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Photo Release: Commissioner Jett, Literacy Director Novak View Structured Literacy Lesson at Osseo Area Schools (12/8/23)

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Commissioner Willie Jett and Literacy Director Julie Novak visited Rush Creek Elementary School Friday to see a structured literacy lesson being taught in a kindergarten classroom. 

Jett and Novak visited the classroom of kindergarten teacher Linda Schwartz to see her teach a lesson and interact with students. They also connected with Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel.

Commissioner Jett and Novak spoke about the Minnesota Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act and thanked Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and legislators for their support for the measure. Osseo Area Schools teachers also spoke about what they are seeing in the classroom. 

Commissioner Willie Jett speaks to students working at their desks

Commissioner Willie Jett speaks with kindergarten students while visiting their classroom at Rush Creek Elementary School. 

A boy smiles at the camera as his teacher teaches the lesson and Commissioner Jett, Julie Novak and other adults observe the lesson

Commissioner Willie Jett and MDE Literacy Director Julie Novak viewed a structured literacy lesson in the classroom of kindergarten teacher Linda Schwartz. They were joined by Rush Creek Principal Josephine Johnson and state Rep. Kristin Bahner. 

Commissioner Jett speaks as a podium as four women look on

Commissioner Willie Jett speaks about the READ Act during a visit to Rush Creek Elementary School. Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel, MDE Literacy Director Julie Novak, and Osseo Area Schools teachers Paige Daley and Carmy Mersereau also spoke about what is happening in classrooms using structured literacy. 

Julie Novak speaks to a young student working at his desk

Literacy Director Julie Novak speaks to a student who is working on a lesson. 

Commissioner Willie Jett speaks to kindergarten teacher Linda Schwartz

Commissioner Willie Jett speaks with Rush Creek kindergarten teacher Linda Schwartz during a visit to her classroom. 

The Minnesota Department of Education provides an excellent education for Minnesota students by striving for excellence, equity and opportunity. The agency focuses on closing the achievement gap, supporting high-quality teaching, using innovative strategies to improve educational outcomes, and ensuring all students graduate from high school well-prepared for college, career and life. The Minnesota Department of Education develops, builds and maintains collaborative relationships with schools, districts, libraries and other stakeholders through a wide variety of advisory boards, councils and committees.

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