Como Park Senior High School

Nordic ski team success

Despite a lack of snow this season, the Cougar Nordic ski team has been able to compete in meets on courses where snow-making machines are utilized. The Twin Cities Nordic Conference Meet took place at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis on Jan. 26. 
Coaches and captains reported that team performance and camaraderie were excellent. Sophomore Henry Simmons placed third overall earning all-conference. Sophomore Ben Clark and junior Niko Turnure received honorable mention. 
Yellow buses are back
The new year began with the return of yellow school buses for Como students who live more than a mile away. The last time school-busing was fully furnished at Como was March of 2020 before distance learning was initiated because of the pandemic.
While all students returned to in-person learning in the fall of 2021, there weren’t enough school bus drivers available to supply all routes. The district shifted to reliance on Metro Transit, with students receiving city bus passes. 
The changes to Metro Transit busing came with challenges including earlier, longer walks to bus stops and a rise in safety concerns. 
Many families adapted schedules and found ways to drive their students to school. Many students faithfully boarded the city buses to and from school. But overall, student attendance decreased from pre-pandemic levels and tardiness increased.
With staffing for school bus drivers rebounding, the gradual restoration of routes for high school students began in the district during 2022 and 2023, with service reaching Como Senior High last month upon the return from winter break.
Early indications reveal an increase of timely arrivals and less-stressed students. 
Music concerts
The Como choirs held their winter concert in the Como Auditorium on Jan. 24. A variety of popular selections and diverse genres were featured under the direction of first-year Como teacher Mr. Huy Tran.
“Singing and adapting to a new teacher is not an easy thing to do,” Tran said. “But these choirs did it with grace and had an amazing concert!”
Ms. Katie Miller, a second-year Como teacher, directed the instrumental concert on Jan. 18. “The beginning band performed for their first time,” she said. “The jazz band and advanced band dug into some challenging music, and the orchestra has resurfaced after a multiple-year hiatus.
College Knowledge Night
A major stressor in the college application process is completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid.) High school seniors and their families must navigate it to be eligible for grants, loans, and selected scholarships that colleges may offer based on financial need. 
A revamping of the FAFSA this year has streamlined elements of the form, but delays in its availability until late December mean many still need to complete it. Como’s Career Pathways Center, in coordination with the counseling department, provided FAFSA support and college information for families and students on the evening of Feb. 7.


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