Videos of Parent Activity Night and Information Session

March 2, 2012

A STEM Parent Activity Night and Information Session was held on Monday, February 27.  Approximately 200 parents and 120 students participated in the Works Museum STEM activities.  Thank you to our many adult and student volunteers who helped facilitate the stations and provide activities for the students while the parents attended the information session. 

The activities and information session was video-taped so that those who were not able to attend are still able to access the information.

Click to view examples of the activities:

STEM activities

Click to view the information session:

Information Session


Videos of Parent Activity Night and Information Session

March 2, 2012

A STEM Parent Activity Night and Information Session was held on Monday, February 27.  Approximately 200 parents and 120 students participated in the Works Museum STEM activities.  Thank you to our many adult and student volunteers who helped facilitate the stations and provide activities for the students while the parents attended the information session. 

The activities and information session was video-taped so that those who were not able to attend are still able to see and hear the information. 


Videos of Parent Activity Night and Information Session

March 2, 2012

STEM Activity Night and Information Session

February 24, 2012

A STEM informational event for Owatonna parents and 2012-2013 K-7 school-age students will take place at McKinley Elementary School on Monday, February 27, 2012 starting at 6:00 PM.  We will begin the night with a brief welcome followed by The Works Museum, out of Bloomington, providing STEM activities for parents and school-age students to experience examples of STEM focused learning.  We will then have an informational meeting with Doug Paulson from the MN Department of Education to hear about STEM and how it has been implemented in other schools across Minnesota.  You will also learn about enrollment request processes and the next steps of our implementation.

Parents and students throughout our Owatonna School District are invited to attend this activity night and information session.

We will videotape the evening’s activities and information session for parents to view online, on the Education News cable channel, and available as per request for parents who are unable to attend.


STEM Educational Opportunities in Owatonna K-8

January 24, 2012

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.

 


Leadership and Inquiry Foundations of Owatonna K-8

January 24, 2012

K-8 Explorations, an initiative within the Owatonna Public Schools, focused on two goals: improving academic achievement for all learners and providing student choice.  Improving academic achievement for all developed into a foundation of leadership and inquiry at all K-8 buildings within the school district.  The Leadership foundation, which is being implemented this school year, introduces all students to Leadership based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  The second foundation, Inquiry, will be introduced to students this spring.  In preparation to implement Inquiry across all content areas, all K-8 staff spent the recent district staff development day with Stephanie Harvey, co-author of Comprehension and Collaboration.

So what is Inquiry?  Inquiry based learning is focused around student’s questions.  Students spend more time working together to solve problems through thinking, questioning and discovery.  The teacher’s role shifts from a focus on direct instruction to supporting students through a process of discovering knowledge themselves.  This approach places ownership and responsibility for being an active learner with the student.  The goal is that in addition to learning content; students are also learning how to be a learner, thinker and creative problem solver.  An inquiry approach provides students with the skills necessary to be successful in our ever changing world.


3 Choices Survey coming in October – Check out this 12 minute video

October 5, 2011

Since the K-4 changes have been made to the K-8 Explorations initiative, it is important for parents to understand what choices remain and what those choices might look like.  This video is meant to answer some frequently asked questions about these changes and to provide some video of schools who have implemented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Project-Based Learning.  The third choice will be for schools to continue with the foundation only of leadership and inquiry.

Please watch this 12 minute video to learn more and be well prepared to provide your input into what will be implemented within the Owatonna Public School District.

http://www.youtube.com/user/k8explorations#p/a/u/1/PUkIpJj-R6Q

The October survey will be conducted during the fall Parent-Teacher conferences at the elementary schools and will be a very short survey.  This survey will also be mailed to parents of children age 3 through Kindergarten since they will not be attending conferences.

Updated brochures were handed out at Home Child School Day or will be sent home with children at the elementary schools as well as having already been mailed to parents of children age 3, 4, and 5 year in our community.  If you have not received an updated brochure, please contact your child’s school or the District Office.