Photo by Sawyer Hixon

Changes to CFE for ’18-’19

Explosion alters CFE program

Interim CFE director Jessa Anderson plans for CFE in 2018-2019 school year

After the explosion on August 2, many things were forced to change and adapt to a new school year, including the Cultural Field Experience (CFE) program. The decision was made that the school year of 2017-2018 would not be able to include a week for CFE activities because classes started two weeks late and more time was needed for the academic schedule. Many were disappointed with the decision because it meant one more week of school work.

CFE has previously been run by director Amy Swanson, who is currently on a one-year family leave after recently adopting two children from India. As the Swanson family settles in to their new life, new director of CFE, Jessa Anderson will be working with Minnehaha to run the CFE program.

Anderson started talking to Swanson years ago about partnering with some of the students from Minnehaha for serving globally. At the time, Anderson was working at the Northwest Conference as she was trying to coordinate with Swanson to get some students to come and speak at their annual meeting. As the two got to know each other, Swanson asked Anderson to come and shadow her and learn the position of CFE director, as she knew she was going to leave and adopt her children from India.

After taking the position of CFE diretor, Anderson is already working on setting goals for the upcoming years.

“I think Mrs. Swanson has done a great job of developing this program and setting incredible goals for students,” said Anderson. “As well as [allowing students] to reach out from our community here at Minnehaha into other communities and learn and grow from other people.

Anderson hopes to continue to grow the program, and implement positive changes if need be.

Just like the previous years of the CFE week, overnight and international trips are going to be offered in the 2018-2019 school year. Anderson has already worked very hard to plan the trips, which include Vietnam, Roatan (Honduras) and Italy and Greece. The overnight stays within the United States include trips to Kentucky and New York, as well as one in Minneapolis.

Vietnam will be one of the new trips offered next year. Swanson was able to go on that trip last year and said it was really impactful for her. The trip to Roatan is one that is offered every other year led by science teacher Nancy Cripe. The last international trip that has been planned will be to Italy and Greece which will be led by art teacher Nate Stromberg and Latin teacher Johanna Beck.

The trip to Kentucky has been one offered in the past as well. Students work with an MA alum who helps with working on house repairs for working poor families in the Appalachian region. A choir and theater trip to New York will also be offered. The City Stay program will have students stay in the metro area with immigrant families that come from different countries.

After cancelling CFE this year, students were worried that they might have to take CFE their senior year to fulfill the graduation requirement of three years of CFE.

“The requirement won’t change, but it is not going to impact the students that did not have to do CFE this year in high school,” said principal Jason Wenschlag. “The main two reasons why we didn’t end up having CFE this year was partly because of needing more time in the school year for academics, and needing Mrs. Swanson, with her position being able to help us with the transition, both led to us deciding that we shouldn’t do CFE for one year.”


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