If there is one thing we found out during the pandemic-induced shutdown of schools, kids DO enjoy going to school. Time and time again students have indicated how much they missed the in-person interaction with teachers and their friends. Teachers and administrators, likewise, are thrilled to start the school year in a 'regular' way where ever possible.

In the September issue of the District Newsletter from the Owatonna School District, Superintendent Jeff Elstad proclaims, "We have successfully started out 2021-22 school year as classrooms are bustling and the fall season is upon us. Words truly cannot describe how good it feels to see students and teachers learning, growing and interacting."

In Owatonna there is also a focus on a strategic vision after consulting with hundreds of students and parents. The school board recently approved "four commitments to guide out work: 21st Century Learners, Equity, High Quality Teaching and Learning, and a Safe and Caring Community."

Elstad cites some of the responses received from their survey. A student wrote they wanted a place "I feel connected, accepted, valued and have a sense of belonging amongst my peers and adults...My presence matters." A parent replied, "My child is in a safe and caring environment where they will be cared for, accepted, supported and valued."

Elstad states, "We are #OwatonnaProud of the work that has been accomplised and eager to move forward with what now needs to be done."

The newsletter also contains emergency information for parents and details on how to get electronic tickets for athletic events, and

Work progresses on the new Owatonna High School site, set to open to students in the fall of 2023.

Back when distance learning was necessary we found out the appreciation students had for their teachers (and office support staff).

Cruise Thru
McKinley STEM Twitter

The 2021 Owatonna High School graduation (below) was held at the stadium field. Will that happen again for 2022?

Roy Koenig/TSM

Students representing the first four graduating classes of the new high school, helped move dirt during the groundbreaking event.

school groundbreaking
Roy Koenig/TSM
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