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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How old does my child have to be to attend school?
A: Children who are five years old on or before September 1, are eligible to enter kindergarten.

Q: What if my child is not five years old by September 1 and I still want him/her to attend school?
A: If your child will turn five between September 2 and October 31, your child is eligible for consideration for early admission to kindergarten. Minneapolis Public Schools also has pre-kindergarten options.

Q: Do I have a better chance of getting into our first school preference if I apply early?
A: No. All request form received by the February 4 deadline are treated equally.

Q: Is my child guaranteed acceptance into one of my requested schools?
A: Yes, if your child is entering kindergarten, you submit your request card by the Lottery deadline, there is sufficient classroom capacity (MPS Policy 5262) and one of your requested schools is your community school. If you select a school other than your community school, you are not guaranteed a space at that school. Families seeking placement for children in upper grades (1-8) will be assigned based on available space. There are no guarantees for community schools in upper grades, but you are promised a school in your busing area.

Q: Will my kindergarten student be guaranteed full-day kindergarten?
A: Yes. All kindergarten programs in Minneapolis Public Schools are full-day.

Q: Do we have to reapply to remain in the same school next year?
A: No. Once your child is enrolled in a school, s/he  is assured a space for each year of the grade levels in the school. This policy does not apply to High Five programs. Families with a child in High Five must complete a request card for kindergarten.

Q: Who is a sibling and what is sibling preference?
A: All children living in the same household are considered siblings. To qualify for sibling preference, the older or younger sibling must be continuously enrolled in a school before the new sibling is granted preference at the same school. Sibling preference does not apply to students enrolled in city-wide special education or pre-kindergarten programs.

Q: How does sibling preference affect school choice?
A: A family must have a child already enrolled at a school and must continue to be enrolled at that school to receive sibling preference. Requests for sibling preference are honored before other requests, if there is space.

Q: If one of my children is in the school’s highest grade this year and I want my younger child to attend that school next year, does the younger child get sibling preference?
A: No. Both children must be attending the school at the same time for the younger child to enter that school with sibling preference.

Q: How can we improve our chances of getting into a particular school within our attendance area?
A: These things will help:
• Send in your request form by February 4, 2017.
• Apply when your child will be entering the youngest grade level offered by the school. This is the time when the most openings are available.
• List your preferred school first on the request form.
• Apply to your community school.

Q: What happens if my child doesn't get into our first school preference?
A: Your child’s name will be placed in a waiting pool for that school. If space opens up before or during the school year and your child’s name is next on the waiting list, you will be notified and given the opportunity to enroll your child in that school. The waiting pools expire September 30 of each school year. Your child will automatically be placed in your second school preference if space is available.

Q: What if my child is already enrolled in a school and wants to attend another school for the next school year?
A: Elementary, K-8 and middle school families must send in a new request form by February 4, 2017, in order to request a school change for the following year.

Q: What is an attendance area?
A: An attendance area is the geographic area around a school from which students are eligible to receive bus transportation to the school unless they are in the walk zone. Magnet schools serve entire attendance zones encompassing many neighborhoods and communities.

Q: Can I apply to a school outside of my attendance area?
A: Yes, but students who live within that school’s attendance area will be placed first and you will not receive busing. You must sign a transportation waiver agreeing to transport your child to and from school. If your first preference is outside your attendance area, it is strongly recommended that your second preference be in your attendance area.

Q: What type of childcare is available for elementary students?
A: Minneapolis Kids and Minneapolis Public Schools have partnered to provide Minneapolis Kids School Age Care sites on a year-round basis at various locations. There are also many private and public childcare programs throughout the city. See Minnesota Childcare: www.mnchildcare.org

Q: Who is eligible to ride a school bus?
A: Generally, an elementary school student is eligible for transportation if the student lives within the school attendance area and outside the school walk zone (one-half mile or less) from school. Middle school students who live within a school’s attendance area will receive bus transportation if they live more than one mile from the school.

Q: Can my child attend a school based on his/her daycare address rather than our home address?
A: School assignments are based on home address only. If the student is assigned to your preferred school, then you can request transportation to and from the daycare address if it is within the school's busing attendance area. If you are requesting a school outside of your attendance area but priority placement will be given to those families who live within that school’s attendance area. If you live outside of a school’s attendance area but your daycare is located in the attendance area, you may be granted admission to the school if space remains after all attendance area requests are honored. Transportation is not provided to addresses (home or daycare) located outside of a school’s attendance area.

Q: My child has special needs. What services are available?
A: Minneapolis Public Schools offers a wide range of Special Education programs and services. If you have general questions about special education, please call 612.668.5444.

Q: Do I need to submit a request if my child would like to attend his or her pathway middle?
A: No. There is reserved space for your child to attend designated middle school for his or her current elementary school. If you are interested in a middle school other than the designated  pathway, then you should submit a school request card.

Q: What if we live outside the attendance area of the designated middle school pathway for my child's elementary school, will my child pathway with his or her peers?
A: Yes. All students attending K-5 elementary schools will pathway to the designated middle school regardless of home attendance area. However, if you would like for your child to attend your community middle school, then you would need to submit a school request form.

Q: My child attends a K-5 magnet school, but we are not interested in the designated middle school pathway. Can we attend our community middle school?
A: Yes, but you would have to proactively submit a school request form by the priority deadline.


Please contact Nagashia.Jackson@mpls.k12.mn.us, Web Site Administrator,
for any questions/concerns you have about information posted on this site.