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Senators visit Rosemount High School to explore programs

Minnesota Senate E-12 education finance committee chair Chuck Wiger, foreground, listens to a presentation Monday at Rosemount High School. Also pictured are former RHS principal and current Minnesota Senator Greg Clausen and current RHS principal John Wollersheim.

Former Rosemount High School principal Greg Clausen brought some of his new Senate colleagues back to his old school Monday morning.

The visit from members of the Minnesota Senate’s E-12 finance committee provided a chance to talk education in general but it was specifically intended to allow RHS to show off its two-year-old LADR program.

LADR — the name is an acronym for Leading and Developing Readiness — is a partnership with Inver Hills Community College that is meant to get students in the 30th to 70th percentile of class rank thinking early about college and what it takes to get there. Students are identified in their freshman year and start in the program as sophomores. They can earn college credits during their junior and senior years.

In addition to Clausen, who serves on the E-12 finance committee, committee chair Chuck Wiger and Senators Susan Kent and Jim Carlson attended the tour. Senators talked with superintendent Jane Berenz, then got a chance to visit a LADR classroom and find out what students are working on.

Clausen said Wiger approached him about setting up a visit in his old school district. The idea behind the visit to Rosemount and others planned this week was to pick up information about some of the successful programs in place at Minnesota schools and to answer questions Minnesota educators have about what’s going on at the capitol.

Assistant principal Kim Budde, who helped develop the LADR program three years ago in partnership with Inver Hills, said it was nice to have a chance to showcase the program’s success.

Budde said students in the LADR program are starting to think about college now in more specific terms. In addition to taking college-level classes they are figuring out what they need to do to make sure they are ready to succeed once they enroll.

Students who complete the LADR program are guaranteed a place at Inver Hills if they choose to go there.

“It was really awesome,” she said of the visit. “I think it’s a really solid program with a lot of potential. It was nice to be able to share that.”

The grant money that paid for the development of the LADR program will run out after this school year. Budde said the program will continue with funding from the school’s regular budget.

“We tried to invest wisely with the grant money with textbooks,” she said.

Monday’s visit was part of a larger statewide tour Wiger and members of the E-12 finance committee are taking to Minnesota schools.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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