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What's new this year around District 191 schools

The 2017-18 school year is about to get underway. Check out some of the exciting new things happening in District 191 schools.

First day of school

The first day of school for students in grades 1-12 will be Tuesday, Sept. 5, in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. All kindergarten students will start school two days later on Thursday, Sept. 7.

“We’re excited to welcome back our students to school and start another great year of learning,” said Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. “Our focus is on providing the best education for your children so that all doors are open to them to realize their dreams.”

Open Houses in District 191

  • Burnsville High School, Aug. 30, 4-8 p.m.
  • Burnsville Alternative High School, New Student Orientation, Aug. 23, 1-5 p.m.
  • Eagle Ridge Middle School, Aug. 30, 6th grade from 4-6 p.m.; 7th and 8th grades from 6-8 p.m.
  • Metcalf Middle School, Aug. 30, 6-8 p.m.
  • Nicollet Middle School, Aug. 30, 6th grade at 6 p.m., 7th & 8th grade at 7 p.m.
  • Edward Neill Elementary, Aug. 30, 5-7 p.m.
  • Gideon Pond Elementary, Aug. 30, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Harriet Bishop Elementary, Aug. 30, 4-5:30 p.m.
  • Hidden Valley Elementary, Aug. 30, 4-6 p.m.
  • Marion W. Savage Elementary, Aug. 31, 4:30-6 p.m.
  • Rahn Elementary, Aug. 31, 4-5:30 p.m.
  • Sioux Trail Elementary, Aug. 30, 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Sky Oaks Elementary, Aug. 30, 4-6 p.m.
  • Vista View Elementary, Aug. 30, 4-6 p.m.
  • William Byrne Elementary, Aug. 30, 4-5 p.m.

Increase in school lunch prices

School lunch prices are increasing by 10 cents so that an elementary school lunch will cost $2.60, a secondary lunch will be $2.70 and adult meals will be $3.90.

Chromebooks come to District 191 middle schools

Chromebooks are on their way to middle schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 this summer, providing one-to-one personal learning devices for all students in grades 6-8. Personal learning devices are part of Vision One91, the work to redesign the district to meet the learning needs of today’s learners.

Middle school students will be getting the same model of Chromebook that high school students received last school year. They are lightweight, inexpensive devices that provide students access to the internet, their Google accounts and other web-based applications. The model being purchased includes a touch-screen along with a keyboard so it also acts as a tablet.

“With each middle school student having a Chromebook, it ensures that they have access to high-quality resources and information that support their learning,” said Instructional Technology Coordinator Rachel Gorton. “It also provides a powerful tool for students to create, collaborate and communicate about their work.”

Gideon Pond’s accessible new playground

All children will be able to enjoy a new playground at Gideon Pond Elementary School in Burnsville beginning this fall. The truly inclusive and barrier-free playground will be the first of its kind in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 and the City of Burnsville. It will include pieces that are easily accessible and safe for students of all ability levels.

"The partnership between the community and Gideon Pond is felt in every heart, mind, and corner of our school,” said Principal Chris Bellmont. “This playground, located beautifully in the heart of Burnsville, sends both a symbolic and practical message of inclusion, innovation, excellence and dedication to students -- cornerstones of Gideon Pond Elementary and District 191."  

Fundraising for an accessible playground, which has been going on for a couple of years, got a big boost in May with a $50,000 donation from U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Vikings. Other donors include the Gideon Pond Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) and Intermediate District 917. District 191 funds have also been used.

Staffing update:  

  • Nearly 75 teachers new to District 191 will be welcomed for this school year.
  • Erika Nesvig, who has been the principal at Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Savage, became the new principal at Eagle Ridge Middle School on July 1.
  • Ken Essay is the new principal of Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Savage.
  • Cindy Amoroso, formerly the district’s assistant superintendent, became the interim superintendent on July 1 for the next two school years.
  • Dave Watkins, who was the director of secondary programming, is now the district's assistant superintendent. 
  • Stephanie White joins District 191 as the Director of Student Services.

Dean positions at middle schools provide additional student supports

To better support student needs surrounding attendance, behavior and achievement, all three District 191 middle schools will have newly created dean positions this year. The deans will work with administration, teachers and families to establish systems that help students succeed in school and create safe, positive learning environments.

Savings could top $2 million with solar panels

Six school buildings in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 will gain solar panels on their roofs this fall. Not only will energy and money be saved, but the project will have an educational component. It will be connected to school programs, including college and career Pathways, as a way for students to learn about alternative energies.

The district has no upfront costs for the solar arrays valued at $1.2 million. Instead for the first 12 years, the district receives 25% of the energy that's generated while the other 75% goes to pay for the arrays. After 12 years when the arrays are paid in full, the district will receive 100% of the energy that's generated.

It’s estimated that the district will realize over $1 million of electrical savings during the 25 years of the warranty. Another $1 million or more could be saved after the warranty expires since the solar arrays are expected to last beyond that period.

To qualify, schools must receive power from Xcel Energy (some of the district’s schools receive power from other companies) and be structurally able to handle the weight of the panels. Solar arrays will be installed at: Pates Stadium at Burnsville High School, Marion W. Savage Elementary, Burnsville Alternative High School, Sioux Trail Elementary, Vista View Elementary and River Ridge Education Center (formerly the Administrative Services Center).

Academic calendars set for new school year, and following two years

The academic calendar for the soon-to-start school year of 2017-18 in Burnsville- Eagan-Savage School District 191 is available on the district’s website at Printed calendars will be mailed to all families in August.  

Academic calendars are also available for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. Both calendars follow the general pattern of recent academic calendars for District 191, with school starting the day after Labor Day and ending in early June. However, there will no longer be a week-long fall break in October beginning in 2018 because parent-teacher conferences will take place in November instead. Both school years will still feature a week-long spring break in March.Printable versions of all three school year academic calendars are available at

More information about the new school year is available on the district’s website at

Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 14:53