Welcome to Ms. Jen's Kindergarten Webpage!

*** If you need to email me: jennifer.milano@mpls.k12.mn.us

My name is Jennifer Milano ("Ms. Jen"). This is an exciting year for me since I am going back to the classroom after two years of being Dowling's Literacy Specialist. I'm super excited to meet all of our new kindergarteners. I'm looking forward to working with your children each day as they build their understanding about letters, books, numbers, the environment, and social connections. This will be an amazing year in kindergarten!

About me:  Outside of the world of education, I love spending time with family and friends. I have two daughters; one is in high school and the other is in middle school! It's unbelievable how fast children grow up. We love going to our home state of California or to Florida's beaches whenever possible.  I enjoy dance, music (especialmente la música de América Latina), language, and art. I have a strong passion for the environment and believe all people are responsible for caring for it and understanding

how much we need nature. I am definitely a major tree and bee advocate and hope to strengthen my students' understanding of the importance of both.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where I taught preschool, kindergarten and third grade for several years prior to coming to Minnesota in 2008. I currently hold a K-12 CLAD (ESL / Cross Cultural, Language and Academic Development) Multiple Subjects with an authorization in Art (K-9) License from California. In Minnesota, I am licensed to teach K-6 Elementary Education as well as K-6 English as a Second Language. When I first arrived in Minnesota, I became the Literacy Specialist at Northrop Urban Environmental School where I spent 8 wonderful years both as a specialist and as a third grade teacher. I consider myself extremely lucky to have landed at Dowling, and especially to have the opportunity to teach kindergarten again. I can't wait to see all of the new faces at Dowling this fall!


All about "Mr.


My name is Rick Orndorf (“Mr. Rick”) and I am student teaching in Ms. Jen’s Kindergarten class till December 2019. I am a senior at Metropolitan State University and will graduate with a B.S. in Urban Education in December. This is a career change for me as I was a newspaper photographer for 25 years. I worked at MPLS Kids for 5 years during school. I understand the importance of education, which is why I am finishing my own academic career.  I enjoy working with elementary students and love the variety and energy that Kindergarten students bring each day.

I live in Minneapolis, married, and have raised two children who went through the MPS pathway for education. I still do some freelance photograph under Rickophoto.  When not at school, I enjoy golfing, hiking, and going to movies and concerts. 

I am anxious to explore the wonderful wooded grounds and academic hallways of Dowling with your Kindergartener.







PDF Handy comprehension questions to ask your child   --  These questions are tailored to your child's reading level!
PDF Reading behaviors and strategies to try   --  copyright CAFE, do not reproduce
PDF CAFE Menu   --  These are the four key components of being an excellent reader. This material is under copyright, do not reproduce.
PDF Welcome letter from Benchmark Advance   --  Benchmark Advance reading curriculum was adopted across MPS last year. Take a look at their family welcome letter.