Board of Education updates: Special education needs, summer math program

Lakeville Area Public Schools’ Board of Education met Aug. 23. It heard a proposal from Intermediate District 917 to help special education students with the most intensive needs and an update on the Summer Bridge Math Program.


Board of Education hears proposal by Intermediate District No. 917 superintendent

The Twin Cities southern metropolitan area faces a need for intensive services for its students with the most challenging behavioral and cognitive disabilities, and the need continues to grow.


Members of Lakeville Area Public Schools Board of Education heard a proposal at its Aug. 23 meeting from Intermediate School District No. 917 Superintendent Dr. John Christiansen that could address that need.


Intermediate School District No. 917 serves nine member districts including Lakeville Area Public Schools by providing special education programming, among other services. Member districts refer students to Intermediate District 917 for educational services. Those districts share costs for programming and facilities, and have representation on District 917’s board of education.


Christiansen told Lakeville’s Board of Education members that District 917’s current facilities are inadequate to meet growing needs. The intermediate district’s board of education is considering a $3 million addition to an existing building to help the it serve up to 18 students. Currently, member districts have referred seven students for services. Funding could come from a combination sources, including fees paid by member districts.


Christiansen requested the Lakeville Board of Education consider passing a resolution in support of the project. Lakeville’s Board of Education took the request under advisement; it could be considered at an upcoming meeting.


Board hears update on Summer Bridge mathematics program

At its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Lakeville Area Public Schools’ Board of Education also heard an update from educators about a math program that is helping middle school students excel in mathematics.


The Summer Bridge Math Program is a four-week-long math program jointly run with Burnsville Eagan Savage Schools that is intended to help students increase their proficiency. It enables some students to advance into honors math classes and helps others just shy of benchmarks reach proficiency. Program coordinator Holly Standke said the program was developed after looking at Minnesota Department of Education data to identify the concepts students struggled with the most and build curriculum to help them master subjects.


The program uses a hands-on approach and other methods to make the concepts fun and engaging. They included field trips to Elliott Aviation and Target Field.


Lakeville North High School math interventionist Rena Wuollett called the program one of the most energizing experiences of her career.


“We did 5 ½ hours of math every day and they loved it,” Wuollett said. Students averaged a nine-point gain in Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) scores; one student had a 21-point gain over the program.


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What’s ahead:

The next regular meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Lakeville City Hall (20195 Holyoke Ave., Lakeville). To watch the meeting live, Charter Cable subscribers may tune in to Lakeville Education TV on Channel 188, or watch online at

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