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Why do we need a Comprehensive District Design?

Why do we need a Comprehensive District Design?
Student in class holding his hand up

A lot has changed since the first one-room school house opened on the shores of Lake Harriet. Today, families in Minneapolis have choices. They can enroll in private or charter schools, or take advantage of Minnesota's Open Enrollment system to send their children to neighboring school districts. As student and family needs continue to change, MPS must evolve in ways that meet those needs, positioning our district to serve the needs of future generations. We know enhancing school climate and improving academic outcomes are critical to meeting these needs.

Demographics add another challenge. Fewer children are being born in Minneapolis. In general, schools in South Minneapolis enjoy higher enrollment than those in North Minneapolis. We know available transportation options and how families are treated often impact the choices families make more than programming at schools. 

Challenging assumptions

The reality is MPS has accumulated programs over the years, continuing some programs past their prime without intentionally designing new programs to improve academic outcomes. As a result, current funding cannot support our existing programmatic structure. We need to strategically assess our academic programming, physical footprint and transportation system so we can provide families a more equitable and consistent experience. 

These are hard discussions to have, especially in a community as diverse and vibrant as Minneapolis. Our community plays an important role in crafting how MPS moves forward, and with every recommendation we make we have to consider our community's response. Our first-year recommendations are the steps we believe are necessary to improve academic achievement. As implementation continues over future years, we'll ask our community to consider not only the welfare of their child or their neighborhood school, but the welfare of our entire school system.

The Comprehensive District Design may change and challenge long-held assumptions, beliefs and patterns. Your voice and participation are critical, and we can't wait to hear your feedback on what we have proposed.

First-Year Recommendations

Our first year recommendations are designed : to improve academic outcomes - especially for students experiencing the biggest disparities - through targeted, equitable investments in our schools. As plan implementation continues into the future, our community's job will be to help us consider the welfare of every child; how will we work together to ensure the health of our entire school system? We want you to be a part of this process: learn more about how you can be involved.