Happenings Blog Logo
  • Welcome to the Community Education Happenings Blog!

    We write this blog to keep you up-to-date on all of the things happening at Community Education, from new class opportunities and instructors to renovation plans and construction work at the CEC. We'll give you a behind the scenes look at events, classes and projects.

    Community Education is about you - our Byron community #ByronBears, and you inspire us to try new things and bring people together through activities and learning. Thank you for being part of Community Education!

  • ECFE Adds a New Parenting Resource

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 1/19/2023 5:00:00 PM

    Early Childhood Family Education - Parent Educator, Ann Miksch, is always looking to support parents and she has brought a fun new option – a Parenting Podcast. Parents can join this virtual chat via Google Meet. There are six sessions per Podcast scheduled for 8-8:45 pm.

    Topics may include:

    • Meltdowns and tantrums
    • Eating habits
    • Sleep issues
    • Appropriate developmental expectations
    • Setting boundaries

    Join in to get great advice on parenting challenges. The first session is on February 6. There is no fee for the podcast. Here is the schedule: February 6, 13, 27, March 6, 13, and 27.

    We are so lucky to have Ann on the ECFE team and so happy that she can share her expertise and guidance with Byron families. We hope you will tune in for this new ECFE Parenting Podcast and connect with Ann on challenges you may be facing as a parent. She has a lot of books, websites, and resources to share!

    Contact:  Ann Miksch at ann.miksch@byron.k12.mn.us


    Comments (-1)
  • Byron Preschool: Plans for the 2023-24 School Year

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 1/9/2023 9:00:00 AM

    As we move closer to construction at the Community Education Center, plans for the 2023-24 school year are taking shape. Next year, all Preschool classes will be housed at the CEC. Early Childhood Special Education will move to the CEC as well, which will improve service delivery for many students.

    We are in the process of mapping out the Preschool classes and sections that we will offer. Again, there will be a mix of full day and half day programs as well as two and three day per week classes.

    The building will be getting a facelift as well as infrastructure upgrades to electrical, HVAC, and more. An elevator will be added to increase access to the second floor of the Preschool wing. Construction will begin mid-May 2023 and be completed by the start of Preschool in the fall.

    Byron Preschool provides classes for students ages 3, 4 and 5. If you would like to learn more about Preschool options for your child, consider coming to the Preschool Information Night on February 23 at 6 pm. You can take a tour, meet staff, and learn about teaching and learning.

    We hope to see you on February 23!

    Comments (-1)
  • You asked for it – and we are giving you more Pickleball!

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 1/4/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Pickleball as a recreational sport has exploded over the past two years. Last year we offered open gym sessions at the Byron Middle School. This past fall, we added sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Community Education Center. For Winter/Spring 2023, we expanded offerings to include open gym on Mondays/Wednesdays and Tuesdays/Thursdays mornings at the CEC and open gym for intermediate players. Pickleball open gym is offered on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.

    For players looking to expand their skills, we added “Learn to Play Pickleball” and a “Beyond the Basics” class. Our Winter/Spring Class Catalog has a whole page of Pickleball options!

    Gym space continues to be in high demand for school athletics and activities, Community Education classes, and youth sporting organizations. We will do our best to fit in all of the Community Education classes and activities we can. It definitely is a challenge and we’ll keep working to find a good balance to meet the needs of the Byron community!

    Comments (-1)
  • Burn Off Energy at Family Open Gym

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 12/28/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Ask any parent and they will probably tell you that winter months are challenging! Children can be, well, a little squirrely during the long, cold months of winter. While we don't have a cure for cabin fever, we are offering something to help.

    FAMILY OPEN GYM on Saturdays and Sundays in February. There might be some group activities provided by Angie Puffer in the CEC Big Gym or Commons; however, the majority of open gym will be unstructured play time. Bring your own balls and sports equipment, shoot hoops, play a game of dodge ball or bean bag toss. Children must be supervised by an adult.

    open gym

    We know how important it is to have indoor recreation opportunities for children. Thank you to Angie Puffer for creating and running this program for Byron families!

    Jen and Katie

    Comments (-1)
  • Cooking and Crafting Up Some Magic

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 12/20/2022 6:00:00 AM

    magic cooking

    Community Education will be offering a new cooking and craft class inspired by Harry Potter! This class will explore food from the Harry Potter books. Students will get to make recipes from the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook in the new Culinary Arts Kitchen at the Community Education Center. Participants will also create magical crafts in the new Makerspace Classroom.

    The session allows students in grades 3-5 to immerse themselves in a beloved book series while engaging in STEAM learning activities. Whether they've read the books or seen the movies, students will enjoy exploring food and crafts in this class.

    Students can take the after-school activity bus to the CEC building. If you need your child to return to the Primary or Intermediate Schools for PK, please fill out the e-form during the registration process. You must register a week before class so that we have enough materials for all of the students. 

    HURRY! Registration is filling fast for this popular session.

    Sign Up

    Date:  Monday, March 13

    Time:  3:00-4:30 pm

    Fee:  $19.00; $10.00 for optional cookbook

    We can't wait to co-teach this Harry Potter themed class!

    Jen and Katie

    Comments (-1)
  • Outdoor Classes for Kids and Families

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 12/15/2022 8:00:00 AM

    Utilizing assets in our backyard is really important to us in Community Education. Byron has amazing resources and we are happy to partner with Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo to offer three new Back to Nature programs for kids and families across the winter and spring seasons.

    winter snow show

    • Wander through the Woods: a Family Ski, Snowshoe or Hike Event on Saturday, February 4
    • Birdwatching for Families on Saturday, April 1
    • Treasure Hunting:  Learning to Geocache at Oxbow on Saturday, May 13


    These activities are designed to get participants outdoors and reap the benefits of outdoor play, including:

    • Learning science
    • Increasing social interaction and collaboration
    • Promoting health and wellness
    • Providing new contexts for learning
    • Promoting better sleep
    • Supporting STEM skill development
    • Anchoring children in the real world experiences

    Check out the details online here.

    Join us for one or all of these sessions!  

    Jen and Katie

    Comments (-1)
  • New Middle School Art Club

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 11/30/2022 8:00:00 AM

    We are starting an Art Club for Middle School Students!

    The Art Club will meet for 5 weeks after school and explore a variety of art-making techniques and materials. Hang out with fellow creatives, make new artwork, and take on new creative challenges.

    Winter Session 

    Dates:  Wednesdays, February 22-March 29 (skip date 3/22)

    Spring Session

    Dates:  Thursdays, April 20-May 18

    Fall Sessions dates TBA

    Students who participate in any of the 5-week Art Club sessions throughout 2023 will be eligible to participate in Art Club activities including:

    • Fall 2023 art exhibition at the newly remodeled Community Education Center - students will submit work for the show and help install the exhibition
    • Priority registration for open studio sessions
    • Collaborative art project(s)
    • Community service projects

    This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

    We are excited to be able to offer this new program. Register early to get the "early-bird" discount!

    Comments (-1)
  • Community Education Awarded Grant for Makerspace

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 11/28/2022

    It's starting to look a lot like Christmas at Community Education! Boxes of new craft equipment and tools were delivered today.


    Thanks to a grant from the Peoples Energy Cooperative, we were able to add new Cricut cutting machines, tools, and heat presses to the Makerspace classroom.

    The new equipment will be used for Community Education classes this Winter/Spring and available for open studio sessions in the Makerspace next fall following the building renovation. 

    Try out the new equipment at an upcoming class.

    Learn the basics of crafting with cutting machines and heat presses while creating a personalized mug, tote bag or T-Shirt. These workshops are designed for beginning crafters and those who are curious about buying their own cutting machine and/or heat press.

    We hope to see you there!


    Comments (-1)
  • Starting a Sharing Library

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 11/11/2022 10:00:00 AM

    We are starting a sharing library in the new Community Room at the Community Education Center! The sharing library will be a "leave a book, take a book" structure. 

    If you have gently used books that you would like to donate, drop them off at the Community Education office or in the box in the Lobby. 

    We are also looking for sharing library volunteers to sort and shelve incoming books. If you are interested, contact us at 507-775-2336.

    Within the next year, the space will undergo a remodel as part of the larger building renovation. We will be adding comfortable seating, furnishings, tables and chairs, games, and puzzles to make the space welcoming. It will be a great place to get together with friends, meet new people, have a cup of coffee, and check out the new sharing library.

    Comments (-1)
  • New Letters on an "Old" Building

    Posted by Katie Schmitt on 10/29/2022 10:00:00 AM

    For many Byron residents, the "old" 1957 building brings memories of school days gone by. The building has had many iterations and recently has been renamed the "Byron Community Education Center". Letters were installed on October 10. The former "DACS" building houses Byron Preschool, Teddy Bear Child Care, the Community Education Office, enrichment classrooms, gymnasiums, the School Board Room, Byron Robotics headquarters, and more.


    The building is scheduled for renovations and upgrades in the Spring/Summer of 2023. The project plan, as part of the community referendum that passed in November 2022, includes new windows, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and more.

    Community Education has designated new classrooms for a makerspace, culinary arts, mind/body studio, as well as a new easily accessible community room. We are excited to be able to offer new classes, activities, and events. Our hope is create a community center that is the hub of activity in Byron - a place where people of all ages feel welcome to explore new learning opportunties and feel more connected to the community.

    We hope to see you at the Byron Community Education Center soon!


    Comments (-1)