Two Osseo Area Schools elementary magnet schools have earned national honors from Magnet Schools of America, an organization that provides leadership and instructional support to magnet schools across the U.S. Weaver Lake Elementary has been named a 2015 National Magnet School of Excellence. Birch Grove Elementary School has been named a 2015 National Magnet School of Distinction. Only 12 schools in Minnesota earned national recognition this year.

Weaver Lake Elementary: A Science, Math and Technology School, in Maple Grove, provides a dynamic, inquiry-based learning environment for students in grades K-6. Weaver Lake’s program incorporates value-added, hands-on activities that focus on problem solving and analytical thinking skills, and are based on real life experiences. The school’s integrated project-based, thematic approach to teaching has increased academic growth in all areas. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Osseo Area Schools elementary STEM program has been honored nationally. Weaver Lake was also recently recognized as a top 3 elementary STEM school at the 2015 Future of Educational Technology Conference (FETC).

Birch Grove Elementary School for the Arts, in Brooklyn Park, is an arts magnet for grades K-6 that integrates visual arts, music, drama and dance into the classroom curriculum while providing value-added opportunities in the arts.  Students receive daily standards-based instruction with arts specialists and have the opportunity to participate in arts elective classes, performing troupes, early-entrance band and orchestra, and an all-school musical. This is the seventh time Birch Grove has been nationally recognized by MSA.

“The announcement of our national merit awards is an exciting time for the entire magnet school community. It is great way for our association to acknowledge the creativity, passion and dedication of so many people. Merit awards are given to our highest quality theme-based schools and programs. They are models of success and represent the best in public education,” said MSA Executive Director Todd Mann.

Principals Dennis Palm (Weaver Lake) and Jeff Zastrow (Birch Grove) will receive their respective awards at the 33rd National Conference on Magnet Schools in May.

Enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year is under way at all ISD 279 schools. To enroll, contact the district’s Enrollment Center at 763-585-7350. For more information about ISD 279 magnet schools, please visit the district website at

-Published March 11, 2015