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While administrators have yet to make a recommendation about the overall grade configuration, they have endorsed making Fair Oaks, Center Island and Oak View schools that serve pre-K through grades five or six. Most parents seem to be on board with that plan.
The Basswood proposal, however, is a different story.
As of Friday, almost 700 people had signed an online petition protesting the plan, which many believe was hastily put together and lacked parent input. The school board is slated to discuss the plan at a workshop Tuesday.
Parents who live the neighborhoods targeted to shift to Oak View’s attendance zone say the district should have cut off open enrollment before proposing a controversial boundary change. The district has allowed about 120 students to open enroll into Basswood — roughly the same number of students who live in the census area slated to be shifted into Oak View’s boundaries.
“What we really want from them is more justification for this decision,” said parent Chad Weineke, who said he doesn’t think overcrowding at Basswood had negatively affected his son’s education.
Weineke and other parents who live in the proposed boundary-change area say their opposition is shaped more by their desire to stay in Basswood than by disdain for Oak View, where 56 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches and 58 percent of students are minorities. In comparison, 12 percent of Basswood students receive poverty aid, while 25 percent are students of color.
The parents do cite Oak View’s scores on Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, which are among the bottom tier in the Osseo district’s 17 elementaries. Last year, 47 percent of Oak View students were proficient in math and 40 percent were proficient in reading.
Oak View Principal Ann Mock defends her students’ performance on standardized tests and points out that their growth scores are more in line with other Osseo elementary students. “We know we’re a good school,” she said.
That’s a sentiment shared by Jennifer Lundeen, whose son is an Oak View fourth-grader. She praised Mock and Oak View teachers for working hard to make sure all students are engaged, challenged and motivated.
“This school is not a stagnant school,” she said.
Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469