I.J. Holton Intermediate School


I.J. Holton Intermediate School is located in Austin, Minnesota, home to the Hormel meat packing plant and corporate offices. The population of Austin is ethnically and socioeconomically diverse. 40.3% are students of color and 59.8% students qualify for free and reduced lunch. While many students are of Hispanic background (27.1%), a growing number of Karenni refugees are relocating in Austin, and 11.3% of students have limited English proficiency. 15.7% of students receive special education support.


I.J. Holton opened its doors in 2013, and it educates all of the fifth and sixth grade public school students from the Austin community. Enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year was 701 students.

Full Steam Ahead

I.J. Holton has a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) focus, with inquiry-based learning a priority-- lots of opportunity for arts integration! Teachers and students work as trans-disciplinary teams, and staff believes that arts integration will support all students’ academic achievement and growth. The facility was designed to support this learning with flexible learning spaces and 1-to-1 laptop computers.


I.J. Holton is a Priority School. Data from the Department of Education shows declining growth in English and Math learning while the achievement gap is growing. Many students are not meeting proficiency benchmarks in math or reading. To address these needs the school was awarded a School Improvement Grant (SIG) and created a formal school leadership implementation team. This team of individuals will guide the implementation of arts integration to address these challenges school-wide.


The arts teachers have worked hard to develop strong arts curriculum and already teachers and the community have seen the success of students involved in the arts. The music programs have been recognized throughout the state. In addition, the school is fortunate to have community partnerships with organizations like the Austin Area Commission for the Arts who are devoted to providing arts access to everyone. In the coming year the school will leverage current partnerships with McPhail, Riverland Community College, and local artists as well.

Setting Goals

I.J. Holton will use the arts to address goals in three priority areas: Student Learning, Family Involvement, and School Culture and Climate. Their Strategic Arts Plan is still being finalized, so check back for details.


I.J. Holton Intermediate School: Quick Facts

I.J. Holton Intermediate School, 1800 4th Ave SE, Austin, MN, 55912


Principal: Angi McAndrews


Grades 5 & 6

Enrollment: 701


SIG Grant: 2014

2016 MDE Designation: Priority


Student Population

7%     African American

0.4%  American Indian/ Alaskan Native

6%     Asian/ Pacific Islander

27%   Hispanic 

57%   White

11%    Limited English Proficient

16%   Special Education

60%   Free and reduced lunch.