La Academia names new principal

     Gretchen Kleinsasser, Principal / La Academia & Kinder Academy Gretchen Kleinsasser has been named principal of La Academia, the district’s two-way dual language Spanish Immersion elementary school. The school also houses the district’s Kinder Academy program. Kleinsasser brings a mix of leadership experience, working in a traditional immersion school and teaching in Mexico.  Most recently, she worked in Eden Prairie Schools where she was associate principal of Oak Point Elementary School. She has served roles in that district in Q-Comp leadership and as an elementary immersion teacher. Kleinsasser has an Educational Specialist Degree from St. Mary’s University and a Master’s degree from Hamline University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. La Academia is a two-way immersion program that combines students from two language groups for instruction in both of their languages. In a two-way dual language... Continue reading La Academia names new principal

Planting Seeds for Life-Long Learning: School Gardens

School gardens throughout the district are thriving, thanks to the dedication of students, families, school PTOs, staff, local businesses, and Carver County Master Gardeners. These gardens are a source of learning for students throughout the summer and into the school year. Teachers from a variety of studies, including science, social studies, math/engineering, etc., often creatively incorporate their school garden into Standards-Based lesson plans to learn about topics such as life-cycle, germination, the history of the land, and more. Not only do students enjoy the school gardens and have fun taking care of them, but they also walk away with a strong sense of community and environmental stewardship. This sustainable model makes for great learning opportunities. Learn about the school gardens in our district: Bluff Creek Elementary Students planted the first seeds in this garden four years ago with the goal of establishing an outdoor focal point for learning. At the start of the... Continue reading Planting Seeds for Life-Long Learning: School Gardens

SW Metro Chamber of Commerce Meet & Greet at Pioneer Ridge Pool

We hosted Southwest Metro Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meet and greet at the new Pioneer Ridge Middle School pool, June 19. The school district is a member of the chamber and Superintendent Clint Christopher currently serves on its board of directors. A number of our high school students have business mentors through a program coordinated by the chamber. It was a hot and humid morning in the pool, but that didn’t stop good conversations and... Continue reading SW Metro Chamber of Commerce Meet & Greet at Pioneer Ridge Pool

District 112 Foundation Teacher Grants & WiFi Hotspot Additions

District 112 Foundation has awarded three fully funded teacher grants. This was made possible by a $3,500 grant from Charter Bank to the District 112 Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to support excellence and innovation in Eastern Carver County Schools. Thank you, Charter Bank, for enabling District 112 Foundation to support the following grants: Coding to Fly Drones: This grant enables the implementation of what used to be a pilot program to give all 5th grade students the opportunity to learn how to code to fly drones to generate student interest in coding. ​See a video of this project in action! Learning a New Language Through Light Reading: ​This grant gives students studying Spanish at Pioneer Ridge Middle School voice and choice through developing an in-classroom Spanish language magazine library. Magazines, as a form of light literature, appeal to a variety of student interests and proficiency levels. Photography Portrait Studio: This grant provides Chaska... Continue reading District 112 Foundation Teacher Grants & WiFi Hotspot Additions

1,000-plus more students coming to E. Carver Co. Schools

Enrollment in E. Carver Co. Schools is expected to grow by more than 1,000 students in the next five years, according to a study by Davis Demographics. The School Board reviewed the study on Monday. Davis does demographic work in 44 states for K-12 school districts. Our district’s growth is driven by housing developments on the west side of the school district, primarily in Victoria and Carver. Single-family detached homes generate the most school-aged children and that is the majority of development. The district will monitor housing developments and continue to update its enrollment projections. This coming fall, district staff estimate a student population of 9,785, a one-year increase of about 175. The School Board will use the demographic study and a facility study to convene a task force that develops planning options for the district’s... Continue reading 1,000-plus more students coming to E. Carver Co. Schools

What’s happening next year with Empower and standards-based learning?

A number of surveys and in-person meetings around standards-based learning have happened this school year (2017-18) with students, teachers and parents. A variety of work has been happening all year, and the result of it will be evident this coming fall. Next school year, expect the following action steps to be completed: Most relevant for parents/guardians are technical improvements to Empower. The student interface will be revamped, and a feature added to give quicker access to assignment feedback and grades. Overall, these adjustments will create a more user-friendly experience. High school principals will work with teachers more closely on the implementation phases for standards-based learning. Some of the teaching and assessment practices required for standards-based learning are different from the way some teachers were trained originally. They need more time to introduce practices in their classrooms that support personalized learning and standards-based learning. This will... Continue reading What’s happening next year with Empower and standards-based learning?

2018 Parent/Guardian survey results

Results of Eastern Carver County School’s parent/guardian survey indicates strong satisfaction with the school district. Eighty-two percent of respondents said they were happy with the school district. This result is the same as the 2016 survey. Every other year, the district sends a survey via email to 3,000 parents/guardians selected at random. Typical response rate is about 30 percent. This year 955 individuals responded, and of those respondents, 83 percent completed all survey questions. The district conducts this survey as one way to monitor on-going satisfaction with the district. This survey helps track key indicators, but it is not considered a scientifically-valid study.  The sample of parents/guardians is not designed to accurately mirror the district population and nonresponse bias is likely with an email survey. Eastern Carver County Schools conducts a scientific survey in alternating years with this email survey. The results and written comments from this survey... Continue reading 2018 Parent/Guardian survey results

Deferred maintenance: Keeping our schools up-to-date

One of the most significant parts of the 2015 referendum — and the least known — was $7.5 milllion for deferred maintenance. Our schools are exceptionally-maintained and, apart from the architecture, it is difficult to tell that a few of them are nearly 50 years old. On-going maintenance is how we keep buildings looking good and and operating efficiently. Deferred maintenance may not be as exciting as opening a new school. Yet, it is essential to preserve past investments the public has made in Eastern Carver County Schools. Deferred maintenance dollars from the 2015 referendum reached most schools in the district. Here are some of the major repairs and updates. Keep in mind that for every large item on this list, there are a half-dozen smaller items, like carpet repairs in an office or tile repairs to a bathroom. Bluff Creek Elementary: re-roofing Chanhassen Elementary School: re-roofing Clover Ridge Elementary School: pavement repair Chaska High School: re-roofing,... Continue reading Deferred maintenance: Keeping our schools up-to-date

5th graders debate the topics of the day

On Tuesday, May 29, 30 fifth-grade students attended Eastern Carver County Schools’ annual Lincoln-Douglas debates. The students debated in the historic Church by the River in downtown Carver. Guest attorney, Steven Pattee, also offered his time to facilitate a mock trial at Carver Place. Eastern Carver County Schools Debates are coordinated by District 112 Elementary Gifted Services teachers.    ... Continue reading 5th graders debate the topics of the day