School District 196
Independent School District 196 is a state and nationally recognized E-12 public school district located in the south suburban Twin Cities, conveniently accessible to both Minneapolis and St. Paul. District 196 is the fourth-largest school district in Minnesota and includes all or part of Apple Valley, Rosemount Eagan, Burnsville, Coates, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville and rural Empire and Vermillion townships. The district serves approximately 28,000 students in early childhood programs through 12th grade.
District 196 has 18 elementary schools (grades K-5), including three elementary magnet schools, six middle schools (grades 6-8); four high schools (grades 9-12); an optional School of Environmental Studies at the Minnesota Zoo for juniors and seniors; an Area Learning Center alternative high school, a K-12 special education school, (Dakota Ridge), and a special education school serving young adults ages 18-21 (Transition Plus and Pathway). The district prides itself on the diversity of educational options offered to varying types and levels of students.
District 196 has received both national and state recognition for its commitment to academic excellence. As many as six of the districtís schools have been distinguished as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence since 1987. For 15 consecutive years, District 196 has been recognized among the nation's top school districts as having the qualities parents want most (What Parents Want Award) and for the past two years District 196 has been named a Gold Medal School District in Expansion Management Magazineís annual Education Quotient report.
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