District Defense of STEAM

Well, District 281 continues to use their well-oiled machine to pump it up for the new STEAM magnet school at Olson elementary.  Communications director Tia Clasen wrote this in the sun post last week;

As the administrator in charge of marketing and communications in the Robbinsdale Area Schools, I need to dispel some misconceptions about the Olson STEAM magnet so that our communities have the correct facts.

Misconceptions? Having the correct facts? People who oppose the magnet idea disagree with the concept, they aren’t ignorant of the facts!

Let me clarify: the financial model used for the STEAM magnet does require open enrollment. That should come as no surprise, as in order to create new programming, funding is needed, and rather than “take away from existing programs,” we wish to bring in new funding that comes with new students, or with students who may previously have attended schools other than Robbinsdale Area Schools.

Open enrollment is required?? We’ve been accused of making that up! I guess we were right!

The one-third number that is being conveyed doesn’t solely come from the new magnet. It is a ratio of the number of seats at that school that would be above and beyond the current open enrollment in the district and could be filled by new students coming to any school.

So the one-third number is right or wrong?

The financial model uses numbers that are in keeping with the current percentage of open-enrolled students in the district (approximately 10 percent).

Regarding the financial timeline, the district would begin to see revenue as a result of the STEAM magnet after year nine, using a very conservative financial model. Then the revenue enhancement increases, with an over $5.5 million revenue enhancement in year 14.

Of course, that’s assuming everything stays the same 14 years from now…..

Implying that we can continue to be an exemplary district by contracting within our own walls is simply not forward thinking. I personally don’t wish to “exist,” but to grow and continue to offer students the best possible education anywhere.

Who is implying that? We can’t be a good district unless we open another magnet? According to District 281 they are already the best at everything!

As both a former teacher and coordinator of magnet programs, a “school-within-a-school” model of programming, for STEAM specifically and at the elementary level, is not feasible nor what is best for students. I’m not sure how one assumes this can be done in a “school-within-a-school” model. Would kids be pulled out to learn STEM? If so, that’s not STEM education. Would the school pool their K-5 students together in a STEM classroom? If so, how would that work with such a vast difference in curriculum, age of students, and developmental level?

Wait a minute? Wasn’t the “school within a school option” presented by the district? If it wasn’t feasible, why was it ever mentioned as an option?

The development of a STEAM magnet at Olson Elementary School will provide options for families, and give new families the opportunity to experience the great things that Robbinsdale Area Schools has to offer.

Yes and remember choice is great as long as Robbinsdale provides it.  What if a charter school pushed the STEAM program and offered “choice to our area.” Would District 281 love that?

It will also have a direct effect on the learning across the district.

While I appreciate the opinions of others, this district is moving forward; it is innovative and fresh. Things are happening all across the district that is taking our students to the next level. We must jump on this train of fast-changing education for the benefit not only of our students, but our community members, our residents, and our students yet to come.

We are moving forward and you better get on board!

Tia Clasen is the marketing and communications program director for the Robbinsdale Area Schools.

One Response to “District Defense of STEAM”

  1. 281exposedexposed Says:

    Why won’t you cock sucker post my reply?

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