Please direct media inquiries and story ideas to:

Syreeta Wilkins
Director of Communications
(p): 651-415-5607
(e): swilkins@916schools.org

Nick, Tristan, and a representative from MDE with the new light box
Teacher modernizes lightbox for students worldwide
06/11/2019
While working with multiply-impaired students who have neurological visual impairments, including his own son, Nick realized a design change was needed.
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UMN students testing playground equipment
Mixing musical expression with playground fun
05/23/2019
After nearly three years of work, the University of Minnesota College of Design student group installed and unveiled a set of playground instruments for Karner Blue Education Center this May.
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Girls on the Run program at Bellaire
For Bellaire, running isn't just for gym class
05/23/2019
For a core group of young women at Bellaire Education Center, running laps isn't just about physical fitness. The Girls on the Run program creates a positive, structured space for middle school girls to learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy, strengthen connections and develop life skills that will help them as they move through adolescence and beyond.
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Photo of Kate Roselle
916 expands chemical health services
04/12/2019
“Success to me means being able to help students get the right services at the right time,” said Cindy Doth, who was hired as a second full-time clinician in January. She says that sometimes students are not open to formal treatment, but will meet individually with clinicians.
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Photo of Jennifer St. Germaine, teacher
916's newest program offers students compassion, rigor
03/28/2019
Like an Area Learning Center (ALC), Karuna offers students multiple ways to keep up with their schoolwork. Students can continue to pursue rigorous studies like AP History or International Baccalaureate work from their home high schools under Jennifer’s guidance, or they can use 916’s curriculum, which is aligned with Minnesota state standards.
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Photo of student and teacher at Pankalo
A layered environment for learning
03/28/2019
When students walk into a school, the environment makes a statement about what is expected of them. When students who live with severe autism, emotional/behavioral disorders, or a developmental cognitive disability walk into most schools, understanding that expectation is complicated.
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Staff practicing yoga
Staff practice yoga, mindfulness before school
03/21/2019
Ryan Buycks came up with the idea as a way for people who work in separate areas of the school to build community, relieve stress, and ultimately support each other in a healthy way.
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Student at Karner Blue
Students Learn from nature-based teaching
02/28/2019
At the trailblazing Karner Blue Education Center in Blaine, children with special needs benefit from nature-based teaching tools, including a 5-acre school forest.
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Therapy in the classroom? One school district says It works.
Therapy in the classroom? One school district says It works.
11/01/2018
Everything in the Educational Mental Health Classrooms (EMHCs), from the tone of the lights to the type of schoolwork students do in the mornings, has been designed to meet the needs of students whose mental illnesses regularly interfere with their classroom learning.
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Karner Blue classroom
Sensory-friendly design enters the classroom
10/11/2018
Several newly-built schools in Minnesota’s Northeast Metro Intermediate District 916 set the gold standard for sensory-friendly design. At the elementary and high schools outside St. Paul, architects and designers worked with teachers to create a healthy environment for students with special needs.
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Pathway to Licensure cohort
Pathway to Licensure candidates receive grant to cover tuition
10/11/2018
All eight education assistants who are part of the Pathway to Licensure program received a stipend that covers 100% of their fall and spring tuition, thanks to a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education.
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Chemical health team
Canvas Health, 916 bring chemical health services to students
10/05/2018
Students increasingly have been turning to substance use to cope with stressors in their lives -- be it their own mental illness, histories of trauma, or the curiosity, boredom, and peer pressure that comes with adolescence. Because so many of our students have disabilities or mental illness, it can make the recovery process complex and challenging.
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Ea Hiring Event
Students, staff embrace theater work program
09/13/2018
Over more than two decades, 1,100 students have passed through the program. Danya has kept in touch with many of them, and their feedback has helped shape the program into one that teaches students skills that can transfer to any profession, not just theater and concessions.
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Pankalp Student Art
Pankalo students featured in art exhibition
01/15/2018
“PROCESS”, a show title that was conceptualized by the students, represents the idea of materializing a thought or an idea into the physical world through the creative process. Students were tasked with creating original works of art on skateboards, which will be featured in an exhibition that brings youth culture, fine art, skateboarding, and self expression to a gallery setting on Jan. 18 in Minneapolis.
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Lunch at 916
Northeast Metro 916 adopts more equitable lunch protocols
11/07/2017
During the 2017-18 school year, Northeast Metro 916 changed their lunch protocols to better honor the dignity and privacy of students whose parents have not paid their lunch bills.
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Student-built home
916 unveils 24th student-built home
09/13/2017
For eighteen years, students in the construction occupations program at Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District have been revitalizing the City of North St. Paul by building affordable, modern and high-quality housing.
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Holding hands
Trauma-informed practices make a difference
06/01/2017
Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. “What this means in practice is having a more gentle approach with students, modeling empathy and a calm demeanor,” said Sarah Urban, one of the schools’ social workers. “These sorts of practices can actually rewire a student’s brain, having a positive effect on them for years to come.”
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ALC student Crystal
Metro Heights student to policymakers: my high school is my pathway to college
02/02/2017
Crystal’s life changed when she moved to Minnesota from Mexico when she was 12 years old. The stark contrast between the education systems in the two countries opened her eyes to new possibilities. “Moving here made me appreciate education even more,” she said. “I knew that education was the only way I could help my family in the future.”
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Addiction classroom
916 and Hazelden offer addiction counseling to students
08/11/2016
In the 2016-17 school year, Northeast Metro 916 and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation will begin a first-of-its-kind chemical health program designed to provide prevention, education, assessment, placement and ongoing support for students who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
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