Questions and Answers
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Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

As part of our community engagement process around the Comprehensive District Design, we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions.

This page includes questions about:

This page will be updated regularly through the summer during the community engagement process. This page was last updated on May 21, 2019. 

Process

P-1.) Why haven’t you involved the community in your plan? You’re not being transparent.

The Board asked MPS administrators in September 2018 to develop a handful of recommendations that they could react/respond to. That is what was presented to the Board on April 30. It was always the intention to also share those recommendations with all MPS stakeholders for feedback before the Board would take any final action. MPS has scheduled community discussions for April through August prior to a tentative Board vote in late August 2019. A partial schedule of feedback opportunities can be found here.

MPS feels strongly that academics must be the first element of any plan, and academics are the foundation of the three recommended models. District staff felt it was unfair to first ask what people wanted, knowing that they may not have full knowledge of budget, staff capacity, state and federal laws, etc. We wanted to present a plan for families to react to.

P-2.) When is the plan taking effect? When are the changes happening?

Predictable Staffing is being implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.  Also in 2019-2020, Cityview, Green Central and Bethune families will benefit from a new Full Service Community Schools grant that will help them families connect onsite to needed family support resources. Also, every school will benefit from an investment in differentiation specialists to support advanced learners and students who need academic interventions. Finally there will be a significant investment in professional development for teachers and support staff.

Other programming and pathway recommendations under consideration would be implemented beginning in the 2020-2021 (Region 1) and 2021-2022 (Region 2) school years.

P-3.) Why are you holding a community meeting at Wilder? Parking, building size and many hallways are difficult to negotiate.

Wilder presents one of the best opportunities for parking because of the MPS parking lot directly across the street from the appropriate building entrance at the corner of Chicago and 34th Ave. S. The auditorium is right inside the Chicago and 34th entrance. The entrance requires no negotiating the many long hallways of the large building. We are working on improving the lighting and technology in that auditorium.

P-4.) Are we going to do any EDIAs related to the Design?

The primary purpose of EDIAs -- Equity and Diversity Impact Assessments -- is to impact and direct policy. The Comprehensive Design is not policy but must align with district policy 1304. Elements of design will be reviewed to ensure that there is not a disparate impact of students groups. In the event that disparities are identified, a mitigation plan will be developed to address potential negative impacts and/or revisions to the design will be made as needed.

Academics

A-1.) Why is the CTE program moving to North High School? How did you pick that site?

Assigning programs into sites is always a balancing act based on geographic location, space availability, and financial resources. Our goal was to create a centralized CTE center that would be available to all students regardless of zip code. North High School has the space and this allows MPS to make an important investment on the Northside.

A-2.) Why aren’t the CTE automotive and construction programs also being moved to North?

Our first goal was to create a central CTE site that would provide equitable access for all Minneapolis high school studies to pursue professional studies, including the trades. We want this model to support IB, career programs, certifications, as well as college credit-earning opportunities. In the first phase of the launch of the Comprehensive Design, it is cost-prohibitive to move our trades programs from Roosevelt to North. Those facilities will be a satellite location for students  and transportation will be provided by MPS as needed. Arrangements for the future have not yet been determined.

A-3.) What do we mean by a well-rounded education?

MPS supports the federal definition of a well-rounded education:  . . .courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, global languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience. (Every Student Succeeds Act: S. 1177-298).

A-4.) How will we monitor and assess a well-rounded education in future years? What are signs of success?

The monitoring plan will be developed upon approval of the comprehensive design. The monitoring plan will consist of both process and outcomes measures. World’s best workforce measures such as 3rd grade reading, advanced course participation and graduation rates are expected to be monitored quarterly. Process outcomes will be developed upon completion of comprehensive design implementation plan.

A- 5.) How is this plan going to achieve higher academic achievement?

There are many factors that impact academic achievement. This plan, with its focus on consistent pathways, differentiation, academic rigor, interdisciplinary learning,  social and emotional learning and equity supports improvement outcomes

A-6.) Why isn’t the district creating a Spanish immersion preschool, i.e. Joyce Preschool (2), Casa de Corazon (2), Tierra Encantada (2), and Jardin Spanish Immersion Academy)? It could be a money-maker.

In schools with dual language programs, such as Andersen and Green, there are dual language High Five (preschool) classrooms. These classrooms feed into the dual language pathway at that school.

A-7.) Can my child have Immersion and the International Baccalaureate program?

Not at the elementary or middle school level, per the recommendations proposed through the District Design. However both high school immersion pathways have IB programs in which students can participate and graduate.

A-8.) What if my student goes to an IB high school without having been in an IB Middle School? Won’t she be at a disadvantage?

No. The IB Middle Years Program (MYP) is designed to support the content and curriculum already being taught in grades 6-10.  It is a framework for instruction and learning. Students who do not attend an IB MYP Middle School, but go to an IB MYP High School will not be disadvantaged in any way. The program is designed in two parts/cycles (6-8 and 9-10).  So students will start cycle two together in grade 9. You do not need to have experienced MYP 6-8. The only learning curve may be experience with the IB specific language and vocabulary, but all IB MYP high school teachers and leaders approach their IB MYP framework of instruction as if students  have no experience with IB programs yet.

A-9.) What are MPS’s plans for personalized learning?

Personalization would include us establishing a criteria for meeting expectations for personalized learning across pre k to high school campuses. Through sub-committees we would explore:

  • Adaptive Individualized Learning Maps that guide students throughout their school experiences in Minneapolis Public Schools using Learning Maps that would serve as GPS navigation for students and families to meet college and/or  areer goals.

  • Ethic of Care Model to establish a process for ensuring effective relationships between adults and teachers for each and every student including students of color, English learners, and students receiving special education services. Students are most successful when they are connected to an adult who can help provide critical assistance during key transitions during their school career. In addition, we would create a tool that can pull from all current data and student management platforms and align this with student interests/goals etc to create a personalized learning plan.  This would include a variety of academic/career pathways for students, mentorships, internships, community partnerships. We would also form a campus-wide process for ensuring a network of care for each student: inclusive of a counselor, advisor/teacher, along with other key staff members.

Sustainability

S-1.) How much is this plan going to cost?

We have costed out many of the academic programs, but final costs and or savings cannot be determined until a recommendation is selected. Then we can more accurately account for staffing, transportation, facilities/capital, curriculum and other costs as well as where we can reallocate resources or apply savings. When isolating just transportation costs we anticipate that the current model is the most costly while the four-zone model may generate the most transportation savings.  One caveat is that transportation costs are also impacted by bell times, boundaries, student placement rules and an ongoing market shortage of drivers that affect routing and scheduling.

S-2.) Does the Comprehensive District Design reduce transportation costs?

Ideally a redesign would save on some operational expenses, including transportation. The four-zone model should realize transportation savings, depending upon attendance boundaries and placement protocols, which won’t be determined until a model is chosen. A special education model that keeps children in neighborhood schools would also reduce ride times for some of our most vulnerable children, however our district is reimbursed by the government for those costs, so the savings is limited.

S-3.) I notice that there is very little mention of schools being closed. Is that off the table?

Nothing is off the table at this point. This year’s discussion does not include closing any buildings. Those discussions could take place in future years of implementation, but nothing is decided, nor will it be decided without community input. That said, our assessment outlined the fact that MPS’s structure is greater than its need, so everything must be considered going forward -- investing in increasing enrollment, as well as ending programs or closing schools.

S-4.) You’re forcing people to move schools and, as a result, they are going to leave the district. Isn’t increasing enrollment a priority for MPS?

Enrollment is absolutely a priority for our district. For that reason, many of the details of the proposed changes to our academic program focus on students and schools with the greatest disparities in academic and enrollment. We believe, based on significant data and research, that our proposals have the potential to build enrollment, significantly and over time. Likewise, there is no evidence to suggest people will leave the District based on proposed changes that will not begin for a few years.

 

Equitable Programming and Choice

E-1.) Is this design going to better integrate the student populations in our schools?

There are only three ways to ensure better integration: 1) desegregate our communities;  2) change school boundaries and bus students accordingly; and 3) encourage students living in integrated communities to attend their community schools. At this point, the Board of Education has indicated a preference for strengthening community schools, which would support the third option above.

We will know and understand more about how and if this plan impacts integration once a model is chosen. At that point we will examine bell times, school boundaries and placement protocols: how and where students can be placed according to a variety of factors.

E-2.) Drawing a boundary line at 36th St. could impact the diversity that families desire at Windom and Emerson. The Spanish speaking population could largely move to Emerson and the English speaking population would largely move to Windom, possibly segregating our schools.

The final boundary will be established once a model is chosen and attendance boundaries and placement protocols are determined. Part of the reason for preliminarily selecting 36th Street as a boundary was to maintain shorter transportation times for both Windom and Emerson students. The district will work to support dual language programming at both sites.

E-3.) We moved into this house because of the high school to which students in this neighborhood are assigned. You’ve changed that school! Now what do we do?

MPS remains a choice district. Your student is still welcome to attend any high school in the district provided they register by the deadline and the school has room. Transportation for high school students is provided via Metro Transit GoTo cards. Students in the attendance area but outside the walk zone, students registered in Citywide programs and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch are provided GoTo cards.

E-4.) Do my kids have to go to the schools listed on your pathways map? Are those our only choices?

No, those maps have since been renamed to more accurately reflect their intention. These are program pathway maps. If your student is following a specific program of study (immersion, International Baccalaureate, STEAM, Montessori), those are the suggested schools for enrollment. MPS remains a choice district and families may enroll their students in any school in the district, even outside their attendance area. If the students have enrolled by the enrollment deadline, seats are available in the school, and families can provide transportation (if the selected school is outside your attendance area), you will be admitted. If you don’t make a specific school choice for your child, they will be assigned based on your home address.

E-5.) Aren’t most magnet programs districtwide?

Currently, most magnet programs serve students with an extended attendance area that may include one or more zones, though are not districtwide.

E-6.) If families choose to go to a non-immersion middle school, will there still be enough immersion students left to fill two middle school programs?

We believe that with the current amount of students in dual language programs across Minneapolis, we will be able to fill two middle school programs. It is now our job to show families why they should choose (and continue to choose) MPS, especially when we are expanding and streamlining dual language options. We will be marketing to recruit students to our elementary feeder schools to pathway to the more centrally located immersion middle school in each region?

E-7.) Will Andersen and Northeast Immersion programs be culturally and economically diverse? How does this align with equity goals? It seems like a North/South divide segregates the program.

Yes, we believe our programs will continue to be culturally and economically diverse. Andersen and Northeast will both pull students from diverse backgrounds from a variety of Minneapolis neighborhoods. By offering an immersion pathway to students in Green’s and Jefferson’s current transitional dual language program model (now being re-designed into K-5 one-way programs), the middle school immersion pathways in both regions will gain more students, in turn increasing cultural and economic diversity. By having students from Sheridan and Nellie Stone Johnson dual language programs within one program at Northeast, we will see many kinds of language models and examples. The same goes for the Andersen immersion pathway: pulling students from Jefferson, Green, Windom, and Emerson dual language programs diversifies student and language experiences.

E-8.) We are concerned that you are dismantling the immersion K-12 program by changing elementary sites, moving middle schools sites, and changing pathways throughout.

The goals of our Dual Language Program design -- which is research-based -- within the Comprehensive Design are to:

  • Ensure students can compete in a global society by speaking, reading and writing in a language other than English
  • Promote opportunities for rigorous academics
  • Increase market share K-12
  • Create equitable space for native speakers of Hmong and Spanish to achieve academically in their home language and English
  • Uphold district priorities of Literacy, Equity, Social Emotional Learning, and MTSS through a lens of multilingual learning
  • Expand and consolidate existing Transitional Dual Language Programs that end at 3rd grade to One Way Dual Language Programs (OWDL) that will go up to 5th grade. This will enable students to participate in a K-12 Dual Language pathway.

Students in what are currently called our Transitional Dual Language (TDL) and Developmental Dual Language (DDL) programs have no middle school or high school dual language pathway, meaning that our home language Spanish-speaking students in these programs  do not have access to gain a bilingual seal upon high school graduation. These students’ bilingual education stops at third (TDL) or fifth (DDL) grade.

The proposed redesign of the K-12 dual language pathways are, in essence, an equity strategy reclaiming the belief that all students in dual language programs – whether the program is labeled one-way or two-way, whether students’ home language is Spanish or English – have the right to a bilingual education. Rather than dismantling the current immersion K-12 pathway, we are adding to it to increase the possibility for more students to be a part of a bilingual pathway. We are balancing the program offerings in each part of our district. The following chart outlines the proposals.

COMPREHENSIVE DISTRICT DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS

SY18/19 vs proposed SY20/21

School

Current Focus and Pathway

Recommended Focus and/or Pathway Changes

Issues/Rationale

(Achievement, Integration, Sustainability)

REGION 1: Improve academics and increase enrollment

Nellie Stone Johnson

Transitional Dual Language (TDL) Spanish Program serving grades K-3

One-Way Dual Language (OWDL) Spanish Magnet Program serving grades K-5 with pathway to Northeast and Edison

Transitional Dual Language (TDL) Spanish program re-named One-Way Dual Language (OWDL) to better reflect nationally-normed dual language program name. Program extends K-5 to ensure bilingualism and biliteracy pathway to middle school (Northeast) for the North Region.

Pillsbury

Transitional Dual Language (TDL) Spanish Program serving grades K-2

No dual language program proposed

The TDL program at Pillsbury has struggled to maintain enrollment for program sustainability.

Sheridan

Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion/Arts magnet; Pathway to Anwatin

Whole school North Region Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion magnet. Pathway to Northeast Middle School and Edison for dual language pathway continuation.

Serves all Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion students for the North Region.

Hmong International Academy

Developmental Dual Language (DDL) Hmong Program serving grades K-3.

Developmental Dual  Language (DDL) Hmong Magnet Program to serve grades K-8; Pathway to Henry.

Pathway to Henry will deepen investment in Hmong language and culture electives.

Anwatin

Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion

No dual language pathway proposed

The Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion strand is being removed due to long commute time for students. There will now be one middle spanish immersion for each region (NE for North region and Andersen for South region).

Northeast

No current dual language program present

Adding Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion strand for North region SY 21-22

Create Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion to retain families and pathway to Edison.

Edison

No current dual language program present

Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion High School Pathway (SY 24-25)

This will be the North Region’s high school pathway for Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion Programming.

REGION 2: Improve academics and balance enrollment

Green Central

Developmental Dual Language (DDL) Spanish Program serving grades K-5; Pathway to Page

Pathway to Andersen (Newly created middle school) and Roosevelt with magnet status.

Developmental Dual Language (DDL) Spanish program re-named One-Way Dual Language (OWDL) to better reflect nationally-normed dual language program name. Program extends K-5 to ensure bilingualism and biliteracy pathway to middle school (Andersen) for the South Region.

Emerson

Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion; Pathway to Anwatin for Spanish

South Region Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion magnet - north of 36th Street; Pathway to Andersen Middle and Roosevelt

Andersen is Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion pathway as it is a more central location.

Andersen

Developmental DualLanguage (DDL) Spanish Program serving grades K-5

Andersen becomes a 6-8 middle school and Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion magnet strand for South region; Pathway to Roosevelt

Centralized Middle School Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion pathway needed for the South Region.

Jefferson

Developmental Dual Language (DDL) Spanish Program serving grades K-5

Jefferson becomes a PreK-5 and One Way Dual Language (OWDL) Spanish magnet with pathway to Andersen and Roosevelt.

Developmental Duall Language (DDL) Spanish program re-named One-Way Dual Language (OWDL) to better reflect nationally-normed dual language program name. Program extends K-5 to ensure bilingualism and biliteracy pathway to middle school (Andersen) for the South Region.

Windom

Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish immersion school; Pathway to Anwatin

South Region Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion magnet - south of 36th Street.; Pathway to Andersen Middle and Roosevelt

Andersen is Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion pathway as it is a more central location.

Roosevelt

Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion High School Pathway

No change.

This will be the South Region’s high school pathway for Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) Spanish Immersion Programming.