Site Council Meeting Minutes -- September 20, 2011

Present at the meeting:

Tim Cadotte                          Angela Shifrin
Frank Catchings, Jr.            Mike Cronin
Julie Blossey                        Mike Kuehn
Slats Fairbanks                    Melissa Harritt
Jake Knaus                           Dave Keepper
Therese Mooney                  Mike Hatting
Jim Rubendall                      Amy Marquardt

Middle School Options

Courtney Cushing Kiernat (Project Manager from the Changing School Options Transition team) and Jim Liston spoke at the meeting.
Theresa Battle , the Associate Superintendent, helped announce the new recommendation for Burroughs.

The proposed recommendation is a new middle school in Zone 3 in the Ramsey Fine Arts building.  The students currently attending Ramsey would move to Folwell in Zone 2.
Ramsey would be fed by Burroughs and Lyndale students and would be a pathway to high school at Washburn.
Burroughs and Lyndale students already attend Anthony together so there is already a relationship between the two schools.   There was also a suggestion for team- building activities between 5th graders at Burroughs and Lyndale before starting at Ramsey to strengthen the relationship.

The academic program at Ramsey has not been determined.  The district would like to have a principal in place by January, 2012 and have the first classes begin in the Fall of 2012.  The district understands that parents of proposed Ramsey students would want a rigorous program at the school.

Why is there more growth in Minneapolis?  Why do we need a new middle school?
There is an increase in K and middle school enrollment because not as many families with school-aged children are moving out of the city.  Other factors could include the poor economy and Edina closing open enrollment so more families are choosing Minneapolis schools.

Other options for addressing the increased enrollment included changing school boundaries but the community was opposed to this suggestion.  Also, the Folwell building is currently empty and is unused space.

Some of the questions involved in the planning included the following:
Will kids start attending Ramsey when entering 6th grade or would the district bring all of the students from Anthony (previously from Burroughs and Lyndale) to Ramsey?
Answer:   Ramsey would open year by year, it would not be filled with three grades immediately.

Also, what will happen at the high school level?  Will Washburn be crowded?  This is a possibility.

On Wednesday, October 5th –6:30-8:00 p.m.  there will be a community meeting for Burroughs and  Lyndale parents at Washburn so that parents can provide input on the proposed recommendation.  School Board members are expected to be present to hear concerns. The proposal will be voted on in November, 2011.

Silent Auction
Amy Hasbargen and Lisa Mellas (Chair)spoke about the Silent Auction.
They are still looking for a location for the auction.  The FIVE Event Center is booked in November.
They are considering a date other than Nov. 11th, but hopefully still in November.