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McDermott: Thanks for helping build I.J. Holton

Published 11:32am Friday, September 27, 2013

By Jean McDermott

I.J. Holton Principal

Thanks for helping build new school

This is an open invitation to the community and family and friends of I.J. Holton Intermediate School students to attend our open house and dedication program from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. The dedication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the Holton gym. Following the program there will be opportunities for tours, technology demonstrations, and hands-on family activities for everyone to try.

I would like to thank the community for the foresight, thought and determination that you put into the designing of this beautiful new school for our fifth- and sixth-grade students. When given the task of brainstorming solutions to the district’s increasing student enrollment which caused a need for more space in our schools, you rolled up your sleeves and looked at your options — all of them. You were not willing to settle for building “just another school.” You felt our children deserved more.

Working with architects, listening to educational reform information, studying our demographics all played into the final decision to design a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) school which would give access to all fifth- and sixth-grade students, to the education, environment, and equipment needed to become successful students and citizens in the 21st century.

The staff members of I.J. Holton Intermediate School know that now it is our turn to help students make the best use of the school and tools you have given them. Through a partnership with the University of Minnesota, our staff has been developing and will continue to develop their expertise in the areas of the engineering design process, and inquiry and collaboration strategies which are used in all curricular areas. We are excited to see the transformation in the way we teach and the way our students learn in our new school.

We appreciate the cooperative efforts of all the many people involved in this worthwhile project from inception to completion — those who generated ideas, those who designed, those who created, and now those who are teaching and learning. On our cafeteria wall hangs a quote from Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

You, Austin, had the vision to see that change, and through our children we will share that change with the world. Thank you!


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