Opened in 1995 as a unique partnership between Independent School District 196, the City of Apple Valley, and the State of Minnesota (Minnesota Zoo), the School of Environmental Studies (SES) is a response to the well-documented need to create smaller, more effective learning communities providing authentic learning experiences.
The School of Environmental Studies at the Minnesota Zoo is a community of leaders learning to enhance the relationships between people and their environments.
SES Mission Statement
The School of Environmental Studies at the Minnesota Zoo will develop active citizen leaders who are:
- environmentally informed
- self-perpetuating learners
- connected to the local and global community
To foster leadership we will:
- Draw our purpose for all decisions and actions directly from the common vision and synergistic environment which define our school.
- Provide a strong academic background integrating discipline-based and interdisciplinary studies.
- Partner with multiple organizations to extend authentic learning experiences into a variety of real-world experiences.
- Encourage intellectual and emotional risk-taking.
- Encourage sustainable environmental actions.
- Educational opportunities must be shaped by the needs and interests of our students.
- Perspectives gained through intercultural communications strengthen relationships between people.
- An inquiry-based interdisciplinary learning environment deepens understanding.
- A Thorough understanding of environmental systems and their interrelationships is essential.
- Leadership is defined by action.
- Academic challenge is critical to the development of learners.
- Effective communities value collaboration, flexibility, and respect.
- Access to technology empowers learning.
- Active, experimental learning is fundamental.
- Our work is vital and relevant.