STEM Educational Opportunities in Owatonna Public Schools starting 2012-2013
After exploring multiple possibilities and reviewing survey results, the K-8 Explorations initiative will meet the goal of providing choice by implementing STEM focused programs in the Owatonna Public Schools. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM education emphasizes critical thinking and creative problem solving within all subject areas. The subjects of reading, math, social studies, science, physical education, music, and art will continue to be the core curriculum but will be integrated when appropriate rather than taught in isolation. Lessons and units will include a higher awareness of science, technology, engineering, and math where applicable.
McKinley Elementary will implement Learn by Design: STEM focus, which will incorporate visual arts, science, technology, engineering, and math throughout subjects. Willow Creek and Owatonna Junior High will provide choice within their schools with E-STEM being implemented in at least one house or team. E-STEM incorporates environmental education along with STEM integration.
All elementary schools will remain as K – 5 grade level schools for the 2012-2013 school year and continue with current attendance boundaries. Families who live in the McKinley boundary area and do not want their child to attend the Learn by Design: STEM school will need to complete an enrollment form to opt out of their boundary area. Lincoln, Washington, Wilson families who want to attend the Learn by Design: STEM school will need to complete an enrollment form to indicate their request. Placement decisions will be based upon enrollment space within the school and families will remain together if that is what is requested.
Parents of current Grade 5, 6, and 7 students will be asked to complete an interest form to indicate if they want their child to be enrolled in the E-STEM or Foundation only house or team. Information from these interest forms will guide decisions about E-STEM implementation at Willow Creek and Owatonna Junior High.
Parents should watch for continued information provided through their child’s school in the coming months.