Osseo Middle School uses its diversity to help students learn
If you look around the halls of Osseo Middle School, you see a very diverse population. More than 1,000 students attend the school. Osseo Middle School is embracing its diversity by offering courses that match its student body.

"Our building is really working hard to make sure that we are recognizing and celebrating differences," said Laura Ringen, assistant principal at Osseo Middle School.

One of those courses Osseo Middle School offers focuses on Native American history and culture. The American Indian Education class has been offered at the school for 22 years.

"As American Indian people, we don't see ourselves reflective in the curriculum," explained Ramona Kitto Stately, an American Indian cultural language specialist.

That's not the case at Osseo Middle School. Kitto Stately says enhancing cultural identity of American Indian children has had a positive impact. Osseo Area Schools have one of the highest graduating rates of American Indian students in the state.

Staff and teachers say they focus on the whole student, merging emotional and academics together.

"We understand that until they're in a place socially and emotionally, they're probably not going to be able to learn academically," said Principal Brian Chance. 

An intervention plan is in place for students who might need extra help in math and other subjects.

"We review our data, and then we have our site improvement team that focuses on that, and identifies which students or group of students aren't being successful and we establish interventions for them, both in math, reading and with behavioral and social, emotional issues," said Chance.

Osseo Middle School offers a variety of after-school programs including food science, chess, language, art and cooking. The school also teams up with several community partners, including General Mills to provide children opportunities they might not get in a typical class setting.

Sonya Goins, reporting

Feb. 1, 2018


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