August 22, 2019

North Woods School Opens Tuesday, September 3

With a new school year fast approaching, the following information is of note:
The annual North Woods Open House will be held Thursday, Aug. 29, 4 to 7 p.m. Students and parents/guardians can meet teachers, visit classrooms, obtain classroom schedules, and much more. New or currently enrolled students register on-line via computer or mobile phone. Log into Parent Portal or see the link on our school website at to get started.
Health Survey and iPad/Laptop Agreement Forms: The paper Health Survey form and accompanying Emergency Information card may be turned in at Open House. This form was previously mailed to currently enrolled families.
Students in grades 7-12 registered through OLR may participate in a "scavenger hunt" at Open House, which will allow them to pick up their electronic device by turning in the required form and fee (or insurance rider if applicable)! iPad/Laptop Agreement forms may be found on the school website (see Technology Insurance Form). Extra forms will also be available at the Open House. Fees may also be paid online.
Classes for Grades 1-12 begin Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Classes for kindergarten begin Thursday, Sept. 5. At the Open House, kindergarten parents may sign up for their "Meet the Teacher" conference on Tuesday, Sept. 3 or Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Class Assignments: Elementary student teacher/classroom assignments may be obtained at the Open House. After the Open House, lists of elementary students and their classroom/teacher assignments will be posted on the entryway windows. Grade 7-12 student schedules will be in the Commons for pickup at the Open House.
The school office is closed Friday, Aug. 30 and Monday, Sept. 2.
Fall Sports Fee Reminders: Volleyball, football and cross country fees for students are due before their first game or meet. Students cannot participate unless their fees are paid. Varsity and Jr. Varsity athlete fees are $120 per student. C-Team athletic fees are $60. A sliding fee will be applied to students who qualify for Educational Benefits (free/reduced meals). Fees may also be paid online via the school website and a credit card option is now available in the school office. Practices have begun and schedules have been given to the students. If you need more information on practices, contact the respective coaches at the school (Mr. John Jirik for football, Mrs. Kandi Olson for volleyball, and Mr. Dan Squires for cross country). See the school website,, for email and contact information.
Busing: Drivers are working on route assignments and plan to contact currently enrolled student households to provide route information prior to Open House. If you are new or your former times/routes have changed, your driver will contact you as school approaches to verify pickup and drop-off times. It is very important that we have current contact information for your household. If you moved over the summer and/or changed phone numbers, be sure to complete On-Line Registration as soon as possible.
Entrance: Please note that students should not arrive at school before 8:05 a.m. Once school begins, all entrances automatically lock at 8:30 a.m. After that time, anyone wishing to enter the building must report to the office through the front doors.
Class Schedule: We are still following a Flex Wednesday schedule. On Wednesdays, school dismisses at 2:02 p.m. All other days of the week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday), school dismisses at 3:15 p.m.
Food Service: Payment for meals may go directly to the cafeteria staff and/or may also be paid online through Parent Portal or the school website. A credit card option is also available in the school office. Please make sure your student has money in his/her account when school begins. Meal prices are as follows: High School Lunch - $2.70; Elementary Lunch - $2.35. Breakfast for both HS and Elementary is $1.75. Extra Milk is $0.65.
Students who qualify for reduced-price school meals will receive FREE lunches and breakfasts. ALL kindergarten students qualify for FREE breakfasts. NOTE: Even if a student receives free or reduced-price meals, students who choose milk only will be charged $0.65, and extra lunch items are not free. If you have not yet applied for Educational Benefits (free meals) and wish to do so, you may do so online through Parent Portal or the school website
Picture Day is Monday, Sept. 9. Student, staff, class group and fall sports pictures will be taken. Times for preschoolers from the community to have their pictures taken will be announced later. Order forms were previously mailed to currently enrolled students. Extras will be available at the Open House or they may be picked up in the office after the Open House. Orders may also be placed online via the link on the school website (to be added soon).
If you have questions, feel free to contact the North Woods School office at (218) 666-5221. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3, front office hours are Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The school is located at 10248 Olson Road East, north of Cook.
Have a terrific school year!

Highway 53 passing lanes project starts north of Cook

A project to construct four new passing lanes began Tuesday, Aug. 20, on Highway 53 between Cook and Ericsburg. Highway 53 will be reduced to one lane during the day, controlled by flaggers. Two-way traffic will be restored during non-working hours. Motorists should expect delays.
All roadways adjacent to Highway 53 will be accessible. Eleven-foot width restrictions will be in place.
The project is scheduled for completion in mid-October.
Visit the project website for additional information:

2019 Farm Family Recognition Program - University of Minnesota
Pat and Karen Brodeen are named the St. Louis County Family of the Year!

by Robin Fisher

Pat Brodeen admits being "in cattle" for over 60 years! "I've been with cows since I was 5 years old!" Pat and his wife, Karen, operate River Bend Farm on Leander Road in Owens Township. Pat's parents purchased the farm in 1951. Pat and his father remodeled the barn and started milking Holsteins in 1977. Karen also grew up in a dairy family.
Pat and Karen married in 1980. They milked registered Holsteins for 30 years before selling the dairy in 2010. The couple had a small beef herd when milking. After selling the dairy, they expanded to a 100-head commercial Red Angus cow/calf operation. They background the calves and make hay on 400 rented acres. The farm's 200 acres are divided into pastures for rotational grazing. Both Pat and Karen are involved in the day-to-day operation of the farm. Pat's brother Curt helps out during calving season. Curt Brodeen lives nearby and gives many of his "days-off" to help Pat and Karen with beef cattle projects, like spreading manure!
Karen often enjoys getting out on Leander Road for a brisk walk. She noticed a lot of garbage in the ditches and rallied many neighbors to help with a spring clean-up. She then invited the participants to come to their farm for a potluck. The event has been popular for several springs and Leander Road is looking great! A great way to re-connect with the neighbors. Karen is also a Director for the home-based Arbonne health products company. Farming and Arbonne are ideal for a flexible lifestyle.
Pat enjoys occasional fishing or hunting trips with one of his brothers, who live locally. Montana in the fall has become a favorite destination for Pat and Karen. Pat and Karen are members of the First Baptist Church in Cook.
Pat has served on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Holstein Association as well as the local Northeast Holstein Association, the Minnesota Beef Council, and the St. Louis County Livestock Association.
Karen has served on the board of the Northeast Minnesota Holstein Association, the county American Dairy Association and has been with Arbonne for 10 years.
The Farm Family of the Year Recognition Program has existed for over two decades and honors farm families throughout Minnesota. An official ceremony was held at the annual Farmfest near Redwood Falls, Minn., on Aug. 8. Locally, the St. Louis County Extension Committee gave Pat and Karen their award at the St. Louis County Fair in Chisholm on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 3 p.m., on the 4-H Stage.
The Brodeens started and hosted the "fall feeder calf round-up" for several years. This small barn meeting has gotten larger every year, with 70 area farmers attending in 2018. Karen says, "The annual fall beef round-up on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, will feature a good line-up of beef industry leaders for speakers. This year's topic will be "Pasture Management." The fall meeting has food and beverages too! Farm folks can pick up good management tips at the September seminar.
Congratulations to Pat and Karen for being beef industry leaders in Northern Minnesota.


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