Minneapolis enrollment plan readied for Tuesday vote

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 10, 2013 - 5:16 AM

Changes proposed at Wilder set the stage for the biggest enrollment shift in Minneapolis schools since 2009.

A sweeping plan designed to handle booming enrollment in Minneapolis schools over the next five years goes before the school board for a vote Tuesday evening, meaning changes for almost a third of district students.

The plan arrives back at the board with two final changes from the revised version the board saw last month:

• A competitive-entry elementary program for advanced students proposed for the Wilder building on Chicago Avenue has been dropped, but an undefined program for pre-kindergarten to fifth grade would open there in 2015.

• A middle school in another portion of that building has also been scrapped in favor of expanding Sanford Middle School in 2016. The district previously backed off a shift opposed by some parents of middle-school Spanish immersion students from Anwatin Middle School to Wilder.

The proposal represents the biggest change since the district’s massive restructuring of attendance patterns in 2009, when it was still reacting to declining enrollment.

It’s designed to accommodate the 3,400 students the district projects it will add by 2017, and aimed at creating some programs to attract students back from charter and other schools.

Some of those proposed changes include expanding the Spanish immersion program to a third elementary school at Sheridan (2015) and to Roosevelt High School, adding a second magnet at North High School (2015) focused on technical fields, possible later addition of an arts-technical program at Sanford and Roosevelt, and more early childhood programs.

The proposal affects about 10,500 students, although many won’t see much change. The proposal defers to 2017 the idea of a college prep or audition-based arts high school, which some parents felt would weaken existing high school arts programs. A proposal to open a school that would help immigrant students through their college years was also deferred.

 

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

Twitter: @brandtstrib

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