by Mike Knaak
When the Sartell school district is done with its plan to reconfigure grades and schools, third through fifth-graders will enter a school with a new name.
In fall 2020, the current middle school will be their home and a new name will replace the “3-5 building” tag informally used by staff and administrators.
Starting on May 13, students, staff, parents and community members will have a chance to vote on three names selected from a naming process that began in last November.
The three names are:
Mississippi Mills Intermediate School.
Riverview Intermediate School.
Watab River Intermediate School.
Zach Dingmann, currently an assistant principal at Sartell Middle School, is slated to be the intermediate school principal. He headed up a project to come up with a name.
“We created for a process for all to have a voice – students, staff, the community,” Dingmann said.
Having a name that grew from a common effort will help build a sense of community when children who are now in different buildings come together, Dingmann said.
In the classrooms, the naming exercise went beyond just brainstorming. The teachers created a lesson about how buildings and other objects get named. History, geography, location and vision all shape how a building is named, students learned.
For example, Dingmann said, the vision for the intermediate school will be community connections and an environmental focus with hands-on learning.
The committee collected about 70 names submitted by classes at the end of the naming lesson and from staff. Those names were narrowed to six and then to the final three.
Voting will take place online with through a link on the district’s website as well as a link for students and staff available through their portals. Paper ballots will be available at each building for people who don’t want to vote online.
Voting will end May 24, but the winning name won’t be revealed until an event next fall.
“It will be exciting to get everyone involved,” Dingmann said.