Minneapolis' North High School has escaped yet another threat.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to permit an incoming freshman class at the school, which Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson previously had planned to close because enrollment had dipped to fewer than 280 students, a decline of nearly 70 percent over the past decade.

Even after two deadline extensions, North High's supporters failed to recruit 125 incoming ninth-graders, which was Johnson's target to maintain a freshman class for the 2011-12 school year.

Despite the setback, the dedication of the school's advocates led Johnson to ask the school board to enroll the 52 students who had signed up to attend North as ninth-graders.

The Institute for Student Achievement, which has helped struggling schools in five states attract students and improve academics, will help create a new North High to open in fall 2012.

The company also will support students and staff at the current high school, which the district plans to eventually close. School officials have not yet decided if the new North High will use the same campus, 1500 James Av. N.

COREY MITCHELL