Shakopee and Scott County, MN Schools Earn High Marks

Scott County students excel through K-12, higher education and community options.

By
Phil Newman
On Friday, August 15, 2014 - 14:36
Shakopee, MN

From kindergarten to college and technical schools, Scott County residents have access to top-notch educational opportunities. Its schools, of all varieties, get good grades for curriculum, student-teacher ratios and overall educational experiences that are productive and enjoyable.

K-12 Opportunities

Children in elementary, middle and high school are zoned for one of six public-school systems sprinkled throughout the county. They include Shakopee Public School District, Jordan Public School DistrictBelle Plaine Public School District, New Prague Area Schools, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District (BES and Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools.

Each district is committed to helping students learn the critical thinking skills necessary to solve problems that might not even exist yet.

For example, at the Fab Lab in Prior Lake High School, students are challenged to “dream it, make it and share it.” Among other activities, they can learn applied technical fabrication, thanks to a 3D printer that creates physical objects directly from digital data. In one case, replica iPhone covers were programmed and printed in three dimensions, and students had the opportunity to win them for use on their own phones.

Chartering Its Course

In addition to traditional public schools, Scott County also offers a charter option in Aspen Academy, a K-8 school in Savage. Aspen, publicly funded but run independently, essentially is its own district. Slots are limited, so families must apply, and the enrollment process includes a lottery. Aspen is known for its Core Knowledge curriculum, Spanish, Latin and individualized instruction, small class sizes and low teacher-student ratios.

All Things Collegiate

Higher education also thrives around Scott County at technical schools and four-year colleges, including Minnesota State University MankatoNormandale Community College in Bloomington, Hennepin Technical College (campuses in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie), Dunwoody College of Technology and Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and Crown College in St. Bonifacious.

Grownups, Too

Formal learning need not stop at a certain age, of course. Adults can get in on the fun through community education programs throughout the county. Most are offered directly by the school districts noted above, and include everything from cooking and Spanish to swimming and deer field-dressing. Many of the county's technical schools and colleges also offer educational programs and courses for adults.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phil Newman is a writer, editor, public relations specialist and social-media addict who serves as chief content strategist for NewMan