Laura Oksnevad, School Board Chair for the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District chatted with our Executive Director on Cities Speaks about some positive changes and developments that District 282 is seeing and how the district is managing some of the pressing challenges that are present for schools right now.
Schools have been in session for few weeks now, how has the transition been for teachers and students?
Getting back into the swing of things has been joyous and difficult. One way the District is easing the transition is with a new schedule that supports mental health, and social-emotional needs. An example of this new schedule is “Block Time” and is built right into the daily schedule. It helps provide meaningful and safe ways for students to learn and develop social and emotional skills and gives them the necessary time to engage in deeper learning for academic success, while even allowing downtime to recharge.
What specifically are students learning this year and what is the curriculum?
The pandemic has amplified the social-emotional development of students, in addition to cognitive and physical development. The District focuses on nurturing learners in a wholistic approach to give students a balance of standard rigorous academic skills and important life skills to be part of the community.
What are some additional ways that the District is meeting the needs of the student?
The District is in the process of implementing a system lovingly dubbed, “The Three R’s” – a rigorous relevant curriculum and instruction that is based on authentic developmental relationships. By integrating The Three R’s, this moves the traditional levels of excellence and achievement to higher levels of success for learners. The District is also updating the grading system to support learning by being more accurate, bias resistant, and motivational. By focusing on the learning process and student progress, they can see how the students are moving ahead and meeting academic goals.
How has the Dennison Stadium Field Complex changed the fabric of the schools and the community?
Dennison Stadium Field Complex is a vibrant and bustling addition to the community. This beautiful, state-of-the-art, multi-use athletic facility creates a place for the community to come together. The central park is the epitome of the community and represents the values of the District. And the students and community have a place to feel welcomed and included, and to be supported and connected