More Students Join Garretson Schools for Second Semester

The number of students in the Garretson School District has been on an upward trend for the past three years, but in the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, student numbers dipped. Student numbers normally fluctuate during the school year, but only by a few students up or down. Starting in 2016, our fall enrollment has gone from 463 to 477 in 2017, 480 in 2018, 495 in 2019 and in 2020, down to 465 students. Fall enrollment is always counted on the last Friday in September for the “official” enrollment numbers for the State of South Dakota.

Since the fall count date, the district has welcomed an additional 5 Elementary School students, 3 Middle School students and 9 High School students. Some students have also moved out of the district since the count date, but overall, as of January 11, the number of k-12 students in the district is 474.

Our aim is to make each of these kids feel welcome in our school and to give them a positive learning experience both in our classrooms and in our activities.

Where’s the worksheet?

Over the last three years, the Garretson School District has been moving towards a 1:1 ratio of iPads to students in grades 6-12.  The 17-18 school year saw the 1:1 idea become reality.  Every students in grades 6-12 has been issued an iPad for their use, and have the ability to take the device home when they are not at school.

Technology, in, and of, itself does not necessarily result in quality education.  However, it is a tool that opens many doors and makes possible so many different classroom activities that engage and inspire students.  Julie Mueller, our middle school science teacher can see some of those possibilities.  She recently led students in a “pancake lab” to show the different ways that heat can be transferred.  The lab was a good “hands on” experience that had a real reward at the end (everybody had some pancakes!!!), and normally, this kind of classroom experience is followed up by some kind of worksheet to check for students’ understanding of the material.  Mrs. Mueller wanted to allow the students to show her what they learned in a more interesting way, so she asked the students to create a video that showed the three main methods of transferring heat energy.  In her words, “it’s more fun for my students, and its way more fun for me to grade than a worksheet could ever be.”  Sydney Olson, one of the sixth grade students in the class gave me permission to share her video – take a look!  She did a great job on it, and yes, it definitely looks like way, way WAY more fun than filling out a worksheet.

Great job, sixth graders, on your first video lab report, and compliments to Mrs. Mueller, one of our teachers who continues to learn and grow herself so that she can provide an engaging classroom experience for every one of our students!

Check out Sydney’s video below!

 

Photo credits -Sydney Olson_s iMovie Lab Report