An anticipated takeover of Valley Crossing Community School in Woodbury was confirmed Jan. 28 when one of its founding districts bought out the others.

Pending final approval from the three school districts involved, South Washington County Schools will assume ownership and management of Valley Crossing on July 1, 2016, Principal Lela Olson told parents after terms of the agreement were reached. Valley Crossing, which opened in the fall of 1996, is a K-6 school currently run by the Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District on behalf of three districts — North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, South Washington County, and Stillwater Area Schools.

Valley Crossing, a “choice” school known for a creative teaching environment, will continue to serve students in grades K-6 from the three districts and students who come to the school via open enrollment through the 2015-16 academic year, Olson said.

“While this news means future changes at Valley Crossing, I want to assure you that Northeast Metro No. 916 and our staff members are committed to maintaining the high-quality educational programming that your child has experienced at Valley without disruption for the duration of #916’s management of the school,” Olson wrote in a letter e-mailed to families. The South Washington County district wants to make Valley Crossing an “attendance boundary school” to relieve overcrowding elsewhere.

“We have and continue to experience capacity issues at the elementary level in the northeast quadrant of our district,” Superintendent Keith Jacobus said. “The school has served its families well over two decades and the facility itself is in good condition. We look forward to the conversations that will occur to support a smooth transition for all students and families involved.”

The school boards for the three districts are expected to discuss and approve the sale and purchase at meetings this month.

As 44 percent owner, South Washington County will pay $12,040,000 for the purchase. The Stillwater district, as 42 percent owner, will receive $9,030,000 from the sale, with North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale receiving $3,010,000.


WHS senior wins research prize

Amrita Mohanty, a Woodbury High School senior, recently was selected as one of four recipients of this year’s Neuroscience Research Prize presented by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society.

The award is given to high school students whose scientific skill and talent indicate potential for scientific contributions in the field of neuroscience, according to a South Washington County School District news release.

Mohanty has been invited to present her project at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society in Washington, D.C. in October. She also was awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Staff Reports