Community in the schools; Public invited to see student learning in Austin schools

Published 10:12 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

Community members will get a chance to see what students do during the school day next week.

Community Education is hosting a series of three trips that take the Austin community behind the scenes at Austin Public Schools. On April 14, participants will visit Ellis Middle School and I.J. Holton Intermediate School. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the school, see what students are working on and how they learn in today’s world.

“The schools belong to the community and community education is all about providing access to programing, and that’s what it was formed on way back in the day,” Director of Community Education and Communications Amy Baskin said. “It’s all about getting the community into the schools.”

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This is the first time the district has offered a tour like this, and Baskin hopes people will get a better sense of how students learn in today’s schools.

“I think people would be amazed at the technology the kids are using, the approach to learning and instruction that’s happening,” she said.

This class will meet at the Wal-Mart parking lot where community members will board a school bus and be taken to the schools. The trip escort is a retired teacher that taught at Ellis for many years and can talk about the changes in education and instruction. The cost of the trip is $10 per person and pays for the transportation and the cost of the escort. Preregistration is required and can be done online at or by calling the office at 507-460-1700.

“We would love to have a big community group that comes,” Baskin said.

Baskin hopes many community members will take this opportunity to see firsthand what happens in schools and the many learning tools used today.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to give people a chance to get in and actually see what is happening on a regular day with regular kids,” Baskin said.