Plans to open Minnesota's first school run by teachers are on hold after the Minneapolis School District failed to attract enough students.
Pierre Bottineau French Immersion School would be the state's first self-governed school, an option approved by the Legislature in 2009 in hopes of improving student achievement.
Minneapolis set an enrollment target of 90 students for Pierre Bottineau to open at 1501 30th Av. N. in the fall; fewer than half that number committed by the June 1 deadline.
The delay is the second blow to the district's strategy of opening more nontraditional schools in neighborhoods with poorly performing schools. Earlier this year, leaders of Minneapolis College Prep charter high school pushed back their start date to fall 2012, much to the dismay of school board members.
"There may be setbacks, but we're still committed to the strategy," said Rachel Hicks, a district spokeswoman.
Another district-sponsored school, Minnesota School of Science, will open on the North Side this fall, replacing Cityview Community School. School officials shut Cityview down after students and staff struggled for years to meet the demands of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
At Pierre Bottineau, teachers would lead the school and develop its curriculum. The school district would still control the student funding and teachers remain unionized.
Parents who registered their children to attend Pierre Bottineau are guaranteed a spot in fall 2012, the new target opening date. The district's student-placement office will help those families find schools for this fall.
Corey Mitchell • 612-673-4491