District 911 year-round schools explore innovative learning ideas

District 911’s year-round program begins July 31.
District 911’s year-round program begins July 31.

District 911 Staff
Cambridge-Isanti Schools

Entering its 19th year of existence, District 911’s free year round program continues to offer area students unique and innovative learning experiences. The year-round program begins its 2014-15 school year July 31.

The School for All Seasons (SFAS), grades K-5, and Minnesota Center (MNC), grades 6-8, provide families and students with an educational option that focuses on exploring Science, Technology, Environment, Arts, and Math — STEAM — in a small school setting.

The year-round program utilizes a calendar that provides learning throughout all four seasons. This calendar is based upon a shorter summer break; the school year is divided into four 7-10 week sessions separated by 2-3 week intersession breaks. These breaks give students the opportunity to take advantage of extra learning support. New this year, students will also be able to participate in enrichment activities like performing arts during intersessions to help encourage concepts of creative thinking and exploring.

As we enter our second year with a STEAM focus, we are expanding our K-8 experiences by providing four Environmental Days at Legacy Park in Isanti, one during each of our Minnesota seasons.

Additionally, we are following up the project-based learning activities and exploratories students participate in with end-of-trimester Family and Community Nights. Family and community involvement helps support students in the program and enables them to showcase their passions and talents first-hand.

As we continue to look forward to enhancing our students’ experiences, we are increasing our technology access at the K-5 level to a 3-to-1 ratio of students to technology device. At the middle school, we are executing a 1-to-1 Chromebook to student ratio that supports a paperless English language arts pilot. Students and staff will continue to immerse themselves in a technology rich environment allowing for deeper discussions and project-based learning.

The year-round calendar advantageously provides staff with the opportunity to receive on-going professional development throughout the school year without pulling teachers from the classroom. This maximizes the amount of instructional time and new opportunities for students.

The unique settings of the year-round program — which are smaller than a traditional school — offer personalized learning experiences that allow for flexible grouping and multi-age options.

This also allows us the ability to use local resources and to partner with local community organizations, such as the Anoka-Ramsey Community College and the City of Isanti, in distinct ways.

To learn more about District 911’s year-round program visit www.cambridge.k12.mn.us. or call SFAS Principal, Mark Ziebarth, at 763-552-8801 or MNC Principal, Randy Pauly, at 763-691-8605.