About TriDistrict Community Education

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How are we related to the individual school districts?
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TriDistrict Community Education is a joint program between Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School Districts. Community Education has classes and activities for all ages from birth to senior citizens. Some of our programs are district specific, some are more general in nature, however they are available in all three districts and everyone is welcome in any of the programs. This collaboration has developed over many years.  

South St. Paul started a Community Education program in 1973, offering early childhood programs, community child care, and preschool. Inver Grove Heights began their Community Education program with the Senior Citizens Club in 1974. By 1978 South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights were collaborating to offer Early Childhood Family Education programs for both communities.

Although South St. Paul awarded its first GED in 1974, it wasn’t until 1981 that the South Suburban Adult Education Consortium was formed to serve residents in the West. St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Each, South St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights and South Washington County School Districts.

The consortium offers Adult Basic Education programs in all three districts today. South Washington Schools withdrew from the consortium in 1991.

School Age Care programs, offering before and after school care, and summer care, began in 1985 and 1986 in South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights. By 1990 South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights shared Early Childhood Programs and a Community Education Director.

During 1992 and 1993 Early Childhood Screening and School Readiness programs were offered jointly in both districts. The School Age Care programs were combined in 1998.

In 2003 West St. Paul joined the Community Education Collaboration. With a common director, TriDistrict Community Education was chosen to describe the partnership. TriDistrict Community Education is able to offer more programs and services to all three communities, and is supported by an Advisory Council with members from all districts. This shared model allows each district to benefit from sharing staffing duties, sharing resources, and increasing the offerings for community members, in addition to meeting the needs of the individual school districts.

Since 2003 each district has developed programs and services that serve primarily their own district residents, and programs that are open to anyone in the TriDistrict community. These programs include: Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Screening, School Readiness programs, Youth Enrichment and Youth Development programs, School Age Care programs, Aquatics, Adult Basic Education, Adult Enrichment, Adults with Disabilities programs, and Active Adults 55+ programs.