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Continued: Osseo schools seek to realign grades for more space

  • Article by: KIM MCGUIRE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 12, 2014 - 3:47 PM

The district probably would pay for the remainder of the project’s cost by either tapping operating capital funds, selling facility bonds or using an alternative facilities levy for deferred maintenance.

Even with a possible tax increase in play, many Osseo parents support the plan, especially now that boundary changes aren’t being discussed.

Bethany O’Dwyer, who has three sons at Basswood Elementary, has always backed the proposal. She thinks middle schools have more to offer sixth-graders, such as the opportunity to participate in debate or take an art class.

“I know it won’t be an easy decision, but I think it’s going to be good for the district in the long run,” she said.

If the school board does not approve reconfiguring the grades, administrators say they’ll have to make boundary adjustments at most of the district’s elementary schools in order to make room for all-day kindergarten.

It’s unclear which students would have to move, though an estimated 400-plus students would likely be affected.

Earlier this year, controversy erupted when administrators proposed moving about 100 kids from the popular Basswood Elementary, which has higher test scores, to Oak View Elementary. Parents complained the move was unnecessary, and ultimately administrators backed off the idea.

Reassigning students probably would have been the least expensive way to make room at the high schools for incoming freshmen.

But administrators say they can still be fiscally responsible and disrupt students very little by building the additions.

“This [realigning grades] will be a great benefit to our students,” Maguire said. “I’m about the outcome and open to the journey of how we get there.”

Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469

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  • Parents at Basswood Elementary in Maple Grove quizzed Osseo Schools Superintendent Kate Maguire earlier this year about a proposal to move some students to Oak View Elementary, but district administrators backed off the idea in the face of opposition.

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