Education briefs for the week of Sept. 15

District 196 students outscore state and national ACT averages
Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District 196 students scored higher than the state and national averages on the ACT college admissions test in 2017, according to results released Sept. 7.

The average composite score for District 196 students was 23.1 out of a possible 36. The district average increased 0.1 points from last year and is 2.1 points higher than the national average of 21.0 and 1.6 points higher than the Minnesota average of 21.5, which was highest among the 17 states that offer the ACT to all students.

Since 2015, Minnesota law requires that all high school juniors have an opportunity to take the ACT Plus Writing test during school. In District 196, 2,033 students had taken the ACT at least once by the end of the 2016-17 school year.

The 2017 average composite scores for individual District 196 high schools are as follows:

• Apple Valley High School – 21.2

• Eagan High School – 24.4

• Eastview High School – 23.8

• Rosemount High School – 23.1

• School of Environmental Studies – 23.4

Andrea Engstrom

Engstrom chosen as coordinator at Dakota Ridge
Andrea Engstrom has been hired as the next coordinator at Dakota Ridge School in Apple Valley.

Engstrom had been serving as interim coordinator at Dakota Ridge since early August, when previous coordinator Lauren Trainer was hired to become principal at the School of Environmental Studies. Dakota Ridge is a K-12 school in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District for students who face significant social, emotional and behavioral difficulties.

“I am thrilled to be back at Dakota Ridge,” Engstrom said. “I am dedicated to supporting students, families and staff in maintaining high expectations for students and a safe and caring place for learning.”

Engstrom has worked in special education in District 196 since 2004, when she was hired as an autism teacher at Dakota Hills Middle School. In 2010, she became a strategy support specialist for the Special Education Department and in 2012 was hired as a lead teacher in the department. In 2014, Engstrom was hired as a coordinator, supporting special education programming in the district’s elementary schools, a position she held until being named interim coordinator at Dakota Ridge in early August.

Engstrom has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and earned her master’s degree in teacher leadership from the University of Minnesota. She also earned her director of special education and principal licensure from the University of Minnesota.

Voting for District 196 School Board election begins Sept. 22
Independent School District 196 will be holding a general election on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to elect three of the seven at-large positions on its School Board. Voters can cast their ballot on Election Day at their designated school district polling place, by absentee ballot beginning Sept. 22 or through early in-person voting during the week before Election Day.

Eight candidates filed for the election during the two-week filing period in August, including incumbents Art Coulson of Apple Valley, Gary Huusko of Eagan and Mike Roseen of Apple Valley, and challengers Craig Angrimson of Apple Valley, Brian Buechele of Lakeville, Rebecca Gierok of Apple Valley, Daniel O’Neil of Eagan and Bianca Ward Virnig of Eagan. The terms of Coulson, Huusko and Roseen expire Jan. 1, 2018. The new terms for all three at-large positions run from January 2018 to January 2022.

Absentee voting
Absentee voting begins Sept. 22. Voters do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots can be completed by mail or in person at the District Office in Rosemount, 3455 153rd St. W., or at one of the Dakota County government centers located in Apple Valley, Hastings and West St. Paul.

To absentee vote by mail, voters may download an application from the district website at and mail the completed application as directed in the application materials. Once an application is received and processed, an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter along with instructions for completing and returning their ballot in the postage-paid envelope that is provided with the ballot. If the person applying for an absentee ballot is not registered to vote, a voter registration application will be mailed with the absentee ballot and the completed voter registration application should be returned along with the ballot. Voter registration can also be completed online at

Early in-person voting
Early in-person voting will be offered Tuesday, Oct. 31, through Monday, Nov. 6, each business day during regular office hours at the District Office in Rosemount (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6), as well as at the Dakota County Administration Center in Hastings, 1590 Highway 55 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6).

Election Day voting
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The 14 combined school district precincts are listed below, along with the polling location and city precincts included in each. If voters are unsure about where they should vote, they can go to or call the Superintendent’s Office at 651-423-7725.

Precinct 1 – Berean Baptist Church, 309 County Road 42 E., Burnsville; includes all of Burnsville in District 196, including Burnsville precincts 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Lakeville/Empire Township
Precinct 2 – Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 16200 Dodd Lane, Lakeville; includes Lakeville precincts 12, 14, 15 and 16, Empire Township and Farmington precinct 5.

Apple Valley
Precinct 3 – Apple Valley Senior Center, 14601 Hayes Road, Apple Valley; includes Apple Valley precincts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Precinct 4 – Mount Olivet Assembly of God Church, 14201 Cedar Ave., Apple Valley; includes Apple Valley precincts 5A, 5B and 8.

Precinct 5 – Apple Valley Municipal Center, 7100 147th St. W., Apple Valley; includes Apple Valley precincts 6, 12, 14 and 15.

Precinct 6 – District 196 Service Center, 14445 Diamond Path, Rosemount; includes Apple Valley precincts 9, 11 and 13.

Precinct 7 – Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley; includes Apple Valley precincts 7 and 10.

Rosemount/Coates/Vermillion Township
Precinct 8 – Our Saviors Church, 14980 Diamond Path, Rosemount; includes Rosemount precincts 1, 3 and 5.

Precinct 9 – Community of Hope Church, 14401 Biscayne Ave. W., Rosemount; includes Rosemount precincts 2, 4, 6 and 7, Coates and Vermillion Township.

Eagan/Inver Grove Heights
Precinct 10 – St. Thomas Becket Church, 4455 S. Robert Trail, Eagan; includes Eagan precincts 15 and 17, and Inver Grove Heights precincts 1, 2 and 3.

Precinct 11 – Eagan Fire Safety Center, 1001 Station Trail, Eagan; includes Eagan precincts 1, 3, 7 and 8.

Precinct 12 – Easter Lutheran Church, 4200 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan; includes Eagan precincts 6A, 6B and 13.

Precinct 13 – Christ Lutheran Church, 1930 Diffley Road, Eagan; includes Eagan precincts 4, 5B, 9A, 9B, 10 and 11.

Precinct 14 – Chapel Hill Church, 4888 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan; includes Eagan precincts 12, 14 and 16.

‘Shel’s Adventures’
Homeward Bound Theatre Company will offer “Shel’s Adventures” 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 26 to Oct. 17, at Black Hawk Middle School in Eagan.

Third- through sixth-graders will bring Shel Silverstein’s much loved book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” to life. Participants will rehearse and perform selections like “Sarah Silvia Cynthia Stout,” “Hug O’ War” and “Listen to the Mustn’ts” for family and friends.

For more information or cost of registration, call District 196 Community Education at 651-423-7920 or register online at

Square dancing class
District 196 Community Education is offering Intro to Square Dancing 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 19 and 26, at Scott Highlands Middle School, 14011 Pilot Knob Road, Apple Valley.

No previous experience needed. Everyone’s welcome: solos, couples, and families. Partners provided. Ages 8-98. Learn a few calls while you walk to music, laugh a lot, and make new friends. Casual attire.

Cost: $19. Register at Information: or 612-759-9235.

District 194 School Board
Following is the agenda for the 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, special meeting of the District 194 School Board at Lakeville City Hall.

1. Preliminary Actions
a. Call to Order
b. Roll Call and Board Introductions
2. Discussion
a. Transportation Update — Mr. Sarnow
b. E-Finance Project Update & TIES Update — Mr. Sarnow
c. Review Proposed Pay18 Levy — Mr. Sarnow
3. Future Topics for Consideration
4. Adjournment