By Aldo Sicoli, Superintendent, Robbinsdale Area Schools
It’s a very exciting time to be in Robbinsdale Area Schools. On December 5, 2011, the School Board approved a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) magnet for K-5 elementary students, set to open fall of 2012. This STEAM magnet will have traditional components found in exemplary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education; we added an arts focus as well because of the influence arts has on education, and also because Robbinsdale Area Schools has a long and successful history in arts education. District staff are working hard on the creation of this magnet, and other staff are working on enrollment policies that will help to ensure that the students who attend this magnet are reflective of the beautiful diversity of the district. Infusing the arts into STEM education can enhance engagement and creativity, help to preserve and honor culture and tradition, and unlock creative thinking and the potential for partnerships.
Connecting the arts and sciences, however innovative it sounds, really is grounded in rich traditional and cultural history. For thousands of years, African, African American, American Indian, European, Asian, Hispanic and Latino men and women have contributed their knowledge of innovative design and architecture to the world – through music, art, writing, along with government leadership and more. Robbinsdale Area Schools is excited about the possibility that this new STEAM magnet has to emphasize that rich history of invention in our children’s everyday curriculum, and what the common methodologies were then and are now in observing and influencing the world around us.
This is the world of 21st century education. Mathematicians and engineers need to be effective communicators, and writers need to understand the science and nature of understanding. Students are encouraged to embrace independent innovation, and the learning allows for greater depth in many subjects. This school will influence learning at all other Robbinsdale Area Schools, through the professional development that teachers receive to the careful curriculum planning for the program. Teachers and staff across the district will learn and grow from this quiet school nestled among trees and small hills in a lovely neighborhood in Golden Valley. I encourage you to take a look at this school, and to contact the district if you are interested in learning more. It’s an exciting time to be a student in Robbinsdale Area Schools; a rich future awaits. A parent informational night is scheduled for February 13, 2012. Visit us at www.rdale.org for more information, or like us at www.facebook.com/RobbinsdaleAreaSchools to follow all the wonderful things happening!