A PEOPLE I am Thankful for Over the past year I have immersed myself in city, district, and state matters. I have thrown myself into the middle of political campaigns. Not because I am particularly political, but because I have begun to recognize the importance of regular citizen engagement in politics. What if the goal of an election is not to “win” an election”, but is to bring together our people?
Seven seeds of HOPE. I find HOPE in the space in-between, in God’s natural world, in friendship and fellowship, in the giftedness of children, in We the People, in parents on school boards, and in improvements to higher education. I often write about many concerning and alarming topics that I see happening in the Government school system, and I realize that what I writeContinue reading “I have HOPE”
South Washington County, MN JAiME for SCHOOLS Novembers Feature is the screening of WHOSE CHILDREN ARE THEY? “The groundbreaking documentary … featuring empowered parents, brave teachers, courageous students and front-line experts who pull back the curtain about what is truly happening in our public schools today.” Scroll to the end for more event details … November Meetings The first week of November is aContinue reading “Whose Children Are They? on the NOVEMBER calendar”
for ISD#833 residents Putting together the puzzle pieces of quality education is dependent on electing quality candidates. I’m a visual person, so I like to see all the candidates and the maps laid out in front of me … easy to access as needed. The maps included here are taken from official SOS (Secretary of State) data maps, which were redrawn based on theContinue reading “2022 Puzzle of a Minnesota Election”
He said, She said. They said, We said. ISD#833 Streaming of workshop meetings is approved! So what is true and what is not? How is a person supposed to recognize the liar from the saint? It is tough, truly it is tough. We want so badly to find that one truth teller to ally with … that one person, organization, news outlet, or candidate.Continue reading “Dance of Truth”
South Washington County, MN Your CITY and DISTRICT meetings with website tabs for finding TIME and LOCATION. October Meetings Beginning this month, the school district has scheduled listening sessions for SoWashCo residents to weigh in on the very important topic of facility planning. If you can’t make one in October, they continue into November as well, so get them on your calendar now andContinue reading “OCTOBER calendar”
Social Emotional Learning Long Range Facility Planning Bus Driver Shortages Recorded Workshop Meetings The district is currently talking about many of the issues parents care about. Two weeks ago, four elementary school principals shared how Social Emotional Learning is being wrapped into their 2022-23 school year theme, “The Power of One.” At the same workshop meeting, Superintendent Nielsen announced strategic planning would soon beginContinue reading ““The Power of One””
A Round-up of my thoughts after the Panel Discussion How much can one person change in just 18 months? Consider a newborns growth in it’s first 18 months of life, and THAT is the kind of growth I am talking about! To be “18 months Awake” is like being born new, each milestone materializing into the next. This rapid period of growth involves cognitive,Continue reading “18 months Awake”
Student Data Privacy A new law that impacts schools and technology providers … and your children … Students are back to school using technology under a new student data privacy law which parents have not been made aware of. If this law is legitimately a life saving tool, then why is the knowledge of harm being withheld from the parent for so long? And why is a school district personnel or a government worker (both of whom are strangers to the family) allowed to track my child’s location and listen in on their conversation without parental notice or consent? Maybe the intention behind this provision is good, but it’s direction could potentially undermine parental rights. You can bet that WHAT CAN BE ABUSED, WILL BE ABUSED.
SEPTEMBER CALENDAR I am honored to have been invited by 1st Conservatives to speak on this PANEL DISCUSSION with Rebekah Bradfield, Alfrieda Baldwin, and MN Senator Roger Chamberlain. Moderated by Liz Collin, Alpha News. You are Invited! Seating is limited. Order your tickets here…
The Minnesota Licensing Standards of Governor Tim Walz and his appointed PELSB With resignation after resignation by SoWashCo teachers over the last two years … are Mold-a-Teacher License Standards really what the voters of Minnesota want? Puppet teachers and a new social dialect? Do you want perpetual pessimism, Minnesota? Do you want your children to grow up hateful and victimized? I’ve lived here sinceContinue reading “Molding the Claymation Teacher”
AUGUST CALENDAR Commit to attend a meeting this month around your town. Our elected officials need resident engagement in order to best do their jobs. This is a small list of meetings and events I try to attend around my City of Woodbury, my County of Washington, and my Public School District of #833. Maybe some of these align with your community also? If so, I hope to see you there!
THE SOUL Captive in Servitude. If death is inevitable, does that mean death owns us? I want to consider, just for a moment, the possibility that ultimate slavery comes NOT from our fellow human being, but from an internal spiritual enemy. What do we do when DEATH enters school in the form of a school shooting? …or FEAR enters school in the form of a virus? … or SIN enters school in the form of a false teacher? The one who puts their faith in the spiritual world will answer these questions differently than the one who puts their faith in the earthly world.
PART 3 The MIND Captive in Servitude. Today, it can feel like the minds of our children are being compromised in American public school education. The very system which was said to represent all, seems to represent very few. Those who claim to unite us are dividing us. Even DEI policy, which was written and passed by the school board to promote inclusion, 6 months later, has quietly excluded an entire town of diverse students from their plan. The systems who claim to represent our children, are merely representing their own pocket books. Federal and State Governments … Teachers’ Unions and School Districts … Public Libraries … Dictionaries … Activists.
The BODY Captive in Servitude To read The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas is to learn of the evils mankind both endures and inflicts upon it’s own. The idea that so many nations contributed to the organized capture of one race – turning free men, women and children into property – is heartless and barbaric. It ‘s not just a systemic AMERICAN problem though. It’s a worldwide HUMAN problem. Mankind has enslaved itself as far back as we have records to prove, and yet modern American culture is fixated on a mere 300 years, with itself at the center.
INTRODUCTION What does it mean to be a slave? with references to Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave. As I reflect on Douglass’ Narrative, I think about the many things we are “Slave To”, not just in BODY but also in MIND and SPIRIT. “Slave to MAN” is about human bondage, captivity and servitude of the BODY. “Slave To SCHOOL” looks at the MIND and the suppression of knowledge. “Slave to DEATH” is a matter of our SPIRIT and the chains of Fear, Sin and Death.
IN YOUR STATE PRIMARY August 9th, 2022 Early voting begins June 24th and ends August 8th. Vote by mail or in person. The Demand a Better Plan 833 political committee is made up of parents from the City of Newport who have children enrolled in District 833. Despite the Facility Plan’s motto of “Building a Better Future”, the School District has neglected to meetContinue reading “Vote for A Better Plan”
NEW WEBSITE CONTENT ADDED See how your school compares to surrounding models in the South Washington County School area. And PLEASE PARTICIPATE by helping complete the list. All Schools BOOK LIST (To view the list CLICK HERE or in in the Menu tab) Reading is healthy. Reading sparks the imagination and expands our worldview. Kids who read improve their vocabulary, memory, comprehension, focus, andContinue reading “Books in School”
PART 2 QUESTION ANSWER & COMMENT Ten audience members participate in discussion with Marvin. Senate District 47 Republicans Meeting from May 24th, 2022 Guest Speaker, City Council Member Marvin Taylor A TWO PART SERIES CLICK HERE for PART 1 – “Largest Referendum in State History“ Marvin Taylor has lived in Newport nine years and was elected to City Council in 2020. I first met himContinue reading “Q&A Largest Referendum in State History”
PART 1 LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT WITH Marvin Taylor, from Newport’s City Council If voters approve SoWashCo’s 10-year facility plan and the coinciding bond referendum at the Special Election to be held August 9th, 2022, will this strengthen our families and communities, or will it weaken them? If the district is willing to gamble on outdated demographics projections from a 2018 pre-covid report, whatContinue reading “Largest Referendum in State History”
MAY POLICY CHANGES On May 5th, the School Board discussed their reasoning for the changes made to public comment over the course of this past year. To my knowledge, this was the first time each board member has publicly expressed their opinion on the subject, and it was fascinating! For eight months the board has been silent on this issue, and resident concerns haveContinue reading “Ever changing Comment”
VISION 4 LIFE School Highlight : Concordia Academy High School Author, Jaime Kokaisel published, May 10th 2022 Each one of us holds a profound superpower: the power to GIVE. When we make that choice to help someone in need, we become better than we once were. We become greater than just one individual acting alone because the giver and the receiver both benefit. JesusContinue reading “A School’s Vision to Serve”
SoWashCo School Board Meeting Video On April 21st, 2022 the School Board voted 6 to 1 to approve the $462 million Facility Plan, which will close Newport Elementary School. I think Public Comment is the most revealing part of a School Board Meeting. Policy might appear perfect written on a page and graphed out in fancy charts, but it’s imperfections are revealed in the voice of a community gathering together to oppose it. Getting up in front of a large room of people can be VERY difficult. Speaking about an issue that is near to your heart, welcomed by some and unwelcomed by others, takes courage! I wish all voices could be heard on the official livestream, but since the district does not make Public Comment available to the actual “Public”, please take a moment to listen to them here…
PART 2 Meet some of the teachers, parents and business owners of NEWPORT Author, Jaime Kokaisel published, April 21st, 2022 A TWO PART SERIES CLICK HERE for PART 1 – “Building on Optimism: FACILITIES“ Sara Bonine has been a Teacher at Newport Elementary for 17 years with a child who attends there as well. Small is Good. She says, “As parents, my husband andContinue reading “Building on Optimism: QUILT OF QUOTES”
The plan is large. The plan is expensive. The plan meets district goals. It is about “Building Our Future” says the headline. “Community. Growth. Student Success.” For everyone, you ask? Yes, for everyone … except for students currently attending Newport Elementary and 3,800 residents living in the City of Newport. For them, the plan represents just the opposite.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO OPEN A SCHOOL? Time, Money, Support … This is the question Woodbury resident, Alfrieda Baldwin, asked herself several years ago. She had practiced law for 32 years, and in her eighth year of retirement she was called to pursue something even greater. She recognized the growing need in her Twin Cities community for Christian Education, and this last FallContinue reading “School Highlight: Laurel Community School”
!!! PLEASE PARTICIPATE !!! City of Newport Community and all members of School District 833 Do you support the current Long-Range Facility Plan and the closure of Newport Elementary? Please share your story with me The School Board will vote on the current Long Range Facility Plan and Bond Referendum at the next Meeting on April 21st, 2022. I am writing an article aboutContinue reading “A Call to Connect”
PART 2 Inspired by Parent Interviews Author, Jaime Kokaisel published March 18th, 2022 A TWO PART SERIES CLICK HERE for PART 1 – “Spanish Immersion: Meet Equity.“ I cover some pretty controversial subjects in this piece, but that’s okay. The more I talk to people, the more I learn, the more I ponder, and the more I relate. The truth is, my spirit hasContinue reading “Spanish Immersion: is So Much More.”
A BOOK REVIEW TODOS IGUALES U n C o r r i d o D e L e m o n G r o v e ALL EQUAL A B a l l a d o f L e m o n G r o v e A book written and Illustrated by Christy Hale First, I have to tell you, finding this bookContinue reading “IS Roberto Alvarez or WAS Roberto Alvarez”
PART 1 Inspired by Parent Interviews Author, Jaime Kokaisel published March 1st, 2022 The three Principals from the Spanish Immersion pathway schools are Cynthia Maldonado, Kari Lopez, and Sarah Sorenson-Wagner. As they spoke at the School Showcase in February, certain phrases caught my attention. Those phrases were, “Inclusive Dual Language Immersion” and “For a more inclusive and equitable program, we need a transition…” andContinue reading “Spanish Immersion: Meet Equity.”
A SERIES Artwork by Jaime Kokaisel Have you ever walked into the lake up to your knees and watched the minnows swim in circles around your legs? Even from the dock, you can see them MOVING IN UNISON. TOGETHER. IN SCHOOLS. No single fish appears to be the leader. They react to their surroundings in a similar manner and at the same time, changingContinue reading “Schooling Circles”
This is the season for school enrollment. LET THE FUN BEGIN! I had such a great time visiting private schools last year! Those listed here have been selected based on SoWashCo district attendance. I encourage you to dive in! Ask questions. Send emails. Attend an open house or two or three. Schedule a shadow day for your child. It doesn’t hurt to look. CommitmentContinue reading “List of Local Private & Charter Schools”
Long range facility planning is in full swing by the ISD833 school district. The goal is to move toward one final plan by MARCH so they can gain approval by the school board in APRIL and begin organizing the sales pitch to voters with a bond referendum (the sale of bonds to raise construction funds). A special election would be held AUGUST 9th, 2022,Continue reading “Growth on a Horizon of Great Change”
A THREE PART SERIES Filled with a fluff interior, the Hostess Twinkie is mass produced in a factory and contains 37 unrecognizable ingredients. This convenient, plastic wrapped snack is loaded with preservatives, calories and sugar, which all work together to elicit the intended result: a long shelf life, instant gratification, and an unquenchable desire for more. It is a factory workers job to regulateContinue reading “Twinkie, What happened? My Child’s Education : Part 3”
A THREE PART SERIES Once I witnessed private school education from the inside, my best analogy was to that of a chocolate truffle. Each chocolate TRUFFLE is unique and special. The more irregular and homemade they look, the better. The ganache filling and tempered chocolate coating is rich in flavor, compact in density, and packed with quality. One or two chocolate truffles will satisfyContinue reading “Truffle, Yes Please! My child’s Education : Part 2”
A THREE PART SERIES What kind of education do I want for my child? And what are they currently getting? These are questions I allowed myself to begin asking last year at this time. Are all schools created equal? I was surprised when I found the answers. by JAiME for SCHOOLS January 24th, 2022 Follow my Blog
After voters approved the revenue operating levy on November 2nd 2021, SoWashCo schools didn’t miss a beat moving into plans for their next tax increase proposition. Two days later they immediately jumped into long range facility planning at their November 4th Meeting and Workshop. The strategy? My guess is they need to pass this bond referendum by the public before 2021’s approved impact isContinue reading “Growing cities, Growing families, Growing schools.”
JAiME for SCHOOLS in 2022 begins and ends with kids. This website was created during my run for ISD#833 school board as a way to communicate campaign efforts and stances. On November 2nd 2021, I received 8,239 votes by my community. This was not enough to secure a spot on the board, however since then my desire to improve education has not ceased butContinue reading “Welcome to my Blog”