Construction at the North Branch Area Education Center (NBAEC) will continue through the school year and, come next fall, will house Kindergarten along with Early Childhood and School Age Care. We are excited at the prospect of offering families an early learning environment specifically designed to suit our youngest students.

As I informed the school board at its work session last week, the moving of Kindergarten to the Education Center also affords us the opportunity to re-think our space utilization districtwide.

As a result, there will be a number of changes coming next fall:

For the 2020-2021 school year, fifth grade will move back to Sunrise after several years at the middle school. As well as it has gone having fifth grade at the middle school, thanks to such great work by staff, having fifth grade at Sunrise makes sense and will put parents/guardians minds at ease about the transition from fourth grade to fifth grade.

The majority of the space freed by moving fifth grade from the middle school will be used to house the Chisago County Schools’ Life Work Center (LWC). A portion of the program, the PAES lab (work skills), was moved to the middle school this year to make room for the Norse Area Learning Center (NALC), which shares the Brooker Bldg. with the LWC this year. We believe the LWC will thrive at the middle school and preparations are being made to provide an appropriate space there for the program.

Lastly, the Brooker Bldg. will house only the NALC. Brooker was designed and built for an ALC and is ideally suited to this usage. The additional space at Brooker made available by the LWC’s move to the middle school will allow the NALC to build on the success it has already experienced this year and add enrollment. It is important that we continue to grow this program and we looked at other options, such as leasing space. However, leasing space when we have adequate space available with these changes was not a good option for the school district or the taxpayers we serve.

If you have any questions about this reallocation of space for the 2020-2021 school year, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

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