Message to Chanhassen High School families – March 1, 2018

The following message was shared with Chanhassen High School families at 9:30 a.m. today: Yesterday we received information about a threat a student made against our school. A few students heard the student make threatening statements Wednesday in a conversation during class. Those students reported that information to us at the end of the school day. We contacted our School Resource Officer and the Carver County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation. Here is what we know now and we will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Students will receive this information from their teacher at 10 a.m. today. The student who made the threat is not in school, pending investigations by the Sheriff’s Office and Eastern Carver County Schools. The student was taken into custody by the Sheriffs’ Office yesterday. Their investigation is on-going. There were additional sheriff’s deputies at school this morning as a precaution. If there was any concern for the... Continue reading Message to Chanhassen High School families – March 1, 2018

Transportation topics before the School Board this month

At the Feb. 12 School Board work session, Transportation Manager John Thomas updated the board on transportation services. On Feb. 26, the board’s regular meeting, he presented proposed contract extensions for the district’ two bus contractors, Koch Bus Company and Positive Connections.   Driver shortage About 8,000 students receive transportation through the district, including 650 non-public school students. Thomas noted that new school start are tighter this year than before. A bus that runs late on an early morning route is more likely to continue to be late because there is less down time between routes. This, and most other issues, are compounded by a shortage of bus drivers, Thomas said. Without drivers in reserve, it is difficult to relieve a route that is running late. Few additional buses and drivers have become available in the last month, allowing his department to adjust and fixing some routes. The low unemployment rate in Minnesota means high competition for... Continue reading Transportation topics before the School Board this month

What’s standards-based grading? Why does it matter?

If you’ve had a performance evaluation at work, the most valuable part of an evaluation is not a ranking or score. We want to hear what our supervisor says about how we’re doing our work: What we did well and what we could do to improve. It’s constructive feedback that helps us learn and grow. We know this as adults. Yet school systems have focused almost exclusively on grading systems that relied on accumulations of points and calculations of percentages. As a result many students become adept at “playing school.” They figure out for each teacher exactly how much work to do to get the grade they want. This puts all the emphasis on the points, not on the learning. Like a good job evaluation, a good grading system should give students constructive feedback about learning. In Eastern Carver County Schools, we are improving the feedback teachers provide to students. Students should know clearly if they have mastered a learning target or if they need more practice. Elementary gradebooks... Continue reading What’s standards-based grading? Why does it matter?

Understanding standards in learning

Have you ever been given a task but you were unsure of why you were doing it or its purpose? Even if you were successful, there was probably a level of frustration or anxiety. When we are learning something, we are more likely to be successful when we know what needs to be done and understand what a successful outcome looks like. Being as clear as possible about learning goals is essential to a high-quality education and a hallmark of exceptional, personalized learning in Eastern Carver County Schools. This is why our educators are putting learning standards front and center in the teaching and learning process. You may have heard of “standards-based learning” or “standards-based grading.” It may sound like something new, but standards have always been foundational to the learning process. An educator must know what a learner should know and be able to do. Everyone involved in education from preschool through doctorate-level programs uses something like standards, whether they are... Continue reading Understanding standards in learning

School property taxes on a downward trend

As part of preparing the 2018-19 budget, the School Board sets its property tax levy. At the Truth And Taxation Hearing this week, Finance Director DeeDee Kahring told the board that its levy would increase tax revenue by 0.9 percent. Overall, however, school district taxes are on a downward trend, even with extensive school construction in the district over the last two years. Kahring explained that the district’s property tax base is increasing as more homes are occupied and businesses open. As more property owners pay taxes, it requires less effort from each property for school district taxes. This is because school districts in Minnesota collect taxes differently from cities and counties. Essentially, the district levies a lump sum and divides it among all properties. Cities and counties traditionally use a percentage rate that is collected from each property. The chart below shows an estimate of the school district tax rate for various home values. Individual property... Continue reading School property taxes on a downward trend