Archive for the ‘Gangs’ Category

Enhancing Security?

October 27, 2010

Here is an interesting post about putting in security cameras at our schools.  Apparently the district has received a grant (ie; federal tax dollars) to “enhance security” at the schools in New Hope.


Federal SOS grant to enhance safety at New Hope schools

New Hope, Minnesota—The City of New Hope, in partnership with Robbinsdale Area Schools, has been awarded a “Secure Our Schools” (SOS) grant in the amount of $112,620 from the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.

Co-authored by Robbinsdale Redesign Program Director Melodie Hanson, Robbinsdale Area Schools Safety & Security Director Brian Koch, and New Hope Chief of Police Gary Link, the grant will fund the installation of needed school safety and security equipment at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, Meadow Lake Elementary, Sonnesyn Elementary and Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion (RSI), as well as several ongoing crisis prevention and response programs. The funds will provide infrastructure updates for the security camera system at Cooper, upgrades to the exterior gymnasium doors at Cooper, and additional interior hallway cameras at RSI, Sonnesyn and Meadow Lake Elementary Schools.

This year’s grant for New Hope schools represents the fifth year an SOS award has been received by the district in cooperation with local municipalities. The SOS grant received in 2009 funded safety improvements at Robbinsdale Middle School and Lakeview Elementary School in the City of Robbinsdale, while the 2008 SOS grant funded improvements for schools within the City of Plymouth.

“These funds demonstrate the importance of collaboration in ongoing safety and security planning,” said Koch. “The grant will assist the district and local law enforcement in advancing their ongoing commitment to ensuring safety and security for students, staff and community.”

Now we realize that Federal money (which is still our money or at least the 53% of us that actually pay federal taxes) comes with strings attached.  Perhaps we have few options here.  You want to upgrade doors at Cooper’s gymnasium?  Fine with us.  Should Cooper have a security camera?  We suppose.  But cameras at Meadow Lake, Sonnesyn, and RSI?   Is there a gang problem at these schools?  If there have been issues please feel free to comment here but we don’t think that spending money on cameras at elementary schools is a good way to spend our money.

Problems at RMS?

February 19, 2010

A few residents have informed us that the police were at Robbinsdale Middle School last week breaking up fights.  On Friday a statement condemning these fights by Principal Tom Henderlite was read over the PA by a student!  Is that not the principal’s job?  Several parents have told us that the kids are rude to the staff and that the inmates are running the asylum.  They are also considering their “educational options.”  If anyone has more info on this feel free to post a comment.

Update 2/21: Thanks to a RMS staff member who wrote in to clarify one fight incident on 2/11. There was a verbal argument between two racial groups of students. The police liasons were at training that day so city police were filling in. Principal Henderlite made announcements several times on the 11th, and the next day a student read an updated statement.

2007 Lowlights and Highlights for District 281

January 3, 2008

The MN Sun-Post showcased “The best and worst of times for District 281” in 2007. It’s a lengthy read, but well worth the time. Lowlights (quite plentiful) are set in bold for emphasis. The referendum defeat in our opinion is a highlight, not a disappointment as the Sun-Post wrote. Left out are lockdowns at Cooper from fights in December, and countless other items that didn’t make it on the news.


– Superintendent Stan Mack announced a reorganization of leadership in the special education department, following scrutiny by the Minnesota Department of Education for having what the state claimed is a disproportionate number of complaints from District 281 parents about how children with special needs are treated.

– A list of $4.5 million in proposed budget cuts for 2007-08 was approved Jan. 8 by the District 281 School Board.

– More than 700 District 281 employees signed up for an exercise-walking program.

– A bomb threat cancelled classes for students at the Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion program/Robbinsdale Middle School on Jan. 8.

– A Robbinsdale Area Schools transfer bus that has been operating since 1982 will begin phasing out in 2007-08, school officials said.


– Sandburg Middle School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program was one of four out of 2,000 IB programs in more than 120 countries chosen for in-person documentation by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education Project Zero.

– District 281’s enrollment declined 1.3 percent, or 177 students, from January 2006 to January 2007.

– Teach for America, a national corps of recent college grads who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools, indicated interest in District 281.

– Plymouth Middle School sixth-graders will be reassigned to Olson School in Golden Valley for 2007-08, while their school is remodeled, officials announced.

– The Minnesota Department of Education withdrew its threat to withhold $526,638 in special education funding from the Robbinsdale School District because the district took steps to implement corrective action.

– A Bullying Policy Task Force in District 281 began working on administrative procedures to address bullying in the schools.