West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan

District's early learning site chosen

District 197 is pursuing a 10-year lease for space to house an early learning center in West St. Paul. Located at 1970 Christensen Av., it will be one of two locations in the district for early learning programs. Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Special Education and community preschool classes will also still be offered at Pilot Knob STEM Magnet Elementary School in Eagan.

Moving early learning classes to the new location will also help solve the space crunch in elementary and middle schools due to enrollment districtwide. Since 2008-09, enrollment has increased 11 percent and projections indicate growth will continue. The space currently occupied by early learning in Mendota and Moreland elementary schools and Friendly Hills Middle School will now be used to accommodate the extra students.

The board is committed to offering early learning opportunities and doing so is included in the district's strategic plan. Staff expect to move into the new space in August, with classes beginning in September.

Burnsville- Eagan-Savage

Referendum meeting scheduled

Residents can attend an information session about the district's upcoming referendum from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 5 in the Senior Campus Commons at Diamondhead Education Center, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy., Burnsville.

The plan to redesign the school district is called VisionOne91, and involves two ballot questions. The first question asks for a $65 million bond to fund moving sixth-graders to middle school and ninth-graders to high school. To do so, a high school addition will be needed. Construction projects are also planned to relocate various programs and offices and expand early childhood opportunities. Security upgrades are also included.

The second question is a technology levy that would provide $2.5 million a year for 10 years. It will fund technology upgrades for staff and students and the needed infrastructure to support it.

Childcare will be provided at the event. To reserve a spot, call 952-707-4150. Interpreters are available in Spanish and Somali. For more information, call 952-707-2020.

The election will be held Feb. 24. More information is available at www.isd191.org/referendum.


Scholarship applications available

The Eagan Foundation is offering 118 scholarships totaling more than $115,000 for graduating high school seniors who live in or attend school in Eagan. Applications will be accepted until 6 p.m. on Feb. 13. Scholarships are funded through donations from businesses, community members, nonprofits, foundations and school organizations. Awards are based on donor-specified criteria, from financial need to career interests and community leadership. There are also scholarships that recognize students who have persevered through difficulties in life.

This year is the Eagan Foundation's 25th anniversary. Since 1991, it has awarded more than $1,095,000 in scholarships.

Students can apply on the foundation's website, www.eaganfoundation.org. For questions, contact Amanda Martel at 651-212-0834 or at amartel@eaganfoundation.org.

Erin Adler