February 1st, 2013

Information Night for Families Interested in Cannon River STEM School

Calling all parents looking for a school focusing on science, technology, engineering and math with an emphasis on outdoor education!  The Cannon River STEM School, a K-8 public charter school, will be hosting a prospective parent information night on Tuesday, February 12th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria.  Parents interested in attending are encouraged to call the school at 507-331-7836 so that we can anticipate the number of people who will be attending. 

Cannon River STEM School (CRSS) is a public charter school with an academic curriculum focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), in addition to traditional subjects.  It opened with grades K-6 in the Fall of 2009, and currently serves K-8.  The school envisions being an innovative leader in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in Minnesota while creating a community of students who love to learn. The mission of CRSS is to foster each student’s innate curiosity and joy of discovery. We prepare students to become excellent questioners, scientific thinkers, and responsible citizens, who are able to contribute to the world with confidence and character. We achieve this through student-centered, collaborative and experiential learning, with an emphasis on the environment as an integrating context.

 Applications can be found on the CRSS website ( and must be completed for students interested in attending CRSS for the 2013-2014 school year.  As a public charter school that limits its enrollment numbers, applications received by 4 p.m. on March 12th will be entered into the public lottery on Thursday, March 14th, 2013.  Openings for enrollment for 2013-2014 school year will be filled through this lottery drawing.  In accordance with Minnesota Law, siblings of already enrolled students are granted sibling preference in the lottery process, as are children of CRSS staff members.  For further information, or to arrange a tour of the school, contact Cannon River STEM School at 507-331-7836 or

Contact: Nalani McCutcheon, Executive Director  507-331-7836

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giveMN 2012

January 4th, 2013

Give to the Max Day was a huge success here at CRSS.  Thank you so much for each and every bountiful gift.  As an added bonus to achieving our full matching grant from the Carlander family and The State Bank of Faribault, we also received the Super Golden Ticket from GiveMN.  To read the full story of how we were awarded $10,000, click here.

Faribult Daily News Article
Star Tribune Article

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What Starts the Day?

September 15th, 2010

I have the joy of welcoming our Kinders into school every morning.  While the morning starts far earlier for work (on the computer by 5:30 a.m. most mornings,) it seems my day doesn’t really begin until I see the shy smiles of our youngest charges as I open the car door and welcome them to school.  To be sure, the hours preceding that first car door opening were filled with the logistics of my job…scheduling meetings, arranging for substitute teachers, thinking through what reports or deadlines are pressing…but at 8 a.m. when I see those youngsters in their new school clothes, trying to get those really-cool-but-about-as-big-as-they-are backpacks on, alternating between wanting to run down the ramp into the classroom or cling onto mom’s arm, that moment is when the day begins.  It is the moment when I am struck by why my work matters, I’m reminded how much I LOVE welcoming students and their family members into our school community, and am amazed at the energy that mysteriously appears in my old, tired body.  Schools are crazy, chaotic, sometimes frenetic places…but what makes it all worthwhile is that first student, excited to get to school.

Thank you for trusting us with your children.  Whether they come flying off the bus, or exiting from a car, or walking up the driveway…know that their faces, and the energy they bring to our school is what fuels our work and our emotions.  We love working with your children (yes, even the most challenging and/or infuriating ones) and we are thrilled to welcome them back each new day.  In fact, they are what starts our day!

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Real Life Engineering!

August 27th, 2010

Wednesday was an exciting day at Cannon River STEM School!  For the past two weeks, construction crews have been running all over campus creating classrooms for our Kindergarteners and 5th graders.  We are looking forward to sharing these wonderful new spaces with our students and parents next week.

Today, however, the 6th and 7th grade classrooms were delivered.  Yes, I did say delivered…on a two semi trucks!  We’ll be breaking ground this September on brand new classroom spaces for our 5-8th grades…but in the meantime, our 6th and 7th graders are going to reside in a portable classroom connected to Old Main via the handicap ramp.  This past week we have watched trucks move dirt, dig sewer line hookups, and install electrical lines.  Cement trucks have poured concrete into big tubes dug into the ground…and on Wednesday, the classrooms came!

They arrived in two units, to be connected after placement.  We watched as master craftsmen…and I mean that literally…positioned these big trucks and classrooms over the footings without damaging the footings or sinking into the mud.  We admired how the blocks were built up from the footings to the bottom of the unit and they meticulously leveled the unit.  We stared in awe as we watched a remote controlled earth mover work its way into potentially dangerous areas and pack down earth.  Finally we cheered as the two halves were secured together and made into a unit of two classrooms and bathroom area.  What an amazing process!

We were like the students we will be working with in a few weeks…staring excitedly out the windows, oohing and ahhing with admiration.  I suspect we even uttered a few vroom vroom sounds!  Along with being a wonderful example of engineering in action, it was a reminder of the joys of being a child with the awe and wonder of the workings of the world.  What a gift to know that our staff truly are children at heart!

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CRSS Spirit Wear!

August 9th, 2010

Our 4th through 6th graders last year took on the task of designing new school t-shirts for our school.  With a raptor logo drawn by one of our 4th graders, we have shirts in solid green and solid blue, as well as tie-dye green or tie-dye blue.  We also have cinch style backpack bags, and stocking caps.  Simply fill out the CRSS T-shirt Order Form and return to Nicole Broden in the CRSS office.

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The Power of Community

August 8th, 2010

It all started with the idea of selling some burgers to make some money.  A simple plan with the end goal of raising some funds for a playground.  What blossomed on Friday night was far from simple…and in the end, the goal of raising money proved incidental.  Friday night the Cannon River STEM School Burger Fry was all about community, and what a tremendous success it was!

To be sure, we raised money…about $700 which for a 2.5 hour event is a pretty good return.  However, the true value, and the one I continue to be amazed at, is the reward of bringing our school community together.  Beyond the countless wonderful hugs I received from our students whom I have missed so, I watched parents reconnect with each other.  Students played with classmates, shared summer stories, and had a family evening out celebrating SCHOOL!

Those of us working the event were amazed that the line just kept going and going.  Even when we ran out of food and had to make runs to the Legion and to Nelson’s County Market for more supplies, people patiently waited in line, chatting with old friends.  The grin on my face that night, and the memory I hold in my heart today is a greater understanding of the power of community, and an appreciation of what an amazing place Cannon River STEM School has become.  Thank you all for that gift!

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New Website Launch

August 2nd, 2010

Welcome to Cannon River STEM School’s new website!  We’ve spent the spring and summer getting ready for this launch…trying to make this website aesthetically pleasing while being intuitive in its functionality.  Our focus on engineering means that we start out with a design, we test it out, and we re-design based on what we have learned.  I hope that you will let us know how this site is working for you…provide us with your suggestions and comments.  This website is for our family and friends, and we need to hear from you!

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