Alternative School: A school typically run by a community organization that hires staff and provides its own facility. Their role is primarily to serve students who need additional support Arts: Core curriculum is integrated with the arts. Students develop an awareness and appreciation for the arts and core subjects while developing performance skills through a variety of areas such as theater, dance, choir, orchestra, band and the visual arts.
Charter School: An independent public school that is sponsored by a school district, university, the state or a non-profit organization. Charter schools operate under a contract with the sponsor.
Community School: A school with an attendance area that draws most of its students from the surrounding community. Community schools reflect the interests of the families in the school. Attending a community school makes it easier for families to get involved with their child’s education, allows for shorter bus rides and makes it easier to develop a sense of pride and community in the neighborhood.
Culturally specific: Curriculum and activities are infused with culturally-enriched content. Programs inspire academic success by instilling in students a personal and collective pride in one’s culture.
Expanded Choice Option: Families who live in certain identified areas of the city with high concentrations of poverty and who qualify for free and/or reduced-priced lunch have the option to request certain identified schools that have a low concentration of poverty; transportation is provided.
International Baccalaureate (IB-PYP and IB-MYP): An accelerated program that stresses high academic achievement and the development of intellectual skills. Students experience a global education that integrates core curriculum with a holistic approach to learning. IB-PYP (Primary Years Programme) focuses on elementary years and IB-MYP (Middle Years Programme) is focused on sixth through tenth grades.
International Baccalaureate/Spanish Dual Immersion School: A combined program that provides students with both International Baccalaureate and Spanish Dual Immersion curriculum.
Spanish Dual Immersion School: A schools that provides a unique educational experience in which students master curriculum objectives and learn Spanish or English as their second language. Ideally, half of the students are native Spanish speakers and half are native English speakers. All students learn to speak, read and write well in both languages during their elementary years when languages are most easily learned and retained.
Magnet School: A diverse school with a distinct unifying principle or instructional delivery system that draws from a larger attendance area than a community school. Some magnets are organized around a philosophy of teaching, such as Montessori or Open schools; others use a theme to connect subjects, such as the arts, technology, language or the environment.
Middle School: Grades 6-8 are called the middle grades. Middle grades classrooms, whether they are located within a K-8 elementary school or a 6-8 middle school, offer academically challenging courses in the core subject areas as well as a broad range of exploratory courses. See pages 55-58 for complete information on middle schools.
Montessori School: Based on the theories and practices developed by Maria Montessori, these schools use an individualized, self-directed approach that supports students progressing at their own rate.
Open School: A school that places high value on student academic choice in the learning environment. Much of the teaching is thematic with hands-on learning activities. Students work cooperatively in small groups.
Urban Environmental: Offers an integrated and thematic curriculum that emphasizes the environment and uses outdoor learning opportunities.
Attendance Zone: A larger geographical area that includes multiple Attendance Areas. Minneapolis is divided into three zones: Zones 1, 2 and 3. Please see the map on pages 22-23.
Grandfathering - EL Students: All EL students can remain in their current school as long as they stay at the same address. If a family moves, they will lose their ability to remain in the same school with transportation. If space is available, they can remain in the school and provide their own transportation. Siblings of current students can receive out-of-area sibling preference. Siblings may take advantage of grandfather transportation if they are the same age or older than the sibling with grandfather privileges. If the sibling is younger, they may also ride the bus, but the parent must sign a transportation consent form which will indicate that the bus may not be available after the eldest sibling transitions to the next school level.
Guaranteed School Attendance Area: The geographic area around a community school for which the school district can guarantee space for resident kindergarten students. This guarantee applies only to entering kindergarten students who submit a school request card by the school choice deadline. Students in grades one through eight are also encouraged to attend their community schools, although space is not guaranteed.
Open Enrollment: State law allows students to attend a school outside of the school district in which they live (if they live outside of Minneapolis and want their child to attend a school at Minneapolis Public Schools or if they live in Minneapolis and want their child to attend a public school outside of Minneapolis). There must be space in the school they are requesting and transportation must be provided by the family unless they qualify for The Choice is Yours Program. For more information on The Choice Is Yours Program, see page 56.
Pathways: Because stability and relationships are important to middle school students, we’ve set up pathways from elementary school to middle school. Middle school attendance boundaries based on elementary school attendance areas. This establishes a clear and consistent “pathway” to middle schools. Students move on to middle school with the majority of the same group of students they have known since kindergarten.
Curriculum mapping: Each teacher provides a curriculum map at the beginning of the year, term or grading period outlines:
• Major learning objectives to be addressed and that essential questions to be answered in each unit
• Major concepts and skills to be learned and integrated across more than one subject
• Major assignments/projects required and when they are due
Responsive Classroom: Many middle grades programs use the Responsive Classroom program in their advisory periods. It is a nationally recognized program that helps students learn about respect, listening skills and how to express their ideas.
SPECIAL PROGRAM AND FEATURES
Several schools have the following special programs or features listed within their school description. For more detailed information about how the program affects learning for students, please call the individual school.
Accelerated Reader: Accelerated Reader is a computer program that allows students to take a test on the computer after they have read a book. The computer test assesses student comprehension of what they have read. The computer program then produces a report that tells the teacher how well the student reads. The program can motivate students to improve their reading because students can earn points for how well they read.
Advisory: A regularly scheduled time when middle grade students have opportunities to build relationships, student-tostudent and student-to-adult, and address adolescent-related topics and issues.
Arts for Academic Achievement (AAA): AAA began as a school reform model to accelerate student achievement. Teachers and artists plan rigorous lessons together using the arts in traditional subjects like reading and math. As a result, instruction is more effective and student achievement improves. AAA embraces learning through the arts and teaches students to love learning, explore their world through access to the arts and apply themselves in new ways.
Computer Curriculum Corporation (CCC) Lab: This computer-assisted instructional program offers courses in the basics (math, reading and spelling) as well as problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills in math, reading and science. The program evaluates a student’s present performance and begins instruction at that level and moves the student up to higher levels as he/she is ready to progress.
Gifted Catalyst Program: This program targets the early primary years (grades K-2) as a key time to purposefully recognize and develop strengths and talents in all students, a practice supported by research. Through its complex thinking and open-ended curriculum, the Gifted Catalyst Program also provides appropriate challenges for gifted/talented K-2 students. The program promotes literacy, supports increased achievement levels and promotes equal access to gifted/talented services for all students.
Kindergarten Plus: An extended-day, fee-based kindergarten program that is taught by licensed kindergarten teachers.
Looping: Student/teacher teams remain together for at least two and often three of the three-year middle grades experience. This practice promotes more personalized attention, time to build solid relationships among members and a strong sense of community.
Multi-age Classroom: Students of different grade levels are in the same classroom.
National Science Foundation Grant Supported School: Through a five-year K-8 National Science Foundation Grant, schools get extra attention from science resource teachers to help them use hands-on science curriculum. In year, one-third of our teachers used science kits in their classrooms. Today, 95 percent of teachers use science kits to provide students with hands-on science instruction. The grant also supports school science leaders and provides professional development opportunities.
Teaming: Instead of learning with a single teacher during most of the school day, students learn with teachers who plan and deliver curriculum as a team. A typical team consists of teachers who deliver language arts, math, science and social studies curriculum, support teachers for English language learners and students with special education needs, teachers of the arts and approximately 120 students.
Quality Performance Awards: Quality Performance Awards are presented to schools that meet or exceed their school improvement performance goals. MPS uses a comprehensive set of indicators to determine eligibility for the awards and individual schools complete an extensive written application.
Please contact Nagashia.Jackson@mpls.k12.mn.us, Web Site Administrator,
for any questions/concerns you have about information posted on this site.