School Spotlight: Elm Creek Elementary
Elm Creek Elementary is an award-winning community school which serves about 520 children in Maple Grove. Teachers and staff create an environment of opportunity and encouragement.
The Osseo School District school is a one of eight schools to receive recognition as a 2017-2018 Minnesota School of Excellence. We were there when the school was given its official plaque. Students jumped up and down and cheered at Principal Beth Ness accepted the award. “I’m very proud of my school and the award comes from the strengths of the community, our families, our students,” said Ness.
The school won the award for improving in areas like technology, parent volunteers and providing opportunities for students through partnership with local businesses and organizations.
Excelling in the classroom
“The Osseo Lions and Maple Grove Lions gave us some grant money and we did something called the Eagle’s Roost,” explained Ness. The Eagle’s roost is a place for students to unwind and calm down.
When it comes to academics, more than half the students are meeting or exceeding state standards in math and reading. The school also has several programs to help students who are developmentally and cognitively delayed, to succeed. “We have resource teachers who work with students with specific learning disabilities and autism,” said Ness. “We also have speech therapy, occupational therapy and a motor room.”
Opportunities for all
There are opportunities for all students. Elm Creek TV, also known as ECTV, allows students to shine in front of and behind the camera.
Meanwhile, the student council–holds events to bring classmates together. They do activities like “Wacky Friday,” where students dress up in crazy clothes.
Many students participate in the Kindness Club. The group teaches compassion and empathy. The student recently made this kindness tree, with message of thanks.
Students also like to give back. They’ve held food drives, and gave out hats and mittens. They also made blankets. “We do the Project Linus and we make tie blankets. We do the Ronald McDonald and collect pop tabs for families in need who need to stay with their kids,” explained student Lauren Alexander.
Cultivating a culture of creativity and high academic standards are what make Elm Creek elementary a top school.