Schools notebook // Headquarters vote delayed

Vote on district headquarters delayed

A School Board vote on a new Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters was delayed for two weeks to April 27 to allow for more community discussion.

The district announced the delay April 13, hours before the School Board was to vote on one of three proposals to meet its future needs for administrative space. The district hosted one community discussion on the proposals in early April, and the delay was expected to allow for two more.

District staff recommended in March that the Board approve a plan to build a new headquarters on district property at 1250 W. Broadway Ave. Still under consideration, though, was a plan to renovate the current headquarters building at 807 Broadway St. NE, as well as a third proposal to move Downtown to the former Valspar headquarters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and 3rd Street.

District administrative offices are currently housed in four buildings spread across the district. That is far more than the district needs, and maintaining the extra space costs an estimated $1 million annually, Chief of Operations Steve Liss said.

In a letter to the public, Superintendent Bill Green said accepting any of the three proposals should save the district $15 million–$17 million over the next 30 years.

Still, district leaders’ arguments in support of the headquarters plans have encountered some skepticism. It was just this fall that the School Board approved a district downsizing plan that closed some schools and programs — adjustments brought on by years of declining enrollment and budget deficits.

For background on the headquarters proposals and a schedule of community meetings visit mpls.k12.mn.us/MPS_
Administrative_Office_Space_Study.html. (The meetings had not been scheduled when the Southwest Journal went to press.)

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Events highlight higher ed opportunities

Minneapolis Public Schools is planning a series of events April 21–24 to highlight post-high school career and education opportunities.

Co-sponsored by a dozen professional and community organizations, “Scholarship, Service, Step” is a series of six events open to Minneapolis Public Schools families and community members.

— Morehouse College President Dr. Robert M. Franklin will speak on scholarship 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. April 21 at the University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S. 4th St.

— Local business leaders also will speak to students on college and career opportunities during 100 Strong Who Care events at North and Patrick Henry high schools 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. April 22­ and 23. Those interested in volunteering were encouraged to e-mail [email protected] or to call 668-0518.

— The Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Blood Drive scheduled for 8 a.m.–1 p.m. April 24 at North Community YMCA, 1711 W. Broadway Ave., was meant to demonstrate the service opportunities for students at colleges and universities. Those who wish to donate blood should e-mail [email protected] to register.

— Another event at the North Community YMCA, the Morehouse College Alumni Association Walk for Prostate Cancer Awareness, was scheduled for 10 a.m.–12 p.m. April 24. To register, e-mail christopher1_benn[email protected]

— The week of events will conclude with the 8th Annual Midwest Greek Step Show 6 p.m.–9 p.m. April 24 at Northrup Auditorium, 84 Church St. SE. The step show competition will feature African American fraternity and sorority teams, and will benefit the 100 Strong Who Care project.

— The district was encouraging parents to attend the AchieveMpls Parent College Tour 8 a.m.–6 p.m. April 24. The tour includes stops at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Augsburg College and University of St. Thomas.

Register online for the tour at achievempls.k12.mn.us or call 865-1787.

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Mayflower to offer Montessori

TANGLETOWN — With its 50th anniversary approaching this fall, Mayflower Early Childhood Center, 106 E. Diamond Lake Road, is planning to expand its offerings and incorporate as a nonprofit.

This fall, the center will open a full-day, year-round Montessori program for children ages 3–6, said center Director Margaret Shreves. The center currently has about 105 children enrolled in its half-day, three-days-per-week preschool program.

Shreves said the new program was expected to serve families living in Creekside Commons, a neighboring affordable housing complex built by the Plymouth Church Neighborhood Foundation. Constructed on land donated to Plymouth by Mayflower Church, Creekside Commons has 30 one- to four-bedroom apartments, a community room and an outdoor children’s play area.

She said the center was considering introducing other new programs, as well. Those included a program for toddlers aged 16 to 33 months and classes for parents with infants.

The center is associated with Mayflower Church, but will soon operate under the supervision of a new nonprofit board. The center was expected to achieve 501(c)3 non-profit status later this year.