It is the mission of the Communications Department to serve as a liaison between district administration and the community in an effort to promote the offerings of the district and keep open the lines of communication with all stakeholders. 

The Communications Department works under the direction of the Superintendent and oversees the district's website, community and media relations, strategic marketing, social media, the weekly e-News, and other publications.

Carrie Ardito, Director of Communications
651-403-7008 |

Michelle Graff, Communications Specialist
651-403-7022 |


Every Friday the district sends an electronic newsletter containing news about School District 197's students, staff and upcoming events. The updates are sent to district staff and community members via the district's e-mail list. 

  • Sign up to receive the e-News.
  • To suggest a news item or event for the e-News, please fill out the form to Submit a New Tip.

To distribute a flyer electronically or hard copy to School District 197 students and their families, you must receive prior approval from the school district. Due to the number of requests we receive from businesses, organizations, and individuals, all flyers distributed to our students and their families must fit into one of the following categories in order to be approved:

1.) School news
2.) District news
3.) News from one of our city/county partners and their affiliated organizations
4.) News from local non-profit organizations that provide programs and services for our students and their families

If you are one of these organizations, please click here, which will take you to a form to provide information about your organization and your distribution preferences. Flyers can be distributed electronically no more than two times at all schools at no cost and/or hard copy one time at our elementary schools. You are responsible for delivering hard copies to the schools.

If your flyer is approved, you will receive an email confirmation within 48 hours that will include information where to send a PDF of your flyer. If you have any questions about the flyer distribution process, please call Carrie Ardito at 651-403-7008.

Board Briefs are a way for the community to stay updated on school board happenings. Board Briefs contain summarized information on what the school board discusses and approved at their meetings and work sessions. Video recordings of the School Board's Business Meetings are also available.

The District Activity Calendar and Family Handbook are published annually and mailed to District families in August. Community members who would like a printed copy of the calendar can pick one up at their neighborhood school, the District Office (1897 Delaware Ave, Mendota Heights), or contact the Communications Department to request a copy.

District 197 uses Facebook pages to keep families updated on news and announcements. 


The District has a presence on two local cable channels:

  • Townsquare TV, Channel 20 - serving residents of Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and West St. Paul
  • Eagan Television (eTV), Channel 15 - serving residents of Eagan

Regular business meetings of the School Board are video recorded for playback on local cable and online streaming. Find more information about School Board Meetings.