North High School is getting an expanded boundary that district administrators hope will make the school more attractive to incoming students.
The proposal before the school board Tuesday night moves the boundary from a combination of Golden Valley Road and Broadway northward to 26th Av. N.
The change has the potential to boost enrollment at North, which is heading into the second year of phasing in a new academic program, as well as to use athletics to help rebuild the school’s identity.
The school is a citywide academic program, but the change means that people within the enlarged attendance area who don’t choose otherwise will be assigned to North, according to Kale Severson, the school’s co-athletic director. its athletic programs suffer because so much of the North Side is in the Patrick Henry High School attendance area, according to Michael Thomas, the area’s associate superintendent. That governs under Minnesota State High School League rules, unless students opt out at ninth grade.
Thomas said his prime motive is to boost attendance sufficiently to ensure North a viable future, after it almost closed several years ago for lack of students. This year’s inaugural freshman class at the school’s arts and communication academy numbered 63 students . The district projected that the new program will have 75 sophomores and 80 freshmen next year, before the boundary change.
The added attendance area now holds 722 k-seventh grade students who attend district schools.
The expanded attendance area now includes all of the one-mile walk zone for transportation that surrounds North.