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Viewpoint: Red Wing's education planning moves full STEAM ahead

By Karsten Anderson, superintendent of Red Wing Public Schools

In early May, the School Board took action on a human resources plan that will help implement the school district's educational plan. In addition, other non-personnel steps are being taken to help fulfill promises made during the operating levy campaign. This column will highlight our progress and explain the next steps.

A critical part of our educational plan relates to strengthening our career, college, and life readiness framework. To that end, Mick Wendland was hired to coordinate community-based, work-based learning opportunities, and the School Board authorized the hiring of an additional secondary industrial technology teacher. Staff members are also identifying curriculum and equipment to enhance hands-on learning, especially in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) area.

Providing stronger academic, behavioral, and counseling support is also an important focus. Next year, we will have an additional secondary school counselor and greater access to mental health therapists. The high school will also implement a Relationships, Education, Accountability, Character, and Hard Work or REACH program so staff members can work with at-risk students in small groups in a classroom setting. And at our elementary and middle schools, the hiring of two positive behavior intervention supports coaches was authorized to enhance school climate and improve student behavior.

As promised during the operating levy campaign, this summer we will be refurnishing the metals lab so we have equipment that better prepares our students for the manufacturing and engineering jobs.

Student computers are being ordered and teachers are selecting a new math curriculum that will include an online component.

Additional purchases will be made in subsequent years to further enhance our curriculum and technology programs.

The focus now turns from decision-making to implementation. It will be a busy summer, but I am grateful for the passage of the operating levy referendum that will provide important resources for our students.

As always, feel free to contact me at 651-385-4502 or klanderson@rwps.org if you have any questions or concerns about the school district.