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Programs Funded

2023 Spring Grant Descriptions

2nd Grade Morning Bins

Morning Bins for Grade 2 will include all second grade teachers and students having access to hands-on, engaging materials to start their day. Students will collaborate with their peers using activities from a morning bin during a soft start part of their day. At Pine Meadow, students begin arriving in classrooms as early as 7:35 and as late as 8:00 during our morning arrival time. This 25 minute window allows for students to begin their day in their classrooms by checking in, eating breakfast if needed, and often doing independent morning work. The idea of having morning bins allows students to have hands–on experiences with tools focused on literacy, math, science/engineering, and arts/creativity skills. Beginning their day in this way will get them engaged and excited for their day’s learning while also working on communication and having an opportunity to play with their peers. Each of our 3 color wings at Pine Meadow has 4-5 teachers in second grade who would share 24-28 morning bin tubs on a rotating basis.


Snowshoes for Outdoor Classrooms

Students love to be outdoors. Providing them with the opportunity to engage with the school forest during the winter months will ensure enthusiasm, increase knowledge of the environment and world around us, and improve their attention and communication skills. The project would allow teachers to teach science standards using real-world applications authentically. Using an outdoor classroom builds confidence, promotes creativity, teaches responsibility and independence, reduces stress, and is good for physical and mental health. This project could be utilized by all classroom teachers, specialists, and other support staff at Riverview.

Kahoot+ Premier for Teachers

Kahoot + premier membership for teachers will allow the Spanish teacher to enhance curriculum through engaged, game based lessons.  The ability to add more custom photos for vocabulary review and other options, will improve student learning in the target language.  This will deepen student's understanding and interpretation of written and spoken languages.


Keyboards for Spanish Class at SMS


A classroom set of keyboards will enhance the Spanish class activities and utilization of online resources (ex., and Google Slides) used in class. is a great learning tool currently used to review vocabulary lists, as well as practice grammatical points like conjugating verbs. However, it has some features that are only compatible with a keyboard attachment for the iPads.  Additionally, students will be better prepared for working on the MacBooks when they transition to high school, because they are learning the keyboarding basics.

Mobilizing Trades Pathways with PACKOUT


Demand for Construction Technology classes continues to grow, with 14 sections requested by students for the 2023-2024 school year. Those classes are working between two primary spaces, T124 Construction lab and the Habitat build site on the south end of the building, as well as projects throughout the school and community. This grant will allow more efficient organization and transportation of tools and equipment between sites.  The Packout system is modular and can be added on over time to incorpoartae more tools as they are acquired if classes continue to grow.

CNA Testing Scholarships

Certified Nursing Assistant Students who complete the high school course are required to take the State Knowledge Exam and Skills Exam in order to become Certified Nursing Assistant.  The cost of these exams are a barrier to some High School students becoming CNAs.  This grant will allow students to apply for the scholarship to get part or all of their State Exams paid for.  The applications will be reviewed and awarded by the school based on academic performance and completion of application requirements.  This career is in huge demand and Sartell High School CNAs will make a positive impact on the healthcare industry in the surrounding area and many will use their healthcare experience to advance their goals and further education.

Cutting Edge Cutting Equipment - Cold Saw

The Engineering, Project Lead The Way, and Manufacturing labs at SHS are going to offer a new innovative process of cutting materials, decrease bottle necks, produce higher quality student projects, all while maintaining a quieter, cleaner, & safer work environment. This will give students exposure to new methods/processes of cutting materials while providing a cleaner and quieter way than our current practices. This will allow our students to have opportunities to use industry standard equipment as we know the demand for our students in these careers is increasing.

Robotics Support

The Sartell Robotics team competed in the 2023 World Championships in Houston, TX this past April.  This amazing experience was a first for the team and they learned a lot.  SSEF funding, combined with other community support, allowed them to travel to Houston for the competition.  Since 2016, SSEF has been instrumental in supporting the district's robotics programs, from elementary to middle school, allowing students to learn the fundamental skills to transition to the high school program.  In recent years, robotics has grown into a full high school-sponsored activity through the activities department and First Robotics. 

Statecraft App Based  Government Simulation Experience

This pilot project will give students an engaging experience that allows them to apply concepts from their studies into a realistic game experience. The simulation is fully aligned with state and national standards. The experience will bring lessons to life in an immersive, real-world application that allows students to use the information they're learning in class to manipulate and engage in actual decision making. Students will not just learn about government, politics, and global affairs, they will use that knowledge to make and defend the same decisions that real world policy makers face.

SHS Children's Theatre "Elephant and Piggie's We are in a Play!"

This show provides high school students with a new opportunity to take on greater leadership roles in a production (such as student choreographer, costumer, and technicians). It also provides them with an opportunity to engage with the elementary students in a meaningful way by sharing something they love with them and, hopefully, inspiring them! Putting together a children's show requires a different skill set and a different type of creativity than the shows we typically produce. Working on a children's production can help these older students develop a variety of skills they can take with them into the world and hopefully inspire them to use their art to make a difference!

This project provides an exciting field trip opportunity for K-2 to see a story they know and love brought to life on stage. The connection that will be created between the high school theatre students and the elementary students will inspire the younger folks to be involved in theatre as they grow up and, at the very least, provide them with a treasured memory.


Past Grant Examples:

Sabre Splash

Sabre Splash is a high school transition program that welcomes ninth grade students, as well as new students to our district, and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their high school experience. Built on the belief that students can help students succeed, Sabre Splash trains mentors from the junior and senior classes to be Sabre Splash mentors. As positive role models, Sabre Splash mentors serve as student leaders who guide the ninth grade and new students to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school.  

One District One Book

The One District, One Book (ODOB) program is designed to promote literacy and create a shared reading experience across the entire school community.   With the generous support of SSEF, each K-4 family within the Sartell-St. Stephen school district was provided a copy of the same children’s novel to read together during the month of February.  This provided an excellent opportunity to spark a community-wide conversation around a book with the ultimate goal to inspire a rich appreciation of literature and create lifelong readers.


During the last two years, the second graders at PME and ORE have been involved in Math SmARTS program, a collaborative project between the Sartell Elementary Schools and the Paramount Visual Arts center to improve students' attitude and proficiency in both math and the arts.


Students visit the Paramount where they work with dance and visual artists.  

The artists also make one visit to each of their classrooms continuing the reinforcement of the skills. 


At the Paramount with the visual artist, students learn about geometric Islamic tiles. They then have an opportunity to create their own tiles which are glazed and fired.  The dance artists reinforces the geometric skills through dance moves creating two and three dimensional shapes, as well as symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes.  The students also enjoy the experience of dancing on the Paramount stage.


During the classroom visits, the visual artists help students create a six pointed star using paper folding and patterning reinforcing geometric shapes.  The dance artist reinforce the skills learned at the Paramount to help the students create a dance. 


The students' experiences in the Math SmARTs program  integrate the art and math curriculum enhancing their understanding of patterning and geometrics.

Click on the image to see a gallery of photos.

STEM Initiative


Within the Sartell Middle School, there are 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who create, develop, test, and conclude their own scientific inquiries.  These students work for several months to plan and complete their science fair projects each year.  This year our middle school sent 15 students to present their research at our local Regional Science Fair at St. Cloud State University on February 21st, 2015.  It is a professional experience where students have the opportunity to explain their experiment and results to several judges.  They also have the opportunity to network with other like-minded science students from other schools.  Several students earned awards, and we were fortunate enough to have five students advance to the MN Academy of Sciences State Fair, which took place on March 20th-22nd in Bloomington, MN.

MN Academy of Sciences State Fair Attendees and Awards


7th Graders:  Janagan Ramanathan and Carter Schumacher earned the Wolfram Research Mathematica Software Middle School Research Award (Project: “Aerodynamics: Effect of Blade Angle on Turbine Voltage Output”)  

8th Graders:  Gillian Orth and Cindy Zhang earned a Minnesota Academy of Science Grand Awards Bronze (Project: “Does Fear Change With Age?”)

8th Grader:   Elizabeth Ruder earned a Minnesota Academy of Science Grand Awards Bronze(Project: “Solar Power Water Desalination”)


Pictured above: Cindy Zhang, Gillian Orth, Elizabeth Ruder, Carter Schumacher, and Janagan Ramanathan

SCSU Central MN Regional Science Fair Attendees and Awards:


Left to Right

Front Row: 7th Graders:   Lydia Anderson and Jaden Nguyen (Merit Award), Janagan Ramanathan and Carter Schumacher (Premium Award), Ella Krauel and Mallory Daniels (Merit Award)

Back Row:  9th Grader:  Madeline Thieschafer (Merit Award)  8th Graders: Elizabeth Ruder (Association for Women Geoscientists Special Award and Premium Award), Gillian Orth and Cindy Zhang (Merit Award on Oral Research Paper Presentation and Premium Award), Jack Hackenmueller (Honorable Mention), Benjamin Kiewel (not pictured) and Jacob Miller (Merit Award), Elijah Lawson (not pictured) and Bennett Hill (Merit Award)

Sartell Middle School Academic Extensions


The goal of the middle school Academic Extensions program is to offer a wide variety of programs and activites in order to serve the needs and interests of all students. There are approximately 30 programs involving students in grades 5-8.  


We Day 2015

Art In Motion


Our latest artist in residency program with Heidi Jueb is complete and being enjoyed in our schools front entry. This collaborative metal welcome art piece was handmade from start to finish and utilized recycled materials, photos taken from students in school, welded panels, laser images created on a printer loaned from SCSU as an extension to the STEM program at the high school. This was funded by Central Minnesota Arts Board and is part of the Art In Motion program. Jueb led the project with approximately 80 students in conjunction with three classes in Photography, Multimedia and Metals fabrication along with teachers Joe Schulte, Nick Phillips, Angela Heckman and Jess Boline. 


We are also working on completing a ceramic bird installation with the artclub and metal fabrication students. Watch for this cool addition soon!

Family Library Story Hour


The Family Library Story Hour takes place at the District Service Center twice per month with approximately 15 children in attendance. During the sessions, children as young as 9 months up to 5 years participate with their parents or caregivers.


The session begins with children gathering in the comfort of their parents' laps singing a welcoming song and other music and movement songs that coincide with the book(s) and theme of the day. The parents also receive copies of lyrics so they can repeat and extend their child's learning at home. Parents and children listen as a licensed Early Childhood Teacher reads stories and shares methods that focus on the foundation of literacy skills that are needed to become a successful reader. Research has demonstrated that the key literacy areas include: 1. Narrative Skills, 2.Letter Knowledge, 3. Print Awareness, 4. Vocabulary, 5. Print Motivation, and 6.Phonological Awareness. 


The second half the session is parent-child interaction/activity time. Parents help enhance their child's literacy skills by working on specifically designed literacy based activities. Finally, parents and children check out a library book to enjoy at home. 


Over the past several months, parents have been able to meet other parents, gain support, build connections and develop relationships with other families in the district. "We are thankful for the SSEF for their support in making our Sartell community stronger through this educational endeavor" states Mrs. Larsen who is pictured above.

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