School starts Sept. 3 in District 191

The new school year begins Tuesday, Sept. 3, for most students in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191.

There are a few exceptions. At Nicollet Junior High School, only seventh-grade students will attend school Sept. 3, with the rest of the student body beginning Sept. 4. Similarly, at Burnsville High School, only 10th-grade students will attend Sept. 3 and be involved in orientation activities all day. All high school students will attend Sept. 4.

All kindergarten students start school Thursday, Sept. 5. They will be meeting their teachers individually for a half hour Sept. 3 and 4. Appointments are being set up at each school.
New leadership highlights changes

Here is an overview of what’s new for the 2013-14 school year in District 191.

Nearly 70 new teachers are coming on board to replace those who have retired or left the district, according to a district news release.

Four elementary schools have new principals: Barbara Borer at Rahn, Drew Goeldner at Sky Oaks, Shannon McParland at Sioux Trail and Erika Nesvig at Harriet Bishop.

The district also has new leadership. Joe Gothard became superintendent on July 1, and Cindy Amoroso became assistant superintendent.

The district’s partnership with Headway Emotional Health Services is expanding to provide 13 mental health professionals in the schools. The partnership is a cost-effective way to provide support for students that helps remove obstacles to their learning, the district says.

Burnsville High School has undergone a second round of summer renovation. The Mraz Center for the Performing Arts has new seating and flooring. The school’s kitchen, serving area and cafeteria have been updated to better serve students. Remodeling work at the school will finish up during the summer of 2014.

Extensive updating has also been taking place at Diamondhead Education Center over the summer.

Special education has a new program for junior and senior high students called Practical Assessment Exploration System. Students get paid simulated money to explore hundreds of jobs in a classroom converted to a work environment. Students become the employees and punch a time-clock while their teachers act as bosses. There are five work areas: business/marketing, consumer services, construction/industrial, computer technology and processing/production. The program component is part of CORE, located at Nicollet Junior High, and supports the transition from school to adult life for students with individual education program plans.

The district’s recycling and composting program will expand to Gideon Pond and Vista View elementaries, Burnsville High School, the Administrative Services Center and Diamondhead Education Center. It was implemented at all other schools last year. It’s good for the environment and saves money on garbage disposal, the district says.

A string instrument program will start at Rahn Elementary School of Arts and Technology. It will be based on the successful strings programs at Harriet Bishop Elementary and Eagle Ridge Junior High.

At Neill Elementary, technology, including interactive white boards, projectors, iPads and document cameras, will be incorporated in every classroom. Co-teaching opportunities are increasing at almost all grade levels, including special education intervention and English as a second language. The school’s kitchen serving line has been updated.