Southgate offers children a good place to learn

Published 5:01 pm Saturday, March 14, 2015

By Edwina Harder

Southgate Elementary Principal

Southgate Elementary has been selected by Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius as a “celebration” school. Schools are eligible based on students’ performance on statewide tests.

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The state examines not only student proficiency on the yearly Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, but also looks at growth of all students and achievement gap reduction for sub-populations. More than 140 schools in the state met the criteria to be celebration-eligible. Eligible schools then had to submit an application that explained how they worked to impact student achievement.

Southgate was one of only 22 schools that were chosen for this special recognition.

At Southgate we work hard to provide the best educational experience we can for all students. In addition to the instruction that students receive in math, reading, social studies and science, all students work with specialists in music, physical education and art.

Interventionists work with students who are both excelling in academic areas and those that are struggling in an area. Southgate is the home of two district-wide specialized programs. One is for the top-performing elementary students in the district (Pi Academy) and the other is for elementary students who require specialized services in special education (setting three ASD and DCD).

Southgate Elementary is fortunate to have a very supportive parent group. This parent group, in conjunction with staff, supports a wide variety of student and family events. Southgate Elementary has many long-standing traditions: the annual walk-a-thon in September, the Halloween parade in October, the school carnival in March, and Tree Trust in May, to name a few.

In addition to these special yearly events, we host a variety of events that bring us together as a community. Each month we have an assembly that celebrates student achievement. Each teacher chooses a student from their room that has displayed outstanding character.

We also recognize a classroom at each grade level that has worked to keep their room clean and also the one classroom for the building that has shown the most school spirit.

Special events we celebrate this month include a visit from singer/environmentalist Tom Pease, who came on March 12, a visit from Minnesota children’s author Mary Bleckwehl on March 17, and the school carnival on Friday, March 20. These special events are important as we work to “grow” the whole child.

Students have an opportunity to explore new interests while at Southgate. We have a school choir for fourth-graders. This group sings in our community and at school concerts. Fourth graders also have the chance to participate in a drama experience. This year’s thespians performed “The Interrupting Chicken” in February. School patrol is something that third- and fourth-graders can participate in, and student council and ambassadors are leadership opportunities students can be a part of.

Southgate is truly a wonderful place for children. We are proud of the work we do on a daily basis. Know that you are always welcome to visit. We would love to show you our school.