BY TRACY MCCORMICK
The Minneapolis Public School District is weeks away from unrolling three models as part of their Comprehensive District Design. They have said that 60 percent of students (14,000 kids) will move schools under the boundary changes they have considered, and, as director Kim Ellison shared at a recent meeting, they expect half of current families will not be happy with the final plan, perhaps unhappy enough to leave for charter schools or neighboring districts. All of this with scant input from families and staff and no demonstrable improvements to our schools.
Here is a quick recap of the changes being looked at for Riverside schools:
Seward Montessori: Currently a K-8 magnet school that’s been modeled to change to a K-5 magnet school.
Anne Sullivan: Modeled to change from a K-8 community school to a K-5 magnet school with a STEM focus. Only those students who want that focus and can get in will be able to attend this school.
Dowling: Currently a K-5 environmentally-focused magnet school, poised to become a community school under the boundary proposal. So, it will lose the programming focus and only be open to students who live within the subscribed boundaries.
Hiawatha-Howe: Currently a split campus with K-2 at the Hiawatha campus and 3-5 at Howe. The district is still looking at how to handle such split campuses but there will likely be changes.
Shifting attendance boundaries is poised to leave many schools vastly under-enrolled. The district already has too much real estate for the number of students it serves. Closing schools is inevitable and recommendations on school closures is coming next.
The only remaining Listening Session in South Minneapolis will be Monday, Feb. 3, at Justice Page Middle School, 1 W. 49th St., from 6:30 to
Light refreshments will be served. School-aged childcare and interpretation will be available. If accommodations are needed, contact Sharifa Urey, 612-668-0128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.