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Welcome to the School of Environmental Studies!

The School of Environmental Studies (SES) is a public environmental magnet school for high school juniors and seniors. 

Opened in 1995 as a unique partnership between District 196, the City of Apple Valley, and the State of Minnesota (Minnesota Zoo), SES is a response to the well-documented need to create smaller, more effective learning communities providing authentic learning experiences.

Imagine yourself at a school where you are challenged to grow academically within the school and in environments outside of the school. Imagine a small school where the entire staff is available to help you develop your strengths and strengthen your shortcomings. Imagine what you could bring to a school filled with great individuals working together to understand how people come to live in their many environments

SES immerses its students in the study of environmental topics and issues working with and often alongside professionals in the field. Students graduate from SES knowing how to learn as well as what to learn and are well prepared for a lifetime of participation and education.

Learning in Action


SES gave me the tools to be successful in college through unique educational experiences and challenging curriculum.

lisa, 2004 graduate
It's a school that is based on earth's environments that quietly educates its students more about the human environment and what that means to grow as a person on this planet.

Isaac, 2004 graduate
SES provided an immersive learning experience where I found a new passion for learning through an environment of mutual respect, exploration and engagement across teachers, staff and students.

trevor, 1998 graduate


SES foundation logo

School of Environmental Studies Foundation

The School of Environmental Studies Education Foundation (SESEF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3)community group of volunteers who find many ways to support SES. Established in 1999, the foundation encourages high academic standards, experiential learning, and excellence in teaching by providing scholarships and grants for new and innovative projects that, due to budget limitations, the school is unable to fund.

The mission of the SESEF is to stimulate innovation, opportunity, and advocacy for the School of Environmental Studies community and the positive contributions it makes to the world.