Sky Oaks Elementary in Burnsville, MN is a school that boasts the highest diversity in a district whose mission is “Each Student, Real World Ready”. Our children come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and socioeconomic circumstances. Our amazing teachers, administrators, specialists and interventionists work together to diminish challenges while optimizing opportunities. Our students’ diversity is their strength.
The evidence of our success can be seen everywhere in our school. Because we have the highest diversity in the district, we have a steep climb in terms of closing the achievement gap. The good news is, in the 2012-2013 school year, our school made more progress toward closing that gap than any other in our district, going from state MMR scores in the 48th percentile to the 75th. We continue to set the bar of expectations higher for ourselves and our students.
Likewise, a large number of Sky Oaks students qualify to compete each year in the regional science fair. Each year we send as many or more students than any of the other district schools. Year after year, our students are selected to compete in the state science fair. With science, technology, engineering and math continuing to be key subjects for learning, we are extremely proud of our students and in what they accomplish.
Academic success is not the only achievement of our school. At Sky Oaks, our K-6 curriculum is also about building a community of students who are responsible, respectful citizens. The diversity of our community allows us to really celebrate the differences and similarities between us, truly a real-world experience. This alone is a valuable skill to impart upon students who will live and work in a global community that is like none that their parents or grandparents knew. And we go further. Through a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies) system, we celebrate a student’s achievements and positive behaviors. By continually reinforcing positive behaviors, we’ve seen a huge reduction in the occurrence of the negative. Our building is a wonderful place to be in.
With all of these successes, we do have one great challenge at Sky Oaks, and that is fundraising. As our number of children living in poverty increases, our ability to raise funds from our school community is more difficult. The PTO at Sky Oaks provides books for the Media Center, enrichment materials for classrooms, pays the salary of our Chess Master, provides scholarships to students who can’t afford to go on field trips, purchased iPads for teachers to use in tracking student progress and communicate with parents, provides relief money to the cafeteria for students who can’t afford to buy lunches, and more. As the needs of our student population grow, the requests for financial support from PTO grow as well. We need your help to continue these amazing programs and build upon our students’ success. Thank you for Giving to the Max for Sky Oaks.