Eight years ago, Minnetonka Public Schools launched an effort to expand strategic planning in support of a new culture of innovation. Since 2010, Minnetonka has become a national leader and a model in the development of a structured and research-based approach to incubating and accelerating innovative strategies to better meet the needs of students. Staff members in Minnetonka understand and see value in the District’s efforts.
In addition to positively impacting the culture of the district, the process has produced a pipeline of excellent new programs that directly benefit student learning in many different ways. These improvements range from big ideas that draw prospective new families to the district, to smaller ideas that improve the day-to-day operations for staff and students.
An important goal adopted by the Minnetonka School Board in 2018 is to provide experiential learning opportunities and inquiry-based learning opportunities for E-12 students to enable them to strengthen their learning, increase their interest and enhance their motivation for learning. Teachers and staff are working to create meaningful, standards-based learning experiences that tie closely to the Minnetonka Instructional Framework of best practices for student learning including authentic and real-world learning and personalized learning opportunities. These learning experiences are helping our students to become authentic problem solvers and critical thinkers in a constantly changing world. Click here to see the most recent stories and updates on Experiential and Inquiry Based Learning.
Student innovators from MME, MMW, and MHS work on teams using the Human Centered Design process to solve problems that affect their school experiences. They start with “How Might We” statements and move through the design process including prototyping and testing solutions. The innovation teams work together to recognize and identify real needs among the student body and work together to improve the student experience for everyone in Minnetonka.
View the most recent stories and updates on MHS student innovation work.
The Big Hunt for Ideas is our crowd-based innovation program. We recognize the potential of employees to surface ideas that can lead to new products, new services, or better efficiencies in the ways that we work together. Staff members who work with students in classrooms, hallways, parking lots and cafeterias every day are much more likely to see the gaps in service, the unmet needs, or the opportunities that may have been overlooked.The Big Hunt for Ideas gives our staff a place to share their ideas with colleagues in a dynamic, collaborative environment. Over time, the culture of innovation in our District has created a “what if?” culture that is uniquely focused on the needs of students in a rapidly changing world. Over the past years, new “Big” programs have been launched based on ideas submitted by staff ideas like:
In addition to these large-scale programs, there have been countless small and medium ideas that have impacted the lives of students and staff.
Learn more about the Hunt for Big Ideas.