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Executive Summary


The Cannon River STEM School (CRSS) is a K-8 public charter school with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Our vision is to be the preeminent leader in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education in Minnesota by combining academic rigor with social responsibility and mastery of the process of scientific inquiry. Our school will provide a unique and rewarding public education experience for students, parents, and teachers. This school is being developed by parents, scientists, engineers, and educators from the Cannon River Valley community. It is our dedication to the STEM focus, combined with a hands-on outdoor learning environment that will bring the STEM focus to life. This focus will produce students who are well equipped to enter higher education in these areas, at a time when our nation is seeing stagnant or declining enrollment among our domestically educated students who choose to study in these fields.

The mission of CRSS is to foster each student’s innate curiosity and joy of discovery and to address the growing need for improved science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, locally, in Minnesota, and nationally. Through an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum, our purpose for the charter school will be to improve student learning, increase learning opportunities for students, and encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods. The educational philosophy of the Cannon River STEM School is that of a learning laboratory incorporating inquiry-based, place-based, and project-based learning experiences with a strong emphasis on the processes of science. Students attending the CRSS will be active learners, working on their projects in an outdoor setting, returning to their experiments season by season and year by year. They will be guided by a staff that shares the vision and mission of our school as well as parent and community volunteers.

CRSS is an effort grown by local volunteers including parents, scientists, engineers, and educators. Our communities have been our inspiration, our sounding board, and our support. The board looks forward to its continued collaboration with those who believe in the need for school choice opportunities including a STEM focus and an outdoor learning environment in this mostly rural area with a growing population.

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