Superintendent Erlandson’s visit with Banaadir Academy students

At a large conference table at Banaadir North Academy sat a group of eager and curious elementary students ready to share and engage in conversation about their school.   A warm-up question of what do you wish people asked you, led the group of ten students to begin talking about their favorite subject at school and why. And though enjoying gym class, soccer, and basketball in the big, beautiful gym was not a surprise to me, their complete enthusiasm for science, reading and writing was a delight to hear.  “I like writing, a lot, it helps me talk about the things on my mind.” To hear multiple students express joy in writing both fiction and non-fiction, is reflective of the love of learning taking place at Banaadir North. Another student shared appreciation for being challenged in math and value for thinking through problems. We were off the an energetic start and excited to hear more from the students!


“Very interesting experiments and labs, like making underwater volcanoes, learning about watersheds, and studying real brains!”  As the kids shared out, it soon became apparent that science and the many experiments students participated in were contributing greatly to their learning as well as helping to make Banaadir Academy the rewarding school it is today.  

Supportive community:

One sixth grader shared, “The community is awesome; you get to do extraordinary stuff!”  Students shared that they feel like there is someone there who really knows them, as individuals, and people are there to help all the kids.  Each and every student around the table felt they had an adult, or more, who was there for them.

After school support on Thursdays:

Students really loved not only getting extra help they might need, but also as a chance just to learn more and explore outside the traditional classroom.

Special field trips and residencies:

Artists in residence are a big hit as the students expressed their joy for drawing, painting, and anything that provides them with opportunity to create, and go deeper with what they are learning.

Part of the Artist in Residency project this spring is the study of birds.  Students are learning about habitats, behaviors, and more. Next, they get to take creative expression into their own hands and create their own birds!

The love of writing:

Students shared how cool it was to attend the Young Author’s Workshop at Bethel College where they explored and engaged in writing poetry, fiction, and had rich conversations with various authors.  This event is coming up again in May, and we’ll be sure to feature our students.


And of course, there are things like testing that happen in schools all around the state, and though you’d be pressed to find many students excited about testing, these Banaadir North students had a healthy philosophy about it all as they shared that the tests helped them see their growth–and that was exciting.

More to come:

Students had some ideas of how to make the school even better and we listened.  Don’t be surprised if you see some new after school clubs and activities on the roster next year, like: writing, robotics, art and painting, continued opportunities for soccer and more.