Weaver Lake, Birch Grove elementary schools earn national magnet school honors

Two Osseo Area Schools elementary magnet schools have earned national honors from Magnet Schools of America, an organization that provides leadership and instructional support to magnet schools across the U.S. Both Weaver Lake Elementary and Birch Grove Elementary School have been named a 2014 National Magnet School of Distinction. Only 13 schools in Minnesota earned national recognition this year.

Weaver Lake Elementary: A Science, Math and Technology School provides a dynamic, inquiry-based learning environment for students in grades kindergarten through sixth. Weaver Lake’s program incorporates value-added, hands-on activities that focus on problem solving and analytical thinking skills, and are based on real life experiences. The school’s integrated project-based, thematic approach to teaching has increased academic growth in all areas. This is the seventh consecutive year that the Osseo Area Schools elementary STEM program has been honored nationally.

Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts is an arts magnet for grades kindergarten through sixth that integrates visual arts, music, drama and dance into the classroom curriculum while providing value-added opportunities in the arts. Students receive daily standards-based instruction with arts specialists and have the opportunity to participate in arts elective classes, performing troupes, early-entrance band and orchestra, and an all-school musical. This is the sixth time Birch Grove has been national recognized by MSA.

“Announcing the recipients of our national merit awards is always a highlight of the year for the magnet school community. It is an opportunity for us to acknowledge our nation’s most exemplary theme-based magnet programs,” said MSA Executive Director, Scott Thomas. “Nearly 300 schools applied for merit awards this year making 2014 especially competitive.”

Principals Dennis Palm (Weaver Lake) and Jeff Zastrow (Birch Grove) will receive their respective awards at the 32nd National Conference on Magnet Schools in May.

Enrollment for the 2014-15 school year is under way at all District 279 schools. To enroll, contact the district’s Enrollment Center at 763-585-7350. For more information about District 279 magnet schools, visit the district website at www.district279.org.