Anthony Tande will be a sixth-grader at Erik Ramstad Middle School this year, but he won't be in his mother's sixth-grade science class.
"We had to change his schedule," said Karin Tande, who will be a sixth-grade teacher at the school, so he wouldn't be in any of his mom's classes.
The schedule change didn't keep Tande from enlisting Anthony as classroom helper last week as she set up her classroom in a portable unit in the Minot municipal Auditorium parking lot.
Erik Ramstad Middle School sixth-grader Anthony Tande helps his mother, Ramstad sixth-grade teacher Karin Tande, set up her classroom in a portable unit at the Minot Municipal Auditorium on Aug. 17. Classes start Wednesday for the Minot Public Schools.
New principal Ione Sautner shows off a portable unit at Erik Ramstad Middle School at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. Some rearranging of classroom assignments was done to give teachers such as the Title I teachers more space to work in.
Anthony helped set up bookshelves, stamp science textbooks and stack them in neat rows on the shelves.
Teachers like Tande will be in their temporary quarters at the auditorium for another school year. If all goes well they might be in a new middle school building in northwest Minot by the fall of 2013, said new principal Ione Sautner.
Students at Lincoln Elementary will also be in their temporary quarters at First Presbyterian Church for another year. A school addition at Longfellow Elementary is under construction that will replace Lincoln. The main building at Longfellow was also damaged in last summer's flood, so Longfellow students will remain in portable classrooms for this school year. Students at the Minot Head Start and Minot Adult Learning Center will be able to return to their restored buildings this fall.
Sautner has the design plans for the new Ramstad school building on the wall in her office and has had input into the plans since she was hired. She said the new building will have lots of glass and an open design, which will make supervision and security easier. It will be designed so the school can function more as a true middle school, with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders each assigned to one floor in the building. Teachers from each subject area work closely together as part of the district's professional learning communities concept, which keeps teachers on the same page in teaching curricula and requires them to pay close attention to testing data to see what concepts kids might be having the most trouble with.
Sautner, who was formerly principal at Washington Elementary, is taking over Ramstad after the retirement of longtime principal Jim Tschetter. Sautner said the administrators at Ramstad did a wonderful job setting up the school at the Minot Municipal Auditorium in a short timeframe following last summer's flood.
Sautner isn't planning any major changes to the schedule this year.
"I don't believe in fixing anything that's not broken," she said, adding that teachers helped plan the organization and the schedule at the auditorium last year.
Sautner said eighth-graders gave tours of the auditorium to younger students last week, which helped new students feel more comfortable in the big, sprawling building, where classes are spread out between the main building and a warren of portables in the parking lot.
The school district is growing and there will likely be some new students, but Sautner wouldn't venture a guess about how many new faces she might expect.
"My crystal ball broke!" she said with a laugh.
Classes start Wednesday for Minot Public Schools.