Our schools are the first district-wide E-STEM schools in the state of Minnesota. E-STEM stands for Environmental Education, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
E-STEM is an interdisciplinary approach to instruction and learning focused on inquiry and real world problem-solving in the 21st Century, applying hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematical practices with projects and field experiences related to the environment.
E-STEM is available to all E-12 students. An E-STEM Implementation Committee comprised of staff from elementary, middle school and high school works to ensure E-STEM aligns with curriculum, skills and experiences through 12th grade in all curricular areas.
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is also the only district in the state to have an Environmental Education (EE) program that grows with the students from ECFE to high school. Our award-winning programs have been modeled by school districts throughout the state and country.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Education recognized our district as one of the first ever Green Ribbon Schools Sustainability Districts in the nation for our energy efficient buildings, healthy students and school environment, and environmental literacy of all graduates. Jeffers Pond, Five Hawks, Redtail Ridge and Glendale have all been named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.
Thanks to community partners, innovative teachers, our Community Education services and the natural beauty surrounding our district, our schools lead the way in integration of environmental education into all aspects of the school day.
Every school in the district has a robust recycling and composting program, and naturally, a great deal of learning happens outdoors. However, our program is unique in that EE is embedded into the core curriculum. This is a major component to the success of the program which results in students who learn to become critical thinkers and approach problem solving by studying multiple perspectives.
Every school has an outdoor classroom setting used by teachers and students. Each year, our elementary schools hold a day-long, outdoor EE festival that has captured the attention of Twin Cities media and has become a tradition students look forward to each year.
Our EE program would not be possible without the commitment of our many partners that contribute time and resources each year in our district.