Eagle Ridge to be the site of gifted program

  • Updated: November 21, 2009 - 12:06 AM

Eagle Ridge Junior High School will house the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district's next new magnet program.

Eagle Ridge Junior High School will house the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage district's next new magnet program, the school board decided Thursday night.

The district started four magnet programs this fall: an arts academy for high school students, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs at William Byrne Elementary and Metcalf Junior High, and a gifted-and-talented program at Harriet Bishop Elementary.

Starting next fall, Eagle Ridge will offer a gifted magnet program for older students.

The Savage junior high will offer enrichment activities to all students, with extra services for those identified as gifted. They could include a stringed instrument program available to all students, some courses in which gifted kids are clustered and much more, though principal Don Leake said the school hasn't firmed up many plans.

"The staff and I are very excited to get this thing going," he said.

The magnet schools are part of a state-mandated effort to ease a racial imbalance between the district and neighboring Lakeville, which has far fewer minority students. School leaders often open magnet programs as a way to attract students from other districts.

State integration funding will pay for much of the new program's startup costs.

SARAH LEMAGIE

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