Grants and Gardening: all in a day's work!
Summer marks the start of the ag department's busy season
Teachers don't actually 'take the summer off'. On the contrary! As just one example, this summer Mrs. Pat Tax has been busy securing grants to ensure the continued success of the Healy Agriculture and Welding departments, as well as tending to the enormous Healy garden.

"I am very happy that our Compeer Financial (formerly AgStar) grant request for a mulch layer with a drip line attachment has been funded! This grant allows us to purchase the machine that will place the black plastic mulch in the school garden rather than renting it each season. Mulching increases productivity by extending the planting season by warming up the soil; it reduces water consumption because the drip line is ran under the plastic so it is not evaporating and it is going directly to the roots of the plants; it allows the roots of the plants to grow and reach nutrients easier because there is not the compaction that occurs if weeding is done. Our hope with this is that we can show interested community members how to raise a garden with this method as it saves so much time and work, including saving water also.

Minnesota Agricultural Educators Leadership Council has given us almost $10,000 to equip the metal shop with welders that allow for aluminum welding as well as traditional wire-fed welders. We will be able to purchase five welders along with spools to enable students to learn the finer arts of metallurgy. Industry is asking for students that have the skills to weld with more precision and this grant will help us fill that need. One of the things we're most excited about is the opportunity to offer an adult class in welding for our community members that are interested in learning as well. Keep an eye in the community education section for these class offerings.

Students have been busy in the school's garden plot. We probably have one of the best gardens in our sixth year of trying. We planted over 400 heads of 3 varieties of cabbage, 3 types of potatoes, zucchini, yellow summer squash, three types of onions, garlic, celery, butternut, buttercup, spaghetti, acorn and blue hubbard squash, beets (that the deer overly loved), dill, carrots, sweet peppers, banana peppers, lettuce, green beans and yellow beans and new this year are okra and collards--students' choices. We also have 7 varieties of apple trees, raspberries and strawberries and rhubarb plants. If you have a chance, please stop and see these kids--they are entering the Morrison County Fair with some of their efforts too, which is a new undertaking for us."
Summer Highlights :)
Healy Students Embrace 'Pura Vida' in Costa Rica
Twenty-four students and three chaperones spent eight fun filled days in Costa Rica, June 16-23. They toured a coffee plantation and learned about (and tasted!) the history of chocolate. White-water rafting, hiking, kayaking, zip lining and snorkeling were exhilarating experiences that showcased the tropical country's natural beauty. Finally, students were encouraged (and did a great job practicing) communicating in Spanish: with kids during an elementary school visit, with other locals and even with each other. They really took to heart the Costa Rican mantra of "Pura Vida" or 'pure life' which essentially means to be present and live each moment to the fullest. We can be extremely proud of how these students represented our school and community!
Referendum Approved by Voters - what happens next?
In May, voters passed the bond referendum to add classrooms and gym space to Pioneer elementary as well as update and expand the high school kitchen and band room. Again, thank you!

Since then, the school board and administrators have been meeting and drawing up plans with the staff, architects and contractors to determine the best approach and technical aspects of each of these projects - a colossal task!

Here's an overview of the timeline:

  • Bond and Financing – June - August
  • Design Details – Finalized by mid-August
  • Pre-Construction Work (Utilities and Grounds) – July - August
  • Public Bidding and Selection of Bids – mid-August - September
  • Starting to Break Ground – early October

Once the referendum was approved, the two main tasks were to finalize all elements of the project and create clear blue prints that will allow all potential contractors to provide a quality bid on each different area. 
Community Ed Classes a Hit This Summer
Payton and Avery show off the wreaths they created in just one of the many summer recreation classes. During the months of June and July, students participated in classes with topics ranging from art, cooking, gymnastics, Spanish, theater, babysitting and so many more. Thanks in part to donations from the local townships and Pierz Lions, the Community Education office is able to keep fees low.

If you have a hobby or talent you are willing to share, contact the Community Education office at 320-468-6458 option 7.
Upcoming Events
"Oklahoma!" Hits the Stage
Save the date and be sure to attend the Pierz Community Theater's production of "Oklahoma!":
Friday, August 10, 7pm
Saturday, August 11, 7pm
Sunday August 12, 4pm
Where: Healy PAC
Tickets: Adults- $6 Students- $3. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or at the District Office one week prior to the first show.
2018-19 Sports Meeting
  • Who: This meeting is for ALL 7-12 students, parents and coaches involved in any sport in ANY season.
  • When: Monday, August 6th, 2018. Registration starts at 6:30pm with meeting to follow.
  • Where: Pierz Healy High School in the MAC gym.
  • Parents are encouraged to take care of forms and fees prior to the meeting to avoid waiting in lines.
Pierz Public Schools #484
District Office: 320.468.6458
112 Kamnic Street, Pierz, MN 56364