Woodbury's Crosswinds school now officially under Perpich Center's control

Once facing an uncertain future, Crosswinds Arts and Science School in Woodbury finally is on firmer footing — under the umbrella of the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

Last month, the Legislature approved a request it set aside a year ago to allow Crosswinds to be turned over to Perpich Center.

Perpich Center, based in Golden Valley, had stepped in this school year to manage the multidistrict Crosswinds program. But the facility itself remained under the control of the East Metro Integration District (EMID) pending state approval of the building transfer.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Troy Stein, a Crosswinds parent, in a news release issued by EMID Families. “This is one of those stories where the Legislature, the leadership of all the districts involved and the families of the kids will be able to look back and say, ‘We did a wonderful thing!’ ”

The Legislature also authorized the transfer of EMID’s other school — Harambee Community Cultures/Environmental Science Elementary — to the Roseville Area Schools.

Crosswinds, an arts magnet school for grades six through 10, saw its enrollment drop this year from about 350 students in 2012-13 to “just shy of 200,” said Mindy Rinkenberger, who handles communications and website duties for Crosswinds.

Now Perpich will step up efforts to boost enrollment, she said. On June 26, the school is hosting two fundraisers that also will serve as outreach efforts, Rinkenberger said.

For enrollment information, go to the school’s website at: crosswindsmn.org.


School lunch prices may rise in 2014-15

The cost of a school lunch for Stillwater Area Public Schools students may increase by 10 cents next year as schools seek to comply with new federal requirements.

The school board will decide this week whether to raise the cost of a lunch to $2.40 in the elementary schools and $2.70 in the middle and high schools, starting in the 2014-15 school year.

District 834 officials said they proposed increasing the cost of lunch to comply with one of the less-publicized components of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which requires schools to charge on average no less for paid student meals than the district receives in federal free meal subsidies — about $2.50 to $3 in most districts.

Families could face another price increase in the 2015-16 school year, said Dennis Bloom, the district’s director of operations, at a recent board meeting. He added that rising food prices were also a factor.

Even with the increases, Bloom said, the proposed lunch fees are comparable to other neighboring districts considering price hikes, including Mahtomedi, North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale and Inver Grove Heights.

Board action is expected Thursday.


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