They might have appeared quiet and calm from the outside, but south metro high schools have been abuzz with activity this summer in preparation for the 2015-16 school year.
Did your school get a high-tech scoreboard? Add classes? Build a new performing arts center? Of all the changes in store, here are highlights from some area schools.
Apple Valley High School
Principal: Steve Degenaar
Apple Valley will open its Fabrication Lab this fall, which includes 3-D printers, laser engravers and digital routers. The school also remodeled its chemistry classroom and lab.
Burnsville High School
Principal: Dave Helke
Construction of an addition is underway at the school so it can accommodate ninth graders in 2016. The school is starting a peer mentoring program, training upperclassmen to support new students. There is a new $318,000 video display screen attached to the scoreboard at Pates Stadium, paid for by alumni foundation fundraising.
Eagan High School
Principal: Paulette Reikowski
The high school will open collaboration stations in the media center. The stations let students work together on digital projects and share ideas in a group setting.
Farmington High School
Principal: Jason Berg
Farmington is adding two opportunities for students to get extra academic help, from making up tests to asking questions. Before first period and between fifth hour and the final bell, students can visit teachers to receive assistance.
Henry Sibley High School
Principal: Ron Monson
To encourage digital learning at school and at home, all Henry Sibley students will be using their own laptop or one provided by the district. The school has also improved its Wi-Fi network.
Updated security measures will affect how guests enter the school, with an electronic check-in process at the front entry.
Lakeville North High School
Principal: Marne Berkvam
Lakeville North is changing its schedule on Thursdays to implement the Panther Academic Support System, which provides an extra class period for teachers to reteach challenging concepts to students. Students will also see lower class sizes thanks to the hiring of new teachers.
The band will travel to San Diego during winter break to play during the National University Holiday Bowl.
Lakeville South High School
Principal: John Braun
Lakeville South is debuting an "Innovation Center" to house its STEM Academy, which offers a concentration in science, technology, engineering and math classes. The center has areas for design and production, with 3-D printers and Computer-Aided Design software.
The school will expand its "Connections Academy" to 10th grade, providing academic support for freshmen and sophomores who need it. There is also a "Newcomer Academy" for students learning English.
Prior Lake High School
Principal: Dave Lund
The district is providing all Prior Lake students with iPads, which "gives students more access to knowledge," Principal Dave Lund said. The school added 100 Wi-Fi hot spots to improve Internet access.
Enrollment is growing by about 100 students each year, Lund said, bringing the total to more than 2,500 students.
Rosemount High School
Principal: John Wollersheim
Rosemount is offering several new courses, including a College in the Schools course in anatomy and physiology, a computer science course and a world politics class offered through Inver Hills Community College.
A new scoreboard now graces Irish Stadium, replacing the old one from 1982. The updated version was donated by Twin Cities Orthopedic and the First State Bank of Rosemount.
Shakopee High School
Principal: Ben Kusch
The school's new Center for Advanced Professional Studies program lets students get work experience through partnerships with Shutterfly and St. Francis Regional Medical Center. Four staff members were hired to create the new Excellence with Equity team to support diverse students.
Shakopee staff and residents are also planning for the school's 350,000-square-foot addition set to open in 2018-19.
Simley High School
Principal: Jerry Sakala
Simley will open its new performing arts center this fall, along with new band and choir classrooms and an updated, more secure entrance to the school. A new activities building will include space to sell concessions and sporting event tickets and provide bathrooms for fans.
New classes will include Advanced Placement Human Geography and a course that trains students to be emergency medical technicians.
St. Thomas Academy
Principal: Matthew Mohs
This year marks the 50th anniversary of St. Thomas Academy's move to its current Mendota Heights location, said headmaster Matthew Mohs. It's also the school's first year as an independent military academy after ending its affiliation with the Army.
A schoolwide effort to integrate technology will begin, and all students will be required to bring their own laptops from home.