Feasibility Studies
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Feasibility Studies

Feasibility Studies
As one consideration in the CDD, we sought to determine the viability of our four small specialty high schools: FAIR, Heritage, Longfellow and Wellstone. The goal of each school’s feasibility study, ultimately, is to determine how best to serve the students who have chosen to enroll there to ensure they graduate with a well-rounded education equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful in three key areas: Academics, Social and Emotional Skills, and Career/Life Experiences. These schools have long served an important role in meeting the academic and social/emotional needs of targeted student populations.
 
All four feasibility studies have been conducted and results of the studies at Longfellow and Heritage were presented at the Nov. 12 Board meeting. The other two studies are in process of final analysis and recommendation.

Longfellow

The study was to determine whether Longfellow is academically and financially viable as a stand-alone school or whether the program should move along with all of its supporting services to a co-located facility with another MPS school.
  • Recommendation: After examining multiple criteria and hearing feedback from a variety of stakeholders, the recommendation is to continue Longfellow as a stand-alone school in its current location. 
  • Rationale: Longfellow serves a unique need to support teen parent parenting. Longfellow has significant partnerships and the cost of relocation is costly. While programming costs are significant, Longfellow becomes a value proposition for the district in support of one of our most vulnerable student populations. Research shows that without programs such as Longfellow, teen parents’ drop-out rates can be as high as 60-90%. The Longfellow current drop-out rate mirrors the district rate of 10%. 

Heritage

The study examined whether it is in the best interest of students to remain in their current learning environment or to dissolve the school and have students attend a school based on choices available for their home address. The State of Minnesota considers Heritage a racially identifiable magnet school.
  • Recommendations: After examining multiple criteria and hearing feedback from a variety of stakeholders, the recommendation is to convert Heritage to a 9-12 high school. The middle school would be discontinued for the 2020-21 school year and MPS would work with the 24 sixth and seventh graders currently enrolled to transition to the neighborhood middle school or choose another school in our upcoming school choice process. The current structure and location does not support adequate middle-grades programming.
  • We are further recommending that Heritage High School (grades 9-12) move to the Wilder Complex building. We recommend that moving the high school not take place until school year 2021-22, which will allow us to work through the logistics associated with that complex move.
  • Rationale: Given the significant passion of the parents, teachers, students and building leadership as well as strong academic outcomes, there appears to be strong potential for Heritage enrollment expansion and additional STEM programming (provided space is available and potential saving realized from relocation). Enrollment parameters and potential STEM programming budget will be determined prior to SY 21-22. 

FAIR

Still in progress.
 

Wellstone

Still in progress.