In the News

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There are a lot of things to be excited about at St. Dominic School! Read below for some of the Newsworthy stories.

St. Dominic School Partners with Groves Academy in Literacy

Northfield, MN, November 13, 2019 —The Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE), a nonprofit organization with a two-part mission of achieving excellence and increasing student enrollment in Catholic elementary schools has named St. Dominic School a Believe and Read school.

Believe and Read seeks to transform the lives of thousands of students by bringing a best-in-class literacy program to 20 Catholic elementary schools across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Powered by CSCOE, and in partnership with Groves Academy, a national expert in reading instruction, and Cretin-Derham Hall Catholic High School, the goal of Believe and Read is to ensure every student is at or above grade level reading – because we believe that God calls every child to greatness!

How Believe and Read works:
● Literacy coaches from Groves Academy will work with our teachers (K-2 in 2019-20, and K-3 starting 2020-21) over a three-year period using a “train the trainer” model.
● In addition to building students’ vocabulary and comprehension skills through their regular reading lesson, teachers will be tasked with incorporating a daily 30-minute phonics-based lesson to ensure students are grasping the reading rules they’ll need to one day achieve fluency.
● Many of the lesson plans are scripted, so teachers will know exactly how and when to introduce
leach letter, along with its sounds, and how to build up to words from there.
● Our teachers will also get weekly check-ins with a literacy coach from Groves Academy, along with support tracking student progress through routine assessments.

As with any new change or new initiative, we understand that you may have questions. Feel free to contact the school office at 507-645-8136 to learn more about the program.

MNSAA Renews St. Dominic Catholic School’s Accreditation for 2019-2026


Northfield, MN, May 23, 2019 —The Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (MNSAA) has renewed the accreditation of St. Dominic Catholic School in Northfield for the eligibility period of 2019 to 2026. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance with a goal to evaluate, validate, and improve each school’s quality.

MNSAA is a federally recognized and state-sanctioned nonprofit association for accrediting nonpublic schools in the State of Minnesota. The Association’s mission is to be a catalyst for enhancing the quality of K-12 nonpublic education in Minnesota through a comprehensive process of accreditation. Our agency helps schools provide quality nonpublic education for the children of Minnesota for its member schools. MNSAA is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors that bases its accreditation on a school’s evaluation through a self-study process.

Schools are accredited based on their compliance with a set of rigorous standards that identify essential curriculum, instruction, personnel, governance, facility, and marketing policies and practices that are considered necessary for an effective school. The accreditation process includes the creation of a visionary and focused strategic plan for improvement and an onsite visit by a team of educators from member schools. Accreditation with MNSAA relies heavily on how the individual school defines its mission and the way it seeks to accomplish that mission.

MNSAA is pleased to have St. Dominic Catholic School join some of the more than 160 accredited schools that make up the Association. MNSAA salutes St. Dominic’s commitment to providing an outstanding education to the children of this community. MNSAA will continue to provide guidance to the St. Dominic School through an annual review of its strategic plan.



Students from St. Dominic School and Prairie Creek Community School Win First Place in the City of Northfield 2019 “Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution” Poster Contest


By Kevin Strauss

Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP)

Northfield, MN, May 22, 2019— Seventy-Seven students from all five elementary schools in Northfield took part in the 2019 “Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution” poster contest. This annual event gives 2nd-5th grade students the opportunity to learn how they can take action for cleaner water in the City of Northfield. Students demonstrate what they have learned by creating an educational poster about the importance of keeping our stormwater (rain that flows over our lawns and streets and into the storm drain) clean.

“I am happy to see so many teachers and students talking about how to keep fertilizers and grass out of the storm drains,” said Cole Johnson, Water Quality Technician for the City of Northfield. “What ends up in our storm drains flows directly into the Cannon River. So keeping stormwater clean also keeps the Cannon River clean.”

The City of Northfield works with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership to run this activity in Northfield.

Participants created an 8 ½”x11” poster to encourage residents to “Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution.” Several of the posters highlighted how simple activities like picking up litter, keeping grass and leaves out of the street, and keeping lawn fertilizers on the grass and out of the street can prevent river pollution. Many posters also shared the message that everything that goes down our Northfield storm drains dumps directly into the Cannon River.

Winners in the 2nd-3rd Grade contest include:

First Place Nova Otto, St. Dominic School (Teacher: Janet Sletten)

Second Place Paige Pralle, Bridgewater Elementary (Teacher: Karen Lane)

Third Place Bennett Jenson, St. Dominic School (Teacher: Janet Sletten)


Winners in the 4th-5th Grade contest include:

First Place Navea Pennock, Prairie Creek Community School (Teacher: Cathy Oemke)

Second Place Teagan Noetzel, Prairie Creek Community School (Teacher: Michelle Martin)

Third Place Bella Christopherson, Sibley Elementary (Teacher: Laura McManus)


Kristy Vega and Quinn Flannery, both from Sibley Elementary School received Honorable Mentions for their posters.

First, second and third place winners received their certificates and prizes at the Northfield City Council Meeting Tuesday, May 21st at Northfield City Hall.

First-place winners received a year of free frozen custard from Culvers (Northfield). Second and Third Place winners received free rounds of bowling at Jesse James Lanes (Northfield). A big thank you to our sponsors and all the students and teachers who participated in this year’s contest. If you’d like to see all of the winning posters, you can visit the display case at Northfield City Hall (801 Washington Street) or visit the CRWP website at

MISF Awards STEM Grant valued at $7,500 to St. Dominic School at the 2019 Minnesota Private & Independent Education Awards Event


Twenty-three STEM Grants awarded, valued at nearly $107,000.

ST. PAUL, Minn. May 15, 2019 — Twenty-three STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Grant Awards were presented to elementary and high schools throughout the state through MISF’s STEM Program at the 2019 Minnesota Private and Independent Education Awards on April 28th at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. St. Dominic School received a grant valued at $7,500. The awards program recognizes a number of outstanding K-8 and 9-12 teachers of the year, academic programs, staff, and volunteers contributing to the success of private and independent schools in Minnesota. The STEM grant funding will assist St. Dominic School, and other schools, in developing hands-on curriculum to prepare students to be workforce leaders in STEM careers. Supporters of the MISF STEM Program are the 3M Foundation, Schott Foundation, and Excel Energy Foundation.

About St. Dominic School
St. Dominic School is a preschool – 8th grade Catholic School in Northfield. The school’s mission is to inspire children to excel as confident leaders, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens in a Catholic, values-based community.

This MISF STEM grant will fund the materials and curriculum for St. Dominic School’s expanding Middle School Program and new STEM Middle School classes. The school has partnered with the City of Northfield’s water treatment facilities to explore water filtration and reclamation practices, and with several programs within the Northfield Community Action Center. Students will use engineering concepts to complete service projects which meet identified needs within the community. These same projects will also meet many of their science standards.

About the Minnesota Independent School Forum
The Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) connects and strengthens Minnesota’s independent schools through exceptional training, resources, and advocacy so they can be student-centered and mission-driven. Since 1976, MISF has been the voice for private and independent education in Minnesota. MISF focuses on supporting all nonpublic K-12 schools by representing these schools at the state and federal level and by disseminating and sharing information that directly affects school operations. MISF offers a variety of programs, services, education, research, and public policy support.

Find out more at



Catholic Schools Center of Excellence Selects St. Dominic School to Participate in Literacy Partnership with Groves Academy


Northfield, MN, May 9, 2019 — St. Dominic School announced today that it has been selected by Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE) as one of 18 Catholic elementary schools to participate in a literacy partnership with Groves Academy. CSCOE helps Catholic elementary schools enhance educational excellence and increase their enrollments and Groves Academy advocates for evidence-based literacy instruction for all students in the state of Minnesota.

“We are excited to be one of the eighteen schools selected to pilot this unique partnership between CSCOE and Groves Academy and we thank CSCOE for their generous support to make this happen,” said Vicki Kalina Marvin, Principal.

The Groves Literacy Framework™ is a comprehensive, three-year program for reading and spelling instruction designed to prevent reading problems using evidence-based practices supported by scientific research. Weekly classroom coaching, monthly team meetings, and other teacher supports are key to the Framework’s success.

“Our goal is to have each and every child in our Catholic elementary schools be fluent readers and spellers by the end of third grade. The Framework not only helps the typical student excel, it can identify students who struggle and provide them with the support they need to be successful,” said Gail Dorn, president, CSCOE. “We believe that the Groves approach is the best and most successful in the country and we want to partner with the very best!”

In addition to St. Dominic School, 17 other Catholic elementary schools were also selected to be part of CSCOE’s pilot partnership with Groves Academy with the intent to bring on the remaining schools in year two and three. Criteria for selection included: school size, location, student demographics, leadership capacity, and 100 percent teacher buy-in.

About St. Dominic School

Preschool – 8th grade Catholic School in Northfield. Our mission is to inspire children to excel as confident leaders, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens in a Catholic, values-based community.


CSCOE is a nonprofit organization with a two-part mission: to help Catholic elementary schools enhance excellence and to increase student enrollment.


Groves Academy is a nonprofit organization that serves students with dyslexia, ADHD and similar learning disabilities through their school and learning center. Groves also partners with schools in the community to share the Groves Literacy Framework™, their evidence-based approach to literacy instruction.



Million Dollar Fundraiser Returns to St. Dominic


Northfield, MN, December 27, 2018 — The Catholic Schools Raffle returns this winter to St. Dominic School in Northfield, giving you the opportunity to turn $5 into a brand new car or $20,000 in cash while supporting your local Catholic school.

Starting January 11, students from St. Dominic will join students from 90 other schools across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in selling the $5 tickets. Each ticket purchased gives ticket buyers the opportunity to win a 2019 Chevy TRAX (or $20,000 in cash), or other great prizes totaling $40,000 in value. Best of all, every penny of every ticket sold stays at St. Dominic thanks to the Raffle’s sole sponsor Catholic United Financial. The St. Paul-based company provides all the prizes and promotion materials for the Raffle at no cost to the participating schools.

“Catholic United’s mission since our founding 140 years ago has included supporting Catholic education, and we couldn’t be happier or more proud to support our schools with the Catholic Schools Raffle,” explained Catholic United President Harald Borrmann. “Since the program started, we have invested nearly one million dollars in the Raffle because we understand how this unique fundraiser greatly benefits the students and their teachers.”

Now in its tenth year, the Catholic Schools Raffle has raised over $7 million for Catholic schools in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. This year, Catholic United is challenging the 90 participating schools to collectively raise $1 million during the six week selling period. To help reach this goal, St. Dominic hopes to sell enough tickets to raise 30000. The money raised allows schools like St. Dominic to provide tuition assistance, update technology systems, or to cover the cost of special learning opportunities like guest speakers and field trips.

Ticket sales begin January 11 and run through February 24. Tickets are only available at participating schools. The Grand Prize drawing ceremony takes place at 11:00 a.m. (CST) on Tuesday, March 5 at the Catholic United Financial Home Office in St. Paul, MN. Raffle updates and a full list of participating schools can be found on Facebook at

About Catholic United Financial

Catholic United Financial is one of the largest fraternal life insurance associations in the Upper Midwest, serving more than 80,000 members in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. As a not-for-profit company, Catholic United transforms profits from the sale of life insurance, annuities and retirement products into programs that support and amplify the Catholic community’s ability to thrive and grow. Visit our website to learn more:




Northfield, MN, October 9, 2018 —St. Dominic Middle School Students are selling pumpkins! All proceeds go to the 8th Grade class mission trip!

Large: $8
Medium: $5
Small: $3

Contact the school office at 507-645-8136 or Kelli Helgeson (kellihelgeson@schoolofstdominic.0rg) to purchase!




Northfield, MN, October 8, 2018 —Congratulations to our students for exceeding their $25,000 School Marathon goal! We want to extend a big THANK YOU to our community members and school families that donated to our school Marathon. Because of your donation, St. Dominic School is given the opportunity to further enhance and improve the various academic offerings for grades Preschool- 8. 

Because our students reached our school goal, Mrs. Marvin’s desk will be moved to St. Olaf Avenue for the day, rain or shine. We will keep you posted on what day this will happen. If you are in the Northfield area, be sure to honk when you drive past!


Photos by Laura Kuhn.



Northfield, MN, September 28, 2018 —

To all of our Northfield friends:

Given the storms of last week, the St Dominic School community has changed our annual fall celebration into a night for the entire Northfield community 21 and over to gather, have some fun and listen to some great music from Chad Johnson and the 8th Street Band.

Rather than selling tickets, we would like to open the celebration to all of you that may need a night to just unwind and spend time with your friends and neighbors.   The Northfield Community has always supported St Dominic School and we want to return the favor to all of our sponsors, parents and the entire community.

We fully understand the financial impact this storm had on many of you.   Thus, rather than charging for admission, we ask that you donate whatever you feel is appropriate.   We will return a portion of the proceeds to local organizations assisting our neighbors as they recover from the damages.

We thank you for all the support you have given to us in the past, and we hope we can repay some of that support Saturday, October 6th. Pizza and beverages will be available for purchase. We will be in the big tent behind St. Dominic Church! We hope you can join us for a night to relax and have some fun.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office.


Vicki Marvin, Principal

John Frank, School Board Chair

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