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Jump In Enrollment Prompting Plan For Minneapolis Schools

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Public School District is expected to grow by more than 3,000 kids over the next five years.

That means some big changes are going to have to take place to keep up with all the new students. It was just a few years ago that the discussion was about a drop in enrollment because parents were sending their kids to schools in the suburbs or charter schools.

Now we know enrollment is expected to increase over the next five years, and it’s causing the Minneapolis School District to implement a new five-year plan. Southwest High School is one of the schools that’s going to have to adapt to deal with the growing number of students.

Over the next five years, the Minneapolis Public School District is expecting to get an additional 3,300 students. This school year they added 600. This five-year plan calls for three schools to be expanded, eight buildings to be renovated and even a new possible performing arts school.

Also possible are changes in attendance boundaries. We spoke with Minneapolis Schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson about how the district will handle the big change.

“Change is hard and it’s different. One of the things we’ve talked about over the years is stability,” Johnson said. “Stability is important but we also know when there is an increase in enrollment, we have to make some decisions about the capacity of a building and how we are serving those families well too.”

Now the details of the plan are not final and the district is encouraging parents and community members to look at the plan and provide feedback. There will be a series of listening sessions over the next month. The School Board will vote Nov. 5.

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