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Burnsville High School 1966Exterior of Burnsville High School, 1966.
Burnsville High School signBurnsville High School Celebrates 50 years.
50th anniversary of Burnsville High SchoolBurnsville Senior High School's 50th Anniversary 2006 was a weekend of activities and class reunions. The kick off was the dedication of a new school sign and the Dick Hanson field. Also the induction of the first 20 members of the new BSHS Hall of Fame.
Burnsville High school 50th yearIndependent School District 191 announces plans for the 50th anniversary of the High School. April 19, 2006 Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Celebrating 50 years of Burnsville High SchoolAugust 24, 2006 the Sun Current - Guest columnist Ben Kanninen, Superintendent, reflects on The High Schools 50 years.
Burnsville High school 50th yearA Star Tribune feature focusing on the 50th Anniversary of Burnsville High School. From 3 grads to 870 years have transformed Burnsville High School.
Home of the Braves - bookAs female athletes in 1975, Robin and her teammates stood up and asked to be treated the same as the male athletes in their high school. Title IX was law, but it took more than a law to bring about equitable treatment. This is a gymnastics memoir by Robin Pederson Ruegg, a current USA Brevet nationally rated women's gymnastics judge. Read about her story as a gymnast at the dawn of her judging career.
Burnsville High School ScoreboardBurnsville High School's scoreboard.
High school under construction 2016Burnsville High School under construction - Savage Pacer photo July 16, 2016.

The official start of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 2016-17 school year is less than two months away, and with it comes the rollout of the long-awaited Vision One91 restructuring.

The plan impacts every aspect of academic programming within the district, and with such a complex initiative comes years of planning and implementing.

What’s underway?

With the creation of Vision One91, district administration and the school board has set out to realign the grade structures to a K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle school and 9-12 high school model, as well as improve security within the schools and reallocate and re-purpose offices for effectiveness and efficiency.

With that, renovation is happening all over the place, and includes the conversion of the Administrative Services Center at 100 River Ridge Court in Burnsville into the River Ridge Education Center, which will house the BEST Transition Program. Administrative services will relocate to Diamondhead Education Center, and the most pronounced changes will be at Burnsville High School with three new wings featuring flexible classrooms and learning spaces, STEM labs and a brand new activity center.

The construction has required several District 191 staff to set up in temporary locations and to share office spaces. While it has posed inconveniences, and at times has seemed chaotic, Superintendent Joe Gothard said that the staff has handled it in stride and that they’ve stayed positive through the experience.

The Vision One91 plan originated in 2013 when Gothard began as superintendent of District 191. Based on feedback he’d received from staff, students and the community, he discovered a need to realign the classes, bring new courses into the mix, and create unity among the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage communities.

Having ninth-grade students at the junior high level posed scheduling conflicts for sports and after-school activities, and it also limited their access to high level course offerings, Gothard said.

The Vision One91 plan was publicized and a two-part referendum was brought before the public. It passed with 63 percent approval in February 2015, and soon after the district hired Wenck Construction Inc. to provide construction management services, overseeing multiple projects and more than 40 contractors. For nearly two years, much planning and work has gone into getting everything ready for the coming school year.

“We’re grateful to our community for supporting the Vision One91 referendum last year because we are now able to expand opportunities for our students,” Gothard said.

At the high school

In addition to the ninth through 12th grade reconfiguration, administration has reevaluated its course offerings and developed a new model for picking and choosing classes called the “pathways” approach. The course catalog was designed in collaboration between BHS administrators, counselors, teachers, communications staff and students. It was presented to the board in January and approved for distribution. Since then students have registered for their 2016-17 courses.

“We’re expanding our buildings and increasing technology, but most importantly we’re making changes to academic programming that will benefit each and every student from preschool to high school graduation,” Gothard said.

This new approach provides more course offerings such as Nursing Assistant Skills, Fab Lab, Creative Product Development, 3-D Design, Cabinet Making, Self-Defense and Event Management. It also provides more opportunities for students to earn post secondary credits, and/or gain certification in a variety of fields such as health care, information technology and culinary skills.

Gothard said they’ve discovered that there is a lot of interest in the nursing programming and that more than 100 students have registered for those classes this coming year.

Technology improvements are also a substantial part of the Vision One91 plan, with the goal of distributing devices to every student in grades six through 12. In February 2015, District 191 voters approved a second ballot item, which provides $2.5 million per year for ten years (for a total of $25 million) for technological improvements.

Director of Technology Doug Johnson and Coordinator of Instructional Technology Rachel Gorton researched products and developed an implementation plan. In January they presented their results to the board. The board approved the purchase of 2,850 devices and related services at a cost of $865,000 in May. The purchase will provide one-to-one Chromebooks to all high school students in the 2016-17 school year. The following school year additional devices will be purchased and distributed on a one-to-one basis to all middle school students.

At the middle schools

Keeping in line with the grade reconfiguration, each junior high will become a middle school and house grades six through eight. Additionally, the middle schools will now have a longer school day, with eight periods and an additional section for advisory. School day hours were suggested by Gothard after conducting a staff and parent survey, and consulting with CESO, the district’s bus-routing contractor. In January, the recommendation was reviewed and approved by the school board.

A focus of Vision One91 is creating unity both within the communities that make up District 191, as well as across all of its schools. Until this year, each junior high had a unique focus such as AVID, STEM or Honors. In January, principals from each middle school presented the school board with a plan to combine the best components from each school to create a new approach, called “STEA3M.”

At the elementaries

Elementary students will also be impacted by the implementation of Vision One91. As part of the technology improvement plan, starting this coming school year all elementary schools will have teachers who serve as digital learning specialists. These new teaching positions will give direct instruction on technology skills and applications to students throughout the year. They will also support teachers in using technology for instruction.

The elementary schools will also be expanding the use of Makerspaces, which are hands-on learning stations where students can experiment with high-tech and low-tech activities like building robots, using new computer applications or even knitting.

What’s left?

The first day of school will be on Tuesday, Sept. 6. While there may still be some last minute finishes and cleaning, Gothard said they’ll be ready to go. However, he said that there was a lot to be done before then.

“We’re under construction both literally, and in our course development,” Gothard said.

With several new class offerings, the curriculum is still being designed. Additionally, construction is in the works throughout the district.

“We have around a dozen projects going on throughout the district,” Gothard said. “Many of those are typical summer projects.”

Parent and student orientations are planned for the end of August, at which time high school students will receive and set up their Chromebooks. Starting their first day, students will experience not only new amenities, new curriculum and new technology, but also, according to Gothard, a new way of learning.

“In a lot of ways we’ll be an entirely new school district next year, prepared to help our students succeed in their futures,” he said.

Burnsville High School Band1962 Band members.
Dick Hanson Scholarship fund ends after 25 years2019 was the final year of the Hanson Scholarship Fund's Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament.

Coach Hanson is the reason why the Hanson Scholarship Fund was created after his retirement in 1993. Former football players & students of his started this fund in his honor as a way to encourage students to become future teachers. Anyone who has been a part of Burnsville High School sports or the Math Department should know who he was. 2019 marks the 25th & final fundraiser to celebrate the positive influence for the "love of learning" that Dick had on all who knew him.
Burnsville High school band 2019Burnsville High School Band logo
Burnsville High School Theatre Guild The Burnsville High School Theatre Guild opened its 51st season with 'Once Upon a Mattress' on November 2011. Rehearsal photo compliments of School District 191 featuring Kristina Butler as Princess Winnifred, Jonathan Mundy as Prince Dauntless and Christina Sahli as Queen Aggravain.
Burnsville High School Theatre Guild Burnsville High School Presented Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit' during December, 2011. Photo compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High school band 2019Burnsville High School Band, 2019, compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High school band 2019Burnsville High School Band, 2019, compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High school band 2019October, 2019 Burnsville High School Band, compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High school band 2019October, 2019 Burnsville High School Band, compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High school band 2019October, 2019 Burnsville High School Band, compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High school band 2019October, 2019 Burnsville High School Band, compliments of School District 191.
Burnsville High School 1979Shop class at the Burnsville High School.
Burnsville High School 1977A scale model of the Burnsville High School created in 1977.
Burnsville High School 1979The high school pool.
Burnsville High School 1979The Burnsville Brave's Cheerleading Squad.
Burnsville High SchoolJazz Band 1978.
Burnsville High School 1979The Main gym in the high school.
Burnsville High School 1982The exterior of the high school in 1982 is similar, however today's view shows a number of additions and remodelings.
Car Wash 1979A Brave's student car wash 1979.
Student Car WashA Burnsville Braves car wash 1979.
Burnsville Bravettes 1979Burnsville High Cheerleaders.
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