Ensuring our schools welcome and appreciate all

Last month, Eastern Carver County Schools was in the news based on an allegation that a school had not adequately responded to reports of racial harassment. The event that prompted the media to feature our district was a student who found a racial slur written on the shirt he kept in school for his personal wellness class. We are investigating that specific incident. The issue raised a larger question about whether our school district is doing enough to combat bigotry and, in particular, racial harassment. Parents of students of color, in particular, are asking me and other school leaders whether their children are safe in our schools. Our schools have and will continue to respond to every incident of harassment that is reported to us. We have a disciplinary process for incidents that happen in school. If something happens outside of the school day and we cannot respond with school discipline, our administrators and counselors still talk with students to educate them and to be clear... Continue reading Ensuring our schools welcome and appreciate all

Facility task force helping prioritize our “to-do” list

A chill in the air means that for many, the holiday season is approaching and fall parent-teacher conferences have wrapped up. It’s also the time we raise the dome over the Athletic Center. This is our community’s second season with athletic fields protected from the weather. This is going to be a community amenity for years to come. Students at Pioneer Ridge Middle School are now swimming as part of their personal wellness classes. Carver Elementary and the additions at Victoria and Clover Ridge elementary schools now operate as if they were always there. We hear from families in other school districts who view our facilities and our excellent curriculum with envy. We’re grateful for the support of our community in the 2015 referendum that provided these facilities. Survey results indicate 93 percent of residents rate the quality of our schools as good or excellent, one of the highest results in the metro area. We do not take any of it for granted. After the first few years, new... Continue reading Facility task force helping prioritize our “to-do” list

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

We’re Welcoming More & More Students in Our Schools

You may have noticed there’s a lot of housing construction in our area. This brings a familiar cycle to our community: New single-family homes mean more students in our schools. A year ago, we opened our newest elementary school, Carver Elementary. When we began planning for that school in 2015, the prediction was it would fill up in about five years. Instead, we are one or two years away from nearing capacity. When the unexpected happens, some people wonder whether the district spent enough time and effort in the planning phase. Prior to the 2015 referendum, three task forces of parents, teachers, students, staff and administrators spent three years reviewing facility usage, housing, enrollment and other trends. In spite of all this forethought, it is difficult to predict the economic trends around home buying or how developers use land or when cities issue building permits. We saw that as soon as Carver Elementary was official, all around that location, new housing developments... Continue reading We’re Welcoming More & More Students in Our Schools