Superintendent Janet Mohr joined the Crosswinds Community Partnership for an update on plans for EMID schools last night (3 December 2012). Recapping the EMID Board meeting last week she described the Roseville (ISD 623) plans for taking over Harambee on 1 July 2013 and South Washington County (ISD 833) efforts to clarify their intentions. Both plans can be found in the EMID Board packet from last week.
Roseville’s plan for a “seamless transition” of Harambee to their district was well received by the EMID Board. They intend to keep as much of the program intact as possible, including welcoming as many current teachers, staff, and administrators as possible to stay. This is not a guarantee that everyone would have jobs in the new “Harambee Community School,” but it was quite encouraging. Since the takeover would technically be a “withdrawal” of EMID member districts from Harambee, staff of the school would have an option of pursuing positions at any of the eight districts withdrawing students. However, Roseville also plans to “grandmother” existing Harambee students into the school, allowing them to finish their education at Harambee if they wish. They are also working with the Minnesota Department of Education to arrange continuing transportation of these grandmothered kids to Harambee. As Mohr said, “the devil is in the details” and much has yet to be worked out, but in broad outline it appears that much of Harambee would remain as it is today.
The plan for Crosswinds submitted by South Washington County was significantly less fully formed. While ISD 833 is clearly interested in taking over the school, they did not make any commitments about what kind of program they would put in place at Crosswinds. They have formed a task force that includes one current Crosswinds parent, Kelly DeBrine, to rework that proposal. Mohr expects them to bring more details to the EMID Board meeting coming up on December 19. It was noted that South Washington is experiencing growth at the elementary and middle school level, but not yet at the high school level. These and other demographic realities of the district will have a bearing on the program they could support in Crosswinds.
The EMID Board also asked Superintendent Mohr to “open up” the Crosswinds process to organizations outside our member districts. Given technicalities of the ownership and allowed uses of the Crosswinds building, only public subdivisions of some sort may make proposals. Mohr said that these would include “intermediate school districts” and the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Some interest has been expressed by ISD 916 (the district from which Mohr came to EMID), but nobody had yet reached out to Perpich to let them know of the opportunity to make a proposal on December 19.
South Washington also asked the EMID Board to continue their governance of Crosswinds through the next school year (2013-2014) so that ISD 833 could have a full year to develop plans and prepare for a takeover. Mohr said that EMID administration has begun a study of the feasibility of sustaining the Crosswinds school under EMID governance for another year. This may well be possible, but again, things should be clearer by the December 19 board meeting.
Superintendent Mohr asked that families please contact her directly with any ideas or concerns. Plans are moving along swiftly and she would like to incorporate as much of our thinking as possible. She can be reached at 651-379-2701 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, some video from the November board meeting is available at Vimeo, with more to come later this week when we get our next block of free storage space.
UPDATE: Superintendent Mohr has just sent a letter that covers much of this territory.