District music programs earn high “notes” and recognition

The district recently received two awards for its outstanding music education staff and programs: Eric Songer, Chaska Middle School West Band Director, was named 2019 Music Education Innovator by the Give A Note Foundation. Grant funds support The Next Generation of Music Education, a public school program that opens up the world of chamber ensembles, pop, hip hop, improv and songwriting. E. Carver Co. Schools music programs were named among the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants... Continue reading District music programs earn high “notes” and recognition

2019-20 Budget Planning Underway

Spring is the time for school districts to develop their budgets for the next school year. These budgets are based on enrollment projections, staff and operating cost increases, academic program plans and assumptions about state funding. Difficult financial decisions are ahead. As we prepare our 2019-20 budget, we know the following: The bulk of the district’s general fund revenue (72%) comes from the state. Because the Minnesota legislative session is not due to end until May 20, we must make assumptions about how much funding we will receive from the state for next year. The combination of unfunded mandates and inadequate state funding has put increasing pressure on our operating budget. We spend $7.4 million dollars annually out of our general budget to cover costs that are not reimbursed from state or federal sources for special education services. If state funding had kept pace with inflation, we would have received more than $6 million in additional funding this year alone. To... Continue reading 2019-20 Budget Planning Underway

Join the Community Conversation Focused on Equity – April 16

Join us for a Community Conversation focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion in Eastern Carver County Schools. Families, students, district staff, and community members are welcome to attend: Community Conversation on equity, diversity & inclusion Tuesday, April 16  /  6:30-8:00 p.m. Clover Ridge Elementary (114000 Hundertmark Rd, Chaska) Community engagement and dialogue are critical to ensure that equity in our schools is more than just a concept. We must listen better, understand more, and create school environments that respect all backgrounds and beliefs. You’re invited to join the conversation as the district continues to develop a more coordinated commitment to equity. As a district, we still have a lot of work to do in our journey to be more equitable and inclusive. We are committed to this work and believe that it will make us a better school district – a district that has a deeper respect, understanding and appreciation for diversity, and a district that embraces... Continue reading Join the Community Conversation Focused on Equity – April 16

Board meeting focuses on commitment to equity

The importance of equity, diversity and inclusion was a focal point of the March 18 School Board meeting. The meeting began with comments by Board Chair Tim Klein affirming the School Board’s commitment to the ongoing work taking place at the district and school levels to ensure that “we embrace the value of diversity and make all of our students and families feel welcome and included.” Read his full comments here. Following open forum comments by community members about the importance of inclusion, Assistant Superintendent Amy LaDue outlined the district’s work to develop a more coordinated commitment to equity. LaDue detailed plans being carried out, including: the process of equity plans at each school, an equity audit of our district, a plan to diversify our staff, and engagement in ongoing efforts to create and maintain environments that are safe, welcoming and inclusive. The goal is to continue engaging in discussions and proactively working together as a community to... Continue reading Board meeting focuses on commitment to equity

Community Survey Shows Support for Our Schools

The results of a scientific, random-sample phone survey of district residents was shared at the March 18 School Board meeting. A few highlights: 91% believe the quality of education provided by Eastern Carver County Schools is excellent or good. This is in line with similar high ratings our district has received over the last several years. Our parents rate the district even higher – with 98% giving us a rating of excellent or good. The “most-liked” parts of our school district are: good teachers, variety of programs and excellent academics. While the highest rated “most serious issue” facing the district was “nothing,” large class sizes were viewed as most serious by 16% of respondents. The majority feel class sizes are about right at elementary and high school, but believe they should be lower at middle school. 87% believe our technology opportunities for students are excellent or good. While only 35% have been following the facilities planning discussions taking place in the... Continue reading Community Survey Shows Support for Our Schools