KIDSTOP.
    • Utilize KIDSTOP: arrangements must be made for student pick up at the end of the two-hour period (regular, end of school day time) or families can pay the regular KIDSTOP rate for an extended period of time.

    In short, the following options are available for students on early-release days:

    1. Be picked up two hours early
    2. Ride the bus two hours early
    3. Attend KIDSTOP at no charge for the two-hour early-release time period, then be picked up at the regular end-of-day time (approximately 2:30p)
    4. Attend KIDSTOP at no charge for the two-hour early-release period, then stay in KIDSTOP until picked up at a later time beyond the end of the regular school day (paid)

    Families will indicate their plan at the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year.

    Training Program for Teachers
    Our district selected Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) as the training program to best meet the state’s first wave of Science of Reading training requirement. LETRS was selected due to its robust, research-based content in an effort to better ensure our teachers receive the best training possible which in turn will have the greatest likelihood of positively impacting our students. LETRS is a two-year program that requires over 140 hours of professional development training. 

    Teachers Receiving Training
    The following groups of educators will receive LETRS training during the state’s first wave of training requirements: PreK-Grade 5 General Education teachers, PreK-Grade 12 Special Education teachers, PreK-12 Multilingual Learner Teachers, K-12 MTSS Interventionists, and PreK-Grade 5 Administrators.

    Please reach out to your student’s building principal if you have any questions.

    Thank you,

    Tom Lee
    Interim Superintendent

    Comments (-1)
  • March 21, 2024

    This email was sent to staff and families on March 21, 2024.

    Dear Sartell-St. Stephen Families:

    To accommodate state-mandated teacher training for the Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act, our District will be seeking school board approval to amend our 2024-2025 calendar to include one early release day a month for seven months.

    It is important for all families to read this email to learn more about state-mandated teacher training. At this time, we are requesting families with students who will be in K-5 next school year to complete the form linked below.

    State Mandate: READ Act
    The Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act, a bill passed in the last state legislative session, requires school districts in Minnesota to provide intensive training to teachers on the Science of Reading within a two-year period. In order to meet this state mandate, districts across Minnesota need to adjust school calendars to allow for the appropriate amount of time for this training to occur beginning after July 1, 2024 as mandated by the state.

    School Calendar: Adding Teacher Training
    To add state-mandated teacher training to an already robust schedule is a challenge for everyone; not only are teacher schedules impacted, we know that our families, students, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and all of our other staff will also be affected.

    Our district’s best option to complete this training will be to utilize a combination of typically scheduled professional development days along with seven early release days (likely Wednesday afternoons) for the next two years. 

    Input Needed from K-5 Families
    We have been working with our transportation department, KIDSTOP (childcare provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Central Minnesota), and other district staff to accommodate students and families during these seven early release afternoons. 

    Because our K-5 students may be the most in need of supervision during these early releases, we are asking families to help us plan for transportation and staffing: Will your students likely be picked up, ride the bus, or opt in for a KIDSTOP childcare option at no charge for the remaining 2 hours of the regularly-scheduled school time?

    Please note: the form is NOT an official request for transportation next year. Rather, it is for initial planning purposes for our early release dates to accommodate state-mandated READ Act training and your input will help us prepare and coordinate with appropriate staff. 

    Families who have students who will be in Kindergarten through Grade 5 for Fall 2024 should complete this form for every K-5 student in their household. Please provide your feedback by Tuesday, April 2 so staff may review and determine a plan that best serves the needs of family schedules and, ultimately, enhances student learning. 

    Learn more: READ Act
    Our ​D​istrict selected Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) as the training program to best meet the state’s first wave of Science of Reading training requirement. LETRS was selected due to its robust, research-based content in an effort to better ensure our teachers receive the best training possible which in turn will have the greatest likelihood of positively impacting our students. LETRS is a two-year program that requires over 140 hours of professional development training. To learn more about the READ Act, please listen to episode 12 of our Sabre Speaks podcast (https://www.isd748.org/READ_Act)

    Tom Lee
    Interim Superintendent

     

    Comments (-1)
  • February 15, 2024

    This message was emailed to ISD 748 staff and families.

     

    ISD 748 Families:

    Our District’s focus is on student learning and teaching. Our students are our priority. 

    Beginning in the fall of 2024, Sartell Middle School is changing its schedule to increase the depth of learning for students. While current students in grades 5-7 will experience the schedule next year, I wanted to make sure all families were aware of these important changes.

    The draft 2024 schedule will maximize learning time in core and specialist classes in addition to increasing prep time for staff. In short, the revised schedule is intended for the highest quality programming designed to meet the needs of students that is cost effective and sustainable.

    Class schedules
    A middle school student course load currently includes:

    • Core Learning (English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies); 
    • Specialist offerings (Art, Family and Consumer Science (FACS), General Music, Physical Education,  Project Lead the Way (PLTW), Theatre, and World Language); 
    • What I Need (WIN) - originally for tutorial assistance, but currently used for music ensembles and other purposes
    • Advisory - students have the same advisor and student group from grades 6-8.

    Below is a comparison of the potential schedule impacts:

    comparison of schedules

    Student experience

    • WIN: Incorporated into the core subjects. May include other times during the week. 
    • Music: It is our hope that the revised schedule will increase the number of students who participate in ensembles. Students in all grade levels will benefit from at least one music experience each year in turn increasing the number of students participating in ensembles. All sixth grade students will be required to take part in one music ensemble. Students in grades 7 and 8 will be encouraged to continue with their music selection, although alternative music exploratory courses will be offered. 
    • Physical Education: The new schedule will include PE for students, every other day, for the entire school year. 
    • Special Education: In conjunction with the special education department, student and teacher schedules will be created to optimize service time. We are in the early stages of this process. 
    • Classes like PLTW, Art, Spanish, FACS, and Theatre will be 80 minutes every other day by trimester. PE/Music will be 40 minutes each every other day all year (NOTE: This may be subject to change based on our ability to hire licensed teachers).

    Staffing impacts

    • The middle school will have three full-time music teachers (only serving at SMS) - consisting of one full-time band teacher, one full-time choir teacher, and one full-time orchestra teacher.  Music teachers will also have the opportunity to create and teach additional exploratory classes in grades 7 and 8 including theatre. 
    • The middle school will have three full-time Physical Education teachers.

    The revision process began in October and involved several administrative staff along the way to gain their input. Beginning in January, this information was shared with various staff groups, SMS staff on February 2, and a follow up meeting with SMS staff on February 5. We wanted to allow our staff some time to digest these changes prior to sharing with the larger community. 

    For more details, please view this Q & A document. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions you may have. There will also be a detailed presentation on Monday, February 26 at the regular school board meeting.

    Thank you--

    Tom Lee

    Interim Superintendent
    Sartell-St. Stephen Public Schools

    Comments (-1)

District Calendar

      Last Modified on July 2, 2024