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Minneapolis North High Splits In Two For Success

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new plan that essentially Minneapolis’ North High School in two is part of the lesson plan for success.

A dwindling enrollment and low grades nearly forced the high school to close last year.

One campus will house two different academies. The Senior Academy is grades 10 thru 12, and the new Academy of Arts and Communications focuses on freshmen class, which is 100 students strong.

Dr. Shawn Harris-Berry, principal for the magnet school, is confident her students will benefit.

“I know that when you leave here in 2016 you will be in a position that you can do whatever you want to do,” Harris-Berry said.

Classrooms are smaller, giving students that personal touch needed to be successful. Freshman Tyrik Thompson sees the difference.

“The teachers…they really believe in us. They want us to succeed and have fun while doing it,” Thompson said.

“And as students go through different things throughout their life, we’re designed to meet those needs to help them through those situations. So it’s just not a classroom environment,” Harris-Berry said. “It’s really supporting the kids inside and outside the classroom.”

Students can get involved in the visual arts, television/radio broadcasting and dance. And these programs are drawing students to North High.

Last year 220 students roamed these hallways; today more than 300 are enrolled.

Freshman Anisah Clark says North is on the path to success.

“We’re turning this around and changing it and turning it into a better school and a better community for people,” Clark said.

The new Arts and Communication Academy follows a model called the “Institute for Student Achievement”, which has turned around 67 underperforming schools.

Any student in the metro is eligible to enroll at North High, and Dr. Harris-Berry says it’s not too late to get in on this new experience.

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