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Vision One91 Parent Update - Nov. 6, 2015

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Update No. 1 • Nov. 6, 2015 - En Español

Dear Parents/Guardians in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191,

When the next school year begins in September 2016, our school district will be changed in many wonderful ways because of Vision One91, our plan to redesign our district to meet the needs of today’s learners and ensure the district’s mission of “Each Student Real-World Ready.”

At this point we have made great progress. This email is an update on what we know to this point. Coming up soon, informational meetings for parents/guardians will take place at our three junior high schools and Burnsville High School.

The school district asked our community to financially support our dreams for current and future students. We’re very grateful that voters approved a bond referendum and technology levy in February 2015 that makes Vision One91 possible.

As a result, beginning with the next school year, our elementary schools will house grades K-5, middle schools will be grades 6-8, and Burnsville High School will be grades 9-12. Some buildings will look different — especially Burnsville High School — and classrooms will have expanded technology. More importantly, opportunities will be increased and other changes will be made to prepare our students for college and career success.

There are so many different pieces on a project of this size. First, we have construction projects either in planning or underway at several school buildings. The largest and most visible is the major expansion at Burnsville High School. In addition to the building projects, we also have staff working to redesign how our schools work in terms of teaching and programming to ensure they best meet the needs of all students at every level.  

Programming at Burnsville High School

In addition to current offerings, staff members are expanding Signature Pathways of study, all of which provide rigorous academic experiences and opportunities for certifications and college credits. These Pathways will include current courses and expand on those to encourage the development of skills that all students need to be successful after graduation including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Exciting partnerships are developing with area businesses, chambers of commerce and post-secondary institutions to support our Signature Pathways. In October, nearly 30 community members spent time in our schools and on Nov. 9 BHS and BAHS teachers will go to local businesses to gain understanding of what skills current employers want in their employees. Here are some of the pathways being developed:

  • Automotive Technology (technician certification, paint, body)
  • Business (financial, marketing, management)
    • In development is a full-service credit union housed in BHS
  • Information Systems Technology (Cisco, programming, production)
    • Geek Squad® Agent housed at BHS
  • Health Sciences: First Responder, Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Paramedic
  • Technology & Engineering (research & design, fabrication)
  • Humanities (Liberal Arts)

Though not its own specific Pathway, rigorous advanced course options – including more than 20 Advanced Placement (AP), College in the Schools (CIS) and honors courses – will continue to be available for Burnsville High School students.

Programming at new middle schools

Our new middle schools will provide an excellent well-rounded bridge to Burnsville High School and meet the unique social, emotional and academic needs of this age group. Key elements will include:

  • Each student will be assigned to an interdisciplinary team of teachers.
  • An eight-period day (plus advisory) will allow students the opportunity to explore more subjects and interests.
  • Advisory will focus on college/career readiness, social and emotional learning standards, community building, and enhancing the relationships between students and teachers.
  • Honors classes will be offered in 6th, 7th and 8th grade in core subject areas (language arts, math, social studies and science).
  • All students will have one period for reading instruction at their level with students at the same level.
  • All students will have one period for specific support in intervention or enrichment, depending on their needs, with students at the same level.
  • Expanded elective and exploratory offerings for all students are being developed and will be highlighted in future updates.
  • Math acceleration for qualified students will continue in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.  
  • Every middle school will have strong Gifted/Talented and STEM programming.
  • Every middle school will have opportunities for qualifying students to participate in AVID, a college prep program.

Technology

  • District-wide technology plan approved by Board of Education [Link]
  • 1,300 Chromebooks now being used in secondary social studies classrooms
  • Some teachers have begun using Schoology as our new online learning management system. [Schoology Information]

Partnerships

  • Thanks to a grant from the Bosch Community Fund, Burnsville High School students will be learning and working in real-world conditions. The “campfire” collaborative work station, at right, will be used by students in science, design, technology and engineering classes. It’s like those used at Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services with a location just across Portland Avenue from Burnsville High School. Other items in the grant include 3-D printers​ and​ teacher collaboration with industry professionals​ to implement real-world curricula.​

In addition to these email updates, you can keep up with Vision One91 progress:

Thanks for your interest,

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Joe Gothard, Ed.D

@joegothard

 

 

Posted: Friday, November 6, 2015 - 15:29