Informational Meetings for New Kindergarten, Middle School, and High School Families

If you have a student or know a student entering kindergarten, middle school, or high school next year, you may be interested in attending one of the following events. These events are not required but give parents an opportunity to learn more about what our schools have to offer. Middle school and high school registration events will take place in February. Enrolled kindergarten students will be invited to a special event in May. Kindergarten Parent Preview – An informational meeting for parents/guardians. Children will be invited to a special kindergarten event in May. Attend either the webinar or in-person event; the same information will be presented. Webinar | Tue, Nov. 13, 12:00 p.m. – Learn more about our kindergarten options from the comfort of your own home or office. Sign up at eccs.mn/kweb. If you cannot attend the live event, register anyway to receive a link to the recording. Parent Preview at Your Child’s School | Thu, Nov. 15, 6:00 or 7:30 p.m. – Attend a... Continue reading Informational Meetings for New Kindergarten, Middle School, and High School Families

Planning for the future of our facilities

And just like that, we’re back to school. School routines have been re-established and classrooms are busy again with learning. We’re grateful for each family that chose Eastern Carver County Schools this year. We have a number of advantages that make us a destination for families, including our commitment to personalized learning, safe and welcoming schools and opportunities for students whatever their interests. As discussed in a previous column, this summer was dedicated to studies for Eastern Carver County Schools’ future. Housing growth is all around us. New homes bring young families and children. All four of our cities – Chaska, Chanhassen, Victoria and Carver – have new home construction. As a result of developments underway and planned, we expect to have 1,000 more students in our district in four years. Enrollment is only half the story. We have to maintain our existing facilities. Previous generations of residents helped establish our district with schools that met needs... Continue reading Planning for the future of our facilities

School district taxes still declining

Setting the school district’s property tax levy is one of the first steps the School Board takes to plan the 2019-20 budget. That started Sept. 24 when Finance and Operations Director DeeDee Kahring presented the preliminary tax levy. Kahring explained the proposal to increase the district’s tax levy by 5.88 percent will not increase taxes on most properties in Eastern Carver County Schools (the cities of Chaska, Chanhassen, Carver and Victoria). This is because that proposed increased is offset by two factors: There are more properties in the school district, and property values are increasing. School district taxes, overall, have been declining since 2015 due to the growing tax base, and conservative fiscal management by the School Board and district administration. After reviewing the preliminary tax levy, it can be adjusted based on improved enrollment estimates and any corrections from the Minnesota Department of Education. The final levy is approved at another... Continue reading School district taxes still declining

Public task force to look to district’s future, including 2019 referendum

Important planning around demographic and facility studies were the focus of Monday night’s School Board meeting. Eastern Carver County Schools administration completed these studies over the summer and presented them to the School Board over the last two months. The next step, discussed on Sept. 24, is to convene a task force consisting of parents, two school board members, and school and district administration. This group will prioritize needs for new construction needed to match enrollment growth and for essential school maintenance. The task force will make recommendations to the board in early 2019. In the spring, the board will begin its process to decide what to ask of the public in a referendum in November 2019. Demographic wave The demographic study showed that Eastern Carver County Schools’ growth is accelerating due to new home construction. In the next four years, 1,000 additional students are predicted to enroll in Eastern Carver County Schools, primarily at... Continue reading Public task force to look to district’s future, including 2019 referendum

National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named

Two seniors from Chanhassen and Chaska High Schools have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. This achievement puts them among the top high school scholars in the country. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship Award, which are announced in the spring of 2019, the students must fulfill several requirements. Finalists are chosen based on their academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received. Rory Bartels, Chaska High School National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist Tanner Brady, Chanhassen High School National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist  ... Continue reading National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Named

Facility study points to maintenance costs and management of enrollment growth

Eastern Carver County Schools has been a growing district for decades. Apart from a few, individual years when enrollment was flat or declined slightly, every school year brings higher enrollment. While Eastern Carver County Schools opened a new elementary school last year, some of its schools are nearly 50 years old. We’re like a parent in a demographic sandwich, who’s caring for young children and aging parents at the same time. To navigate this situation, the school district conducted a facilities study in early 2018 led by Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. Keep schools in good shape The results, which the School Board heard on Monday, say Eastern Carver County Schools is facing more than $150 million in maintenance costs over the next 10 years. The 2015 referendum provided $7.5 million for deferred maintenance, and like a residential home, upkeep is an ongoing need. The study analyzed each school in detail. Issues identified include heating and ventilation systems,... Continue reading Facility study points to maintenance costs and management of enrollment growth