Seward Enrollment Plan Updates

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February 14, 2014

Building Renovations and Addition Approved for Seward Montessori
Seward Building Committee Update

In December, the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) School Board approved the enrollment plan proposed by the district, which included plans for new programs and capital improvements in MPS. Seward Montessori will be one of the schools receiving a building addition and renovations as part of that plan. These building improvements are intended to 1) create classroom space more appropriate for our current program size and services, 2) create a more welcoming, workable and safer main entrance/office area, and 3) address some of our multi-purpose issues such as lunchroom space and storage.

The Seward Leadership Council and Seward Building Committee, consisting of many parents and staff, have been in conversation with the district for nearly three years regarding our building and enrollment challenges. This process was hard work, but helpful for all involved. It helped develop a clear and informed picture of our program and building, and showed how building improvements would enhance student learning and safety.

The district is already in conversation with architects regarding the capital improvements in the enrollment plan. Timetables are still being negotiated and confirmed, but the proposed plan states that Seward’s building improvements will begin in August 2014 and will be completed in time for the 2016/2017 school year.

For more information, you are welcome to attend the Seward Montessori Leadership council (open to all parents) on the first Thursday of each month at 5:30 in the media center.

 


 

December 6, 2013

The school board is scheduled to vote on the updated district enrollment plan at the December 10th meeting. They cannot vote on line items, they will just vote yes or no to the whole enrollment plan. This is a good time to voice to the board how appreciative we are of the district's work addressing Seward's critical building needs and how important it is to address these building issues for a student body of our size to benefit fully from the educational programming offered. (See additional info about the Seward building in enrollment plan below.)

Here is the link to find contact info for all the school board members:
http://board.mpls.k12.mn.us

Thanks,
Theresa Bulander
Seward Building Committee

Here are some of the new developments we heard about at the last Area B meeting regarding Seward and the updated enrollment plan:

  1. In addition to the nine classrooms already proposed (giving us more space for our student body and more room for auxiliary services), the district wants to reconfigure/expand our cafeteria (giving us a kitchen) so that we can take part in the new nutritional initiatives such as the salad bar. (I'm told you can see working examples of this at Folwell or Keewaydin)
  2. The district mentioned they were also working on ideas for reconfiguring our main entrance/office area in order to address our challenges there. (Visual safety, better health office, easy/welcoming entrance, etc.)
  3. Due to these new considerations and bonding schedules, they would hope to have us done with the addition and renovations in time for the start of the academic year beginning fall 2016 and ending spring 2017.

 


October 2013

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has proposed a five-year plan to strengthen schools through enrollment strategies. The plan embeds Dr. Bernadeia Johnson’s Shift priorities to reshape the educational experience for all students at MPS. These strategies address increasing and changing enrollment across the city. The plan will enable MPS to offer exciting and innovative academic programs in every area of the city to meet the needs of our diverse learners. Through academic transformation and facility planning, MPS will provide programs that our current and future students will need. 

For more information on the Enrollment Plan visit http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/five-year_enrollment_plan.html

The Zone 2 enrollment plan includes a proposal to add 9 classrooms to Seward in the form of a building addition. See http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/uploads/zone_2_recommended_changes.pdf

Community input is being solicited at a series of listening sessions. The Area B listening session is this Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 6-8 pm at Northrop School | 4315 31st Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55406. | Child care ages three and up – all children welcome | Hmong, Spanish and Somali interpreters 

Included below is an open letter from the Seward Montessori Leadership Council - Building Committee outlining the proposed enrollment plan changes that affect Seward Montessori.

In the Spring of 2013, the Seward Building Committee compiled a list to detail Seward Montessor's needs for an expansion to our school facility. The items on this list have been deemed critical needs and are not a wish list. These critical needs are necessities for our school to adequately serve the 864 students who are assigned to Seward. A PDF of the Building Committee's Critical Needs is available below.

 


October 7, 2013

Hello Everyone!

At the last Leadership Council meeting we discussed the recent proposal put forth by the enrollment team at MPS. Seward is included in the proposal - MPS enrollment proposes adding 9 classrooms in the form of a building addition.

Important points from the last Leadership Council meeting about getting 9 extra classrooms:

  1. 9 more classrooms would right-size our building for our current student population. They are not intended for increasing the student body, but instead get us nearer to the number of classrooms considered appropriate for a student body of our size.
  2. More classrooms could potentially get us full and complete science labs.
  3. More classrooms could potentially allow more "breathing room" for services that currently take place in hallways or are conducted in corners of classrooms.
  4. Seward Montessori is a school that is successful and thriving in the district and while more classrooms may not add enrollment seats, more classrooms can help keep us an attractive and viable draw for families considering MPS schools.
  5. Added classrooms would not take care of all our critical building issues, but would be a huge first step!

There is an Area B listening session to discuss the enrollment proposal this Thursday, October 10th from 6-8 pm at Northrop School. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we have a large representation from Seward Montessori at this meeting! If you can't go - send a Seward friend! We need to keep Seward's building needs on the table. The district has been impressed by our thoughtful and professional conduct in the past - let's keep that reputation!

I am attaching a building committee document of Seward's critical building issues developed and submitted to the district last spring. We might want to consider streamlining this document as the building committee moves forward this year. Thank you for your time and support of Seward Montessori!

Theresa Bulander
Building Committee