Monday, December 28, 2009

Wondering what all the talk about Changing School Options (CSO) is about?

Changing School Options (CSO) is a Minneapolis Public Schools initiative that creates three regional zones for transportation.  The North/Northeast area of Minneapolis is in Zone 1.  (Maps are available on the MPS website under "Transitioning for 2010-11").  With the exception of a few citywide options, students will attend an elementary, middle and high school in their zone.  This three zone transportation model reduces transportation costs, retains choice for families since each one offers at least three magnet options in addition to a community school and allows students to attend schools closer to home.

Each zone will offer K-8 students access to the following magnet programs:  International Baccalaureate (IB:  Elizabeth Hall & Northeast Middle School) ; Teaching philosophy:  Open or Montessori (Open: Marcy); Spanish Dual Immersion (Emerson); Curricular:  Arts and Science (Arts: Sheridan).  Each zone will offer 9-12 students access to comprehensive high school programming. Edison and Henry are the community highs schools for Zone 1.

Families with children enrolled in a citywide special education or English Language Learner program will continue to receive transportation across zones.  Based on the state's open enrollment law, families still have the option to enroll at any school in the city provided there is space available and they provide their own transportation.  Students currently attending magnet, middle or high schools outside of their home attendance area or zone will have the option of grandfathering, or being guaranteed a seat in their current school, but must provide their own transportation.

For more information:  Transitions office - 612.668.0478.  Zone 1 parent contacts:  DPAC Area A Chairs, Todd Bennington (Waite Park) and Celeste Brown (Parkview), and Zone 1 Community Liaison, Lynne Crockett.

Each month parents of all Zone 1 schools are invited to attend the Zone 1 (Area A) Parent Advisory Council Meeting.  These meetings are held to share current information about District issues and policies as well as to collect ideas and concerns from parents to take to the District at DPAC meetings. Area A meetings are the third Wednesday of every month at a different Area A school each month.  The next meeting will be at Parkview on January 27, 2010.  Please check the DPAC Meeting Schedule website for the dates and locations of future Area A meetings  (the February meeting will be at Waite Park).

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