60 years after the landmark ruling in Brown v Board of Education, we celebrate the success of our three-year collaboration between families, two school districts, and Minnesota House and Senate members which has culminated in a vote enabling both Crosswinds and Harambee to stay open.
Language included as part of bonding and finance bills passed last night (5/16/2014) grants final approval of the transfer of the schools to other districts while maintaining their integration mission. We anticipate that Governor Dayton will sign the bills soon. Harambee Community Cultures/Environmental Science Elementary, a K-6 school in Maplewood, will become a permanent member of ISD 623, Roseville Area Schools. Crosswinds School of Arts and Sciences, a 6-10 middle school in Woodbury, will join with Perpich Center for Arts Education.
Each of the schools has been operated by these respective districts for the past school year, under a temporary one-year management agreement with the East Metro Integration District 6067 (EMID). EMID had determined in 2013 that it no longer wanted to operate the schools, and would instead focus more on interdistrict support for integration programs and efforts. After the legislature failed to convey the schools last year, Roseville and Perpich were awarded the management agreements for this past transition year, based largely on their commitment to keep to the original integration mission of the schools.
“This is a great outcome” says Troy Stein, a parent of students at both EMID schools. “These schools are unique, with their model of successful voluntary integration, and their accessibility to kids from all over the entire east metro region. This is one of those stories where the legislature, the leadership of all the districts involved, the staff at the schools, and the families of the kids, will all be able to look back and say, ‘We did a wonderful thing!’”.
Partnering with families in this effort this year include EMID Director Jean Lubke, Superintendent of Roseville Area Schools John Thein, Director of Perpich Center for Arts Education Sue Mackert, House authors Representatives Joann Ward and Peter Fischer, and Senate authors Senators Chuck Wiger and Kevin Dahl along with countless other legislators, families, and friends.
Harambee (grades K-6) and Crosswinds (grades 6-10) remain open for enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year to students from the East Metro area. There is no cost and transportation is provided from some areas. For more information, see their respective websites at www.isd623.org and www.crosswindsmn.org.
UPDATE: Here is an EMID Families press release about this legislative milestone.