What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to suzanne.ziegler@startribune.com.

Makeup classes offered for time lost to weather

Posted by: Steve Brandt under Politics and government Updated: February 11, 2014 - 6:14 PM

Minneapolis schools are launching a multi-pronged effort to help students regain time lost to extreme weather this school year before year-end tests and graduation arrive.

Those efforts include Saturday and spring break classes for students ranging from those behind on credits for graduation to those worried about passing tests that will help their college standing to those at risk of not achieving proficiency on state tests.

The district lost five days to cold-weather school cancelations last month, while more than 20 schools without air-conditioning lost an additional two days at the start of the year after classes were canceled for hot weather.

The voluntary classes that are being developed will be led by teachers who will be paid extra for their work, Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said in an interview Tuesday

The district's spring break academy will feature four days of instruction and a day of yet-to-be-determined enrichment.  It's aimed at students identified by teachers as needing additional help to pass the state's Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in April.  The district also is weighing whether to do the same over its winter break next school year.

Saturday classes will be offered at Sullivan, Folwell and Andersen for English-learner students who can't make after-school classes aimed at helping them pass their version of the state tests.

For high school students, three sites will offer pilot Saturday classes aimed at helping students to recover credits they failed earlier in high school that they need to graduate.  Those classes will be offered at Henry, Washburn and Edison high schools.

Also getting Saturday makeup classes will be high school students who are hoping to pass International Baccalaureate and advanced placement classes in end-of-class exams.

Johnson said the opportunities are a reaction to complaints from some parents that she values student safety during cold weather than classroom time.

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