Member Profile – Lakeville Area Public Schools
Lakeville Area Public Schools is a partnership of students, families, staff and community committed to excellence and life-long learning. The district is dedicated to the success of every student by setting great expectations, and empowering students to make the most of their individual gifts and unique potential.
The elementary, middle and high schools follow rigorous curriculum standards, which focus on providing a well-rounded, personalized learning experience which positions students to graduate college and career ready. Student academic performance has consistently outpaced state averages, and opportunities in the arts, athletics and community activities give students opportunities to explore and pursue their unique passions.
How many elementary, middle and high schools are in the Lakeville school district? What percentage of the students live in cities other than Lakeville?
The district serves approximately 11,000 students in Dakota and Scott counties, and covers 86 square miles, including most of Lakeville, parts of Burnsville and Elko New Market, and portions of Eureka, Credit River and New Market Townships. There are eight elementary schools (K-5), three middle schools (6-8), two high schools (9-12), an area learning center (7-12), LinK12-Lakeville (an online school serving K-12), and two community education facilities (early childhood family education, youth enrichment and adult education).
What is the average classroom size in the elementary and middle schools? What is the student population in each of the high schools?
Class size and school population fluctuates each year based on enrollment, boundaries and space available. The average elementary school class size is 28 students. At the elementary level, the district follows Board of Education approved elementary class size guidelines. At the middle school level, Century Middle School and McGuire Middle School welcomed approximately 950 students this year, and Kenwood Trail Middle School welcomed approximately 760 students. The average class size at the middle level is 34 students. Current enrollment at each Lakeville Area high school is approximately 1,800 students for the 2018-19 school year with the average class size of 31 students.
What educational challenges have you seen over the years? How have they been addressed?
- Stable funding for E-12 education
Like most Minnesota public school districts, unstable state funding for E-12 education continues to be a challenge for Lakeville Area Public Schools. Overall state funding has not kept pace with inflation which directly impacts our classrooms. In addition, the lack of special education funding from the state and federal government also continues to be a funding challenge for all Minnesota school districts. The community’s support of voter-approved referendums has been critical to helping maintain the high-quality education we continue to provide our students.
- Addressing capacity issues
Many Lakeville Area schools are currently operating at or above capacity across the district. A Long-Term Facilities task force recently presented recommendations to the Board of Education for strategic additions and school boundary adjustments. The addition of one classroom per grade level is recommended at up to four elementary schools, potentially including Lake Marion, Cherry View, Eastview and Christina Huddleston. Additions were also recommended for all middle schools to address large class sizes like at Century, which has been operating at over 100 percent capacity for the past three years.
Facility upgrades are also recommended district wide for special education and early childhood education as well as at the Lakeville Area Learning Center, McGuire Middle School and Impact Academy at Orchard Lake.
The number of students enrolled in special education programming and early childhood programming continues to steadily grow. Additional space is needed in order to ensure sufficient and appropriate classroom space district wide.
- Ensuring safer schools
Security improvements are recommended to continue to address the growing safety concerns of the world we live in today. Under the advisement of the district’s Security Emergency Management Committee, the Long-Term Facilities task force has recommended altering building entrances in order to provide better sightlines and to direct visitors to the main offices. It also recommended compartmentalizing areas of schools for lockdown and creating hardened safe rooms.
In 2015, Lakeville Area voters approved a capital levy which enhanced safety and security measures throughout the district by $100,000 per year for 10 years. Access Control Systems (ACS) were installed at all elementary schools, middle schools, community education buildings and the district’s administrative office to track and monitor building visitors. The capital funding supports improved internal and external security measures such as security cameras as well as overall ACS maintenance. Even with this dedicated funding source, additional dollars are needed to further enhance security and safety measures district wide.
What’s to come:
Following the Long-Term Facilities task force presentation June 19 on recommendations to address and prioritize the district’s facility needs, the Board of Education is expressing interest in conducting a public opinion survey this fall to gather input from residents including their satisfaction with the district and future needs, including facility recommendations.
The Long-Term Facilities Task Force, which was established in 2016 to develop a 10-year facility plan, reconvened in February to develop recommendations for how to address and prioritize the many facility needs within the district given the capacity issues facing Lakeville Area schools as well as the current condition of the Area Learning Center and the district’s administrative office.
Teen drug use and violence are on everyone’s mind. Are they a problem in the Lakeville School District? What is the Lakeville School District doing to address student issues (e.g. drugs and truancy)?
Lakeville Area Public Schools is committed to meeting student needs through ongoing staff development, school-based counseling and support, and consultation and care coordination with community-based professionals when requested. The district promotes chemical health through prevention efforts throughout our schools and community. As a community we are not immune to these types of issues; however, the district has fewer reports of these types issues per data from the Minnesota Student Survey. In addition to school-based curriculum, community partnerships are vital to prevention of youth substance use. Through collaboration with various partners like University of Minnesota Extension and our local PATH (Proactive Approaches to Health) Coalition, we are also working on sustainable, environmental strategies to prevent youth use and access.
What will we see in the future?
We are very proud of our strengths, and we continue to focus on opportunities to raise student achievement for continual growth. Our focus is for each and every student in our district to be successful– personally, socially, academically and civically.