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Spark your interest at Ellis Middle School

By Jason Senne

Principal Ellis Middle School

The beginning of a new year brings many opportunities for Ellis Middle School students and parents, and this is a great time of year to talk with your child about their spark and career passions.

Ellis Middle School offers a variety of elective courses and extra-curricular activities for students to explore. Check out some of the great events we have scheduled from now until April.

The second half of our winter sports season, which includes boys basketball, started Jan. 3. The girls’ dance team and wrestlers will continue their season until the end of January. Ellis teams travel to other Big 9 and local schools to compete.

The Vex Robotics Tournament will be held Jan. 20. This event will feature 48 teams competing for a trip to the State Robotics Tournament in St. Cloud in February. The day will be filled with skills challenges and head-to-head competitions. Teams will be coming from Albany, Adams, Blue Earth, Eyota, Foley, Hayfield, Hinckley, Mankato, Montgomery, Okabena, Ramsey, Roseville, Waseca, and Wells.

The Ellis robotics teams, coached by Tom Fritz, have already qualified for the state competition in St. Cloud and the U.S. Open held in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in April. The teams earned this opportunity in competitions throughout the season. The teams are made up of 14 seventh and eighth graders. They meet after school to design, create, test and modify their competition robots. The teams fundraise throughout the year to purchase equipment, a competition field and T-shirts. Please contact Tom Fritz (tom.fritz@austin.k12.mn.us or 507-460-1500) if you would like to know more about how to donate to the team.

February is registration time, and students in sixth through eighth grades will be selecting their classes for the 2018-2019 school year. Students will make their selections using Student Portal, and parents will have the opportunity to review their child’s choices duringp conferences at I.J. Holton and Ellis Middle School. Parents can also view the choices through their child’s portal account. Ellis elective choices include band, orchestra, choir, woodworking, industrial technologies, clay, draw/paint, chemistry, physics, graphics, and Project Lead the Way courses such as “Automation and Robotics” and “Flight and Space.” Videos of elective options for both seventh and eighth grades will be available on the Ellis homepage (www.austin.k12.mn.us/ellis) starting in February.

Conferences for sixth grade are Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 at I.J. Holton and March 8 and March 13 for seventh and eighth grade at Ellis Middle School. Sixth grade parents are welcome to attend informational sessions during the Ellis March conferences. Course verification sheets will be sent home with the third quarter report card.

Spring sport practices will start on April 2.  Ellis spring sports practice five days a week and travel to other Big 9 and local schools for competitions. Spring sports include baseball, softball, girls and boys golf, girls and boys track, boys tennis, and a clay target team.  Registration is open now until April 6. Questions about registration can be directed to Kelly Lang at 507-460-1521 or email kelly.lang@austin.k12.mn.us
You can keep up on all the exciting things happening at Ellis Middle School by following us on twitter @EllisMiddle492 or watching the student-produced and edited “The Ellis Show.” The show can be found on the Ellis homepage at http://www.austin.k12.mn.us/ellis.