URGENT SOLIDARITY - please copy, paste and forward below solidarity appeal far and wide
Please e-mail the members of the Minneapolis School Board and call the Superintendent this Monday and Tuesday (November 8 and 9), and demand they keep North High School open.
The Minneapolis School Board is voting this Tuesday, November 9th, on a proposal from the Superintendent to close North High School. This follows years of school board decisions that weakened North High, including closing local feeder schools and eliminating a “home zone” of students assigned to North. The Superintendent is proposing a plan that would prevent 9th graders from coming to North next fall, and promoting a privately-managed charter high school instead.
The north Minneapolis community and other supporters have come together to form the Save North High Coalition to demand that the Superintendents proposal be rejected and that North High stay open. Below is the resolution that the Coalition has created for the School Board to vote for instead of the Superintendent’s, and below that is the contact information for the School Board members and the Superintendent!
Whereas MPS Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson has recommended that her administration work in partnership with school and community stakeholders to create a new North High School Program that would launch in the fall of 2012, and
Whereas the community has made clear its commitment to work with the District to rebuild and reinvest in North High School, and
Whereas changes in the Choice is Yours program will result in a renewed pool of potential 9th graders in Minneapolis in the Fall of 2011, and
Whereas, students, parents, teachers, and the community are central to building not just a program, but a culture of learning.
Therefore be it resolved, Minneapolis Public Schools will keep North High open and commit to rebuilding and reinvesting in the school and community, and
Be it further resolved, The MPS District will actively recruit and enroll 9th graders and other high school students for the fall of 2011 and beyond; create elementary and middle school pathways to North High; re-establish a North High home zone, and
Be it further resolved, the MPS District will work with students, parents, teachers, and the community to develop an aggressive, fully-funded plan to boost academic excellence and enrollment at North High School.
School Board members – e-mails:
T. Williams - T.Williams@mpls.k12.mn.us
Tom Madden - Tom.Madden@mpls.k12.mn.us
Chris Stewart - Chris.Stewart@mpls.k12.mn.us
Carla Bates - Carla.Bates@mpls.k12.mn.us
Jill Davis - Jill.Davis@mpls.k12.mn.us
Lydia Lee - Lydia.Lee@mpls.k12.mn.us
Peggy Flanagan - Peggy.Flanagan@mpls.k12.mn.us
Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson
Please send them a message respectfully calling on them to support the resolution from the community and keep North High open! If you want to add more, here are some talking points.
- We appreciate Superintendent Johnson’s commitment to working with the students, parents, teachers, and community to build a new program at North, but community and District efforts will only succeed if there is a new 9th grade class next fall.
- Rebuilding North High school with a student body in place has a great chance to succeed; preventing new students from coming to North for a year will effectively close the school.
- With changes in the Choice is Yours program coming this year, fall of 2011 will be a vital time to recruit new 9th graders. Otherwise, we will lose students to charter schools.
- 9th grade is when students connect to their school, the vast majority of students won’t want to switch to a new high school (no matter how great) if they have developed friends and connections in their ninth-grade school.
- Preventing 9th graders from enrolling at North will send a message to current students that their school is closed and they will transfer. Who wants to be the last kid in a school that seems to have been abandoned?