School Spotlight: Meadowbrook Elementary adds on
A Golden Valley elementary school is so popular that students outside the district are trying to get in. Academic excellence, diversity and a positive behavioral program are some of the things that make Meadowbrook Elementary School so attractive. In fact, approximately 50 percent of students are open-enrolled from other districts.
However, the popularity also comes with a price.
“Right now, we’re just on top of each other. We’re in lots of shared spaces,” said Principal Greta Evans-Becker.
Nearly 800 Kindergarten through 6th grade students call Meadowbrook Elementary home. They are using every available space they have to accommodate the growing student population.
“We knocked a wall out between two offices and are using that for a temporary classroom. We got rid of the computer lab, and that is a temporary classroom,” explained Evans-Becker.
However, relief is on the way. Crews are busy working on a new addition.
With excitement in her eyes, the Principal said, “We will have nine classrooms and they’ll be a courtyard, a loading dock and a little small addition on the lunchroom also.”
Supporting Students Mental Needs
Teachers and staff are helping students to grow mentally, too. The school integrated a policy called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, commonly called PBIS. Teachers and staff set examples of how to act in the classrooms, hallways, lunchroom and other areas. The goal is to support positive behavioral and academic outcomes for all students.
“I believe that that is the positive way to see those kids and to make sure they know that we all believe in them,” said third-grade teacher Sarah Gleason.
Communication and engagement are a big part of the curriculum.
“We want to make those connections,” said Gleason. “You have to make connections with kids, they have to trust you in order to learn.”
Meadowbrook is one of a handful of schools in the district that has a tower garden. A tower garden is a vertical growing system that allows students to grow up to 20 vegetables, fruits and flowers in less than three square feet—indoors or out.
“There’s a tank right under there, that spreads water through there, and that light, helps them grow,” explains sixth grader Kobum Lien.
Students enjoy watching their plants grow right before their eyes. They say the best part is getting to eat the fruits and veggies.