Residents of the city's Longfellow neighborhood are buoyed by the prospect of Howe School reopening in fall 2013 as part of a plan to create a dual K-5 campus with nearby Hiawatha Community School.

Reopening the school, which shut down in 2005, would allow the Minneapolis Public Schools to open up more space for the crush of kindergarten students expected to crowd classrooms in south Minneapolis over the next several years.

But the school district isn't so sure that's the right move now.

 

Residents who live near Howe will host a "Howe-loween" rally and parade at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, to show their support for reopening the school, 3733 43rd Av. S.

"We were always told that it would never reopen as a school," said organizer Sarah Nassif, who lives a half-block from Howe. "If the school district can use it, we think they should."

The district is also consider reopening Cooper School instead, residents learned last week during a community meeting.

The district is entertaining four offers for the Howe property, including two from charter schools. If the district sells Howe, it may be able to use the money to reopen Cooper.

If not, the district could try to interest the bidders in the Cooper property, and attempt to use proceeds from that sale to pay for Howe's renovation.

Nassif favors reopening Howe, which is four blocks from Hiawatha. Cooper, 3239 44th Av. S., and Hiawatha are nine blocks apart.

Reopening one of the two schools is part of a plan to deal with an unexpected increase in enrollment in Minneapolis' elementary and middle school.

District staff has hosted meetings around the city this month on proposals which could alter attendance boundaries or grade assignments for more than a dozen schools.

"Everyone is excited about the prospect and hopes that [Minneapolis Public Schools] will see all of the benefits of investing in ... Howe," Nassif wrote in a release.

Here's a look at the Hiawatha dual campus proposal, which includes reopening Cooper or Howe:

Hiawatha Strategy