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Peace of Mind is growing up

Peace of Mind Early Education Center has expanded its school to use the entire building located at 9025 Tamarack Road following the closure of Footprints Academy. (Submitted photo)

Peace of Mind Early Education Center is stretching its legs and growing.

The school, located at 9025 Tamarack Road, has expanded into all classrooms in its building after Footprints Academy, which shared the building, closed in June.

Nikki Robbins, Peace of Mind’s director, said the school has spent the whole summer getting the building ready in time for students to return on Sept. 2.

“It’s been really nice to focus on 100 percent early childhood here,” she said. “We’ve definitely been working our little tails off, I’m telling you.”

Peace of Mind will offer early childhood through kindergarten classes during the school year in addition to before- and after-school programs and summer camp.

“We really are trying to be a premier child care program,” Robbins said.

Making school special

Now that Footprints Academy has moved out of the building, Robbins said Peace of Mind is not only able to utilize seven additional classrooms, but it has also been able to repurpose some of the common areas – library and gym – from previously shared spaces.

With the additional seven classrooms, Robbins said Peace of Mind has been able to create specialist classrooms for science, music and art, which will be separate from the regular classrooms.

“Adding these separate specialist rooms allows teachers to have so many opportunities for resources,” she said. “Teachers can take kids into the areas to learn or they can check out bins with various resources.”

The additional classroom space will also provide Peace of Mind access to SmartBoards and iPads, which were only available to elementary students at Footprints Academy previously.

“The interest in technology is continuing to grow,” Robbins said.

Not having to share the common areas, such as the gym and the library, with another school will only add to teachers’ ability to teach, she said.

Robbins said Peace of Mind has been able to repurpose its library into more of a gathering area, while still continuing to house its book collection.

Currently Peace of Mind is licensed to have 144 students, which the school is hoping to have by the fall, but with the new spaces the school could potentially expand to up to 160 students if it should choose, Robbins said.

Robbins said she is excited for the next chapter in Peace of Mind’s story.

“We started in a strip mall 20 years ago and there were lots of things we dreamt of doing that we’re actually doing now,” she said. “It’s almost like starting over and creating the ideal center.”

Peace of Mind Early Education Center will have a Back to School Night on Aug. 28 from 6:15-7:15 p.m. Peace of Mind is still accepting applications for the fall, visit for more information.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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