Category Archives: Harambee

Talking Circle, 8/26

JoAnn Ward will lead a Talking Circle assisted by Leslye Taylor. This is for parents and alumni students to share in a safe circle space all that needs to be expressed from our experiences. If there is time, we might envision about what we are moving into together. We’ll have some time to visit together over refreshments as we gather. The Talking Circle will take about three hours, including time to gather at the start and wrap up at the end. Please plan to spend the entire time with us and not just drop in.

Tuesday, August 26
6:30 – 9:30pm
Home of Leslye & Terrance Taylor
433 Woodhill Dr., Roseville, MN 55113

Please RSVP and send any questions to
Leslye at 651-343-8511

The Deed is Done

We have received word that both Crosswinds and Harambee have officially been transferred to their new homes! Sue Mackert, Director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, reports that Perpich has received the deed to Crosswinds and Shari Thompson, now of the Roseville Area Schools, reports that ISD 623 now hold the deed to Harambee.

Please make sure to let your friends and neighbors know that Crosswinds and Harambee are open for business, still year round, still welcoming students from across the east metro, still focussed on integration, arts, and science. Help us get the word out!

EMID Families Reunion and Fundraiser, 7/19

Crosswinds and Harambee both have a long future ahead of them thanks to the incredible work of EMID Families and our supporters in the Minnesota legislature. Please join us for this celebration of our accomplishments and chance to return some support to two of our most dedicated supporters: JoAnn Ward and Peter Fischer. Much work still lies ahead as we make our schools the best they can be, so we need to make sure JoAnn and Peter are there to fight for us in the future.

Saturday, July 19, Noon to 2pm
at the home of Eric Celeste & Mary Hess
1993 Lincoln Avenue, Saint Paul

Co-hosted by Carrie Dickson, Lee Ann Fugaban, Susan Mau Larson, Jocelyn Stein, and Leslye Taylor.

Bring your own picnic lunch. We will have a grill and some drinks. We’ll be outside if we can, inside if we must.

We will be accepting donations for Peter and JoAnn at the reunion. If you cannot join us, or would like to use a credit card, please visit Peter and JoAnn’s campaign websites to make a donation:

EMID Board to Celebrate Conveyance of Schools, 5/21

Jean Lubke, Executive Director of EMID, wants to let everyone know that the EMID board will mark the conveyance of the schools at their meeting tomorrow. Please join the board if you can! The meeting is at Crosswinds and starts at 5:30 on Wednesday.

The EMID Board will have a small celebration with the leaders of Perpich, Roseville, Crosswinds, Harambee, and our legislative advocates at the beginning of the Board meeting on Wednesday (5/21) at 5:30. You are most warmly welcome.

Please extend this invitation to the EMID Families and anyone else who has helped with this change.

Crosswinds and Harambee Get Legislative OK

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 and

UPDATE: Here is an EMID Families press release about this legislative milestone.

Pioneer Press: Future of two east metro magnet schools in lawmakers’ hands again

Christopher Magan writes in the Pioneer Press: “Future of two east metro magnet schools in lawmakers’ hands again.”

When Minnesota lawmakers return to the state Capitol next month, they will be asked again to decide the future of two east metro magnet schools.

A year after a group of east metro school districts ended their involvement in Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School in Woodbury and Harambee Elementary Community Cultures and Environmental Science School in Maplewood, supporters might get another shot at permanent leadership for the schools.

“We are hoping for a smooth conveyance,” said Jean Lubke, executive director of the East Metro Integration District, or EMID. “We support the schools’ continued operation as inter-district integration magnet schools.”

EMID Families Meeting, 12/8

EMID Families will be meeting on Sunday, 12/8, at 3pm at the Rondo Branch of Saint Paul Public Library (461 N Dale St, Saint Paul 55103). Look for us in the Children’s Room there.

We will have an update on the legislative situation and what we as families can do to help ensure a successful handoff of Crosswinds to Perpich and Harambee to Roseville. We will also be focussed on our plans for an integration initiative to carry on a conversation about the importance of real integration in our schools to Minnesota. Please join us, we especially hope that by meeting at the Rondo Library more families from Saint Paul can take part on Sunday.

Everyone is welcome, especially families new to Harambee or Crosswinds! Please come and be part of building the future for our schools.

EMID Board Meets on 11/20

The next board meeting is on Wednesday 11/20 at 5:30 at Crosswinds.

This month’s board packet includes the legislative agenda the EMID board plans to discuss:

  1. We support the conveyance of Harambee Elementary School to ISD 623 Roseville Public Schools for the continued purpose of serving as a multi-district integration school effective July 1, 2014.
  2. We support the conveyance of Crosswinds Arts and Science Magnet School to Perpich Center for the Arts for the continued purpose of serving as a multi-district integration school effective July 1, 2014.
  3. We support the continuation of EMID as an Integration District supporting the East Metro Area.
    • We request adequate and continuing integration funding supporting the student, staff, and family shared services to support integration and equity across the member districts.
    • We request flexibility in budgeting to provide more opportunities for professional development and organizational support (versus 80% student service, 10% professional development, 10% administration) in order to make systemic changes.

If the board does adopt this agenda, we will be in a strong position to finally get conveyance of the schools to their new partners in 2014. Please join us at this meeting to urge the EMID board to speak with a unified voice on this very important agenda item.

EMID Families Meeting, 11/3

As you know, EMID Families can never rest for long! Work progresses on three fronts: supporting our schools during this interim year of management by Roseville and Perpich, preparing for a legislative session vital to the permanent assignment of Harambee and Crosswinds to Roseville and Perpich, and an integration initiative to carry on a conversation about the importance of real integration in our schools to Minnesota. If you are interested in helping with any of these initiatives, please come to our next meeting!

EMID Families will be meeting on Sunday, 11/3, at 3pm at the Maplewood Branch of Ramsey County Library (3025 Southlawn Drive, Maplewood, MN 55109). Just look for us in the Community Program Room there.

Everyone is welcome, especially families new to Harambee or Crosswinds! Please come and be part of building the future for our schools.

Encore! Preparing for next year.

This has been quite a year, and it has firmly established the fact that both Harambee and Crosswinds will be around for many more years. The transition to new management may be a bit confusing to some, so here are a few essentials for everyone coming back next year.

Roseville has released a calendar for Harambee’s next school year and Perpich has said that this will be the basis of calendar they use for Crosswinds. So if you want to know when holidays and breaks will fall next year, grab a copy of this calendar! [UPDATE: The official Crosswinds calendar is now available.]

Crosswinds usually shares a school supply list developed by its teachers. Since staffing is still being finalized, Torria shared this school supply list from last year. Please feel free to use it as you prepare for next year. [UPDATE: the official new supply list is now available.]

Finally, the Crosswinds Orchestra had a wonderful Summer concert last night and a concert video is available if you missed it. Enjoy!