Foundation Impact at Excelsior

2019-20 Foundation Teacher Grants for Excelsior






People Colors
Jayna Rafferty | Awarded: $410

By providing crayons and markers in a wider variety of skin tone colors, all of our students will see themselves represented in school and will feel equal, empowered and included. Providing these colors also increases cultural competency in students.


Fit & Fun Playscapes - Indoor Large
Motor Movement Tracks
Laura Nelson | Awarded: $4,000

Summary:  This provides indoor large motor opportunities for students using Playscapes, which are stenciled hallway floor patterns. The Playscapes provide student movement intervention body breaks for individuals or groups. On indoor recess days, the Playscapes will provide tracks, paths, and courses for students. Many of the paths are designed to use letters and numbers to reinforce academic skills learned in the classroom.






Draw the Future with 3D Pens
Allison Wachutka | Awarded: $450

Summary:  The addition of 3D Pens will provide students with authentic opportunities to create and the tools to bring those visions to reality. All 2nd/3rd grade Navigator students will use the 3D pens for projects such as novel engineering, J-term inquiry, monthly vocabulary projects, post-reading projects and other creative pursuits.


Sensory & Fine Motor Supports: Tools for the Classroom
lyssa Engdahl | Awarded: $2,000

Provides classroom tools to help meet general education students' fine motor and sensory motor needs. Occupational therapists will also provide teachers with education and training to successfully implement these tools. Teachers are able to use these simple, tier 1-2 tools in the classroom, resulting in better student outcomes and fewer special education needs.





Kids Build Then Code
Melinda Barry | Awarded $3,360

Media specialists teach computer science skills to all fifth graders including teaching the parts of the computer.  This program is a hands-on approach where students can learn computer parts, and put them into action by constructing an actual working computer in which they can open applications for coding and other learning.


Augmented and Virtual Reality Headsets: Taking Learning Beyond the Classroom
Sara Hunt | Awarded $9,210

The intent of this project is to bring virtual and augmented reality experiences to our students district-wide.  ClassVR uses engaging curriculum aligned content along with structured lesson plans to help spark the imagination of students of all ages. The lessons leave students with memories and experiences that help visualize and understand even the most complex of educational subjects, and engages and motivates them like never before. 



Excelsior Carts Library Excelsior carts #2



Launching The Hub to Promote Maker-Based Learning


Students are very enthusiastic about being able to use The Hub materials

. It is exciting for them to


use various materials to create structures.

- Excelsior Teacher

Future workplaces will require people who can problem-solve, adapt and communicate in environments that are increasingly complex.


With $200,000 from our Endowment Fund, the Foundation launched The Hub last year. We provided plugged and unplugged materials to enhance the tonka curricular program and support maker-based learning in all PreK-8 Minnetonka schools.



The Hub materials provided by the Foundation encourage open-ended student-driven learning experiences that encourage creativity, collaboration and teamwork to achieve a goal.

Students working on project   Students working on structure







Arcade Building


  Students working on structures


Students were able to use
problem-solving skills that wouldn't
have been present if the lesson was not hands-on.

- Excelsior Teacher




Tidiness factor=low. 

Engagement factor=high!"





- Excelsior Teacher






Students and teachers working together






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We also provide continued financial support for district-wide programs



Design for Learning
A district-wide innovation project that empowers students and staff to transform education through the design of the learning environment.



Parenting with Purpose
Raising Resilient Kids
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Arts Center at MHS

Save the Date for Foundation Events

Date TBD
Tour of Tables
Ladies Luncheon

February 1
Dream Makers
Bavaria Downs, Victoria MN




Your Financial Support of the Foundation will be used at Excelsior to:

  • Sponsor Excelsior teacher grants
  • Provide new Hub materials and technology
  • Replenish Hub consumable items used by students
  • Make future Hub enrichment events possible

"The Hub provides lessons and opportunities that are not present in our regular curriculum.”
- Excelsior teacher