The Orono Public School District 278 began as one-room schoolhouses scattered throughout different districts. In 1948-1949, the single Orono School District was established.
Today, the Orono School District is comprised of four schools on a 120-acre campus and serves students living in all or part of the municipalities of Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Medina, Maple Plain, Long Lake and Independence. The campus also includes a stadium, tennis courts, outdoor sports fields, an indoor swimming pool, the Orono Ice Arena and a Nature Center on Lake Classen.
The Orono Discovery Center located in nearby Maple Plain provides a community center for the district and offers a variety of programs for all ages.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of Orono Intermediate School, which currently serves students in grades 3-5.
Enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year (as of Aug. 15) in the Orono School District is 2,720.
There are 1,121 students at Schumann Elementary and Orono Intermediate School (K-5), 708 students at the Orono Middle School (6-8) and 891 students at the Orono High School (9-12).
There are some new initiatives for the coming school year at Orono Schools. The World Language Center opens this year at Schumann Elementary, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) program will also be expanded.
The STEM program allows students to apply what they learn in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to problem solve as they create, design, discover, collaborate and build.
More than 300 staff members are employed by the Orono School District.
Thirteen new teachers joined the staff this year. They will each be profiled separately in a series called “Meet the Teacher” over the next several weeks.
Most students were anxious to begin the new school year. Here's what some had to say about what they were most excited for:
"Definitely meeting my new teacher," said fourth-grader Abby.
"Meeting my new buddy in the MAC," said second-grader Makena.
"I'm excited for swimming," said third-grader Carolyn.
"Meeting my new teacher and seeing who is in my class," said Orono Intermediate School student Halle.
"Going home," said second-grader Avery.