Though back-to-school preparations are in full swing for many families, there are some Independent School District 518 employees who never left for the summer break. One department that works through the summers is Community Education. The Community Education offices are currently in the West Learning Center, and staff are there year-round making sure our community has access to fun and critical programming.

The best way to check out what the Community Education department has been working on throughout the summer is to pick up the 2019 Fall Catalog. This catalog of events, classes and information is mailed to every household in the area, is available online, and can be picked up at district and community locations. Visit the to find a link to the catalog on the right side of the page. In the catalog, you will find a wealth of information ranging from community trips, to available classes, to general ISD 518 information.

There are some fantastic trip opportunities planned for this fall. In just a couple of weeks, a group will be headed to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis to watch the musical “Guys and Dolls.” In late August, a trip to the Minnesota State Fair has been slated. This is a great opportunity to attend the fair and not have to worry about directions, city traffic or parking. Simply board the bus and you are on your way to the “Great Minnesota Get-Together”! Later in the fall, trips to the SDSU versus NDSU college football game and Chanhassen Dinner Theater for the “Mama Mia!” show are scheduled.

There are always a plethora of wonderful class opportunities available through the Community Education department. I will highlight just a few of them here, but I encourage you to page through the catalog and see if anything catches your interest. Some of the upcoming classes include various technology classes focusing on smartphone and computer basics, carpentry classes, chalk art for home decor, cake decorating, dog obedience and AARP Smart Driver. These are but a few of the opportunities available to community members.

Other education focused classes are also popularly attended functions put on by Community Education. Some of these include various Nobles County Integration Collaborative programs, early childhood screening, Parents Advocating for Student Success (PASS), early childhood family education, and adult basic education classes for English learners, GED requirements and citizenship classes.

In the fall catalog there are also several pages of Independent School District 518 information including directories of phone numbers and websites for facilities and programs, weather alert information, back-to-school open house schedules, an academic master calendar for the 2019-2020 school year and more. Please take the time to flip through these pages of the catalog and take a look at the information contained there.

The Community Education department is an incredible asset to ISD 518. Their class catalog is available to everyone in the community and contains a wide range of classes and activities that benefit our community. We are grateful for all the hard work these employees put in throughout the year to keep offering these high-quality activities. We look forward to the classes and activities to come this fall.

Parker Sandhurst is District 518's communications coordinator.