A fresh start for 2012

This is an exciting time of year. Teachers and students are settling back in their classrooms after winter break and have important work ahead in the last semester of the school year. Our kindergarten students are striving to meet literacy goals, MCA-II tests are right around the corner and many of our students are preparing to start a new phase of their academic careers. Fifth-grade students are preparing to enter middle school, eighth-grade students are preparing to enter high school and our high school seniors are preparing for college and career paths. Each day, our students are gaining an urban education experience as they prepare to become global citizens.

It is also almost time for families with children in grades K–11 to choose a school. Please join us at the upcoming Pre-K–8 School Information Fair on Jan. 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency, 1300 Nicollet Mall. Families with students in all grades should request a school before Feb. 29.

The heart of our work is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. These efforts must begin early in each child’s life, which is why it is so important to find the right school for your child now. Investing in academic progress early provides a greater return later in each student’s education.

All three attendance areas in Minneapolis offer the choice of a school close to home in addition to excellent middle school and high school pathways so that your whole family can feel confident and successful growing with us.

Because more families have chosen to grow with us, we are making changes to better accommodate and serve our students. Each attendance area has community and magnet school options, giving families the opportunity to select a school that best meets their child’s academic needs. For the 2012-13 school year, MPS will offer a new middle school at the Ramsey school building.

For families, that will mean alleviated middle school crowding — 600–700 additional seats will be available in Zone 3 for students in grades 6-8. Burroughs and Lyndale students will pathway to the new middle school, beginning with grade 6 in 2012-13, grades 6-7 in 2013-14, and grades 6-8 in 2014-15.

At MPS, we will do whatever it takes to make sure that our students receive a high quality education. Every Minneapolis public school promises:
— An academic foundation that prepares students for high school, college, career and life;

— Meaningful experiences learning with people of diverse races, faiths and cultures; and

— Opportunities to thrive in a local school and learn with a global perspective.

Call or visit Student Placement Services or the New Families Center if you need additional assistance. Our school staff members are always happy to meet with families and schedule tours. We look forward to helping you find the school that best fits your child’s needs. Thank you for choosing the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Bernadeia H. Johnson is superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.