School Spotlight: Champlin Park High School
Every day, more than 2,900 students in grades 9 through 12 pass through the halls of Champlin Park High School.
It’s a school known for its diversity.
“One of the things that makes Champlin Park very special to me is we have students coming from all walks of life,” said Chris Nelson, an assistant principal.
Nelson says the demographics at Champlin Park are about 60 percent white, and 40 percent students of color.
“It’s something that we’re very proud of,” Nelson said. “Our students do an amazing job with being respectful and wanting to understand other walks of life.”
The students at Champlin Park are serious about their efforts to show school spirit.
“Yeah, we have a very good amount of school pride,” said Owen Trelstad, a senior who is one of the leaders of the student cheering section known as ‘The 6th Man.’
The members of The 6th Man coordinate on a clothing theme and show up at various school sporting events to cheer like crazy.
But Trelstad isn’t just known for his school spirit.
Standardized Testing at Champlin Park
“We ended up doing a cover of the song, YMCA,” Trelstad said. “We wrote the lyrics to that, and it was called, ‘Why the MCA’s’, or ‘Try the MCA’s’, just telling people why you need to show up and why it’s important to do it.”
The MCA’s are used to monitor school performance and set funding formulas, but the test scores also show up on students’ transcripts.
Trelstad said the video was shown to the entire school to help motivate the students to do well.
“Watching a video from your peers, me as a senior and my other friends who did the video as well, it means a little bit more than just watching something up on a projector from a teacher,” Trelstad said.
School staff members would agree about the video’s impact.
“Each year the students come up with something bigger and better, and I have to say, this one hit the mark,” Nelson said.
Speaking of bigger and better, thanks to Anoka-Hennepin voters, more than $16 million in improvements are on the way for this 26-year-old building.
“We will start construction this summer, and the goal is to be done in a couple years,” Nelson said. “And we will have classrooms to alleviate our growing size, and we will be removing the [portable classrooms] in two years.”
It is an exciting time for a school that prides itself on getting students prepared for the next stage of life.
“These kids are going to go out making this world, this country, a better place,” Nelson said.
The scheduled improvements for Champlin Park include removal of the portable classrooms, additional classroom space, new science labs and expansion of the strength and fitness room.