The St. Paul school district has served notice that it is leaving a multi-district collaborative formed two decades ago to integrate students from the city and its surrounding suburbs.

The departure from the East Metro Integration District (EMID) takes effect after the 2015-16 school year, according to action taken by the school board at a special meeting Tuesday.

In a news release, St. Paul Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva said that participation in EMID no longer fits the goals that her district has set as part of its Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0 strategic plan. But she spoke positively of the 10-district partnership.

"EMID has provided our students with so many wonderful opportunities and experiences over the years," Silva said. "I have especially treasured -- and will continue to enjoy -- the relationships I have developed with the other superintendents in EMID."

For many years, EMID promoted the integration of students through its operation of the Harambee Community Cultures/Environmental Science School in Maplewood and the Crosswinds Arts and Science School in Woodbury. But two years ago it turned over control of the schools to the Roseville Area Schools and the Perpich Center for Arts Education, respectively.

The integration schools were born in 1997 as part of the state's overhaul of its desegregation program. But as schools within the member districts grew more diverse, administrators shifted attention and resources away from Harambee and Crosswinds to local efforts to narrow the achievement gap between white and minority students.

St. Paul's move to leave the collaborative follows similar votes by the South Washington County, Spring Lake Park and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan school districts.

The Mahtomedi and North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale districts broke off their partnerships with EMID in 2009.