Minneapolis Public Schools unveil proposals for district-wide overhaul

In a packed auditorium in Northeast Minneapolis, parents got their first look at different detailed proposals that Minneapolis Public Schools are currently considering that would dramatically change the makeup of one of the state's largest school districts.

The MPS Comprehensive District Design plan features five different models that school officials say will help close the achievement gap and will better serve some of the city's historically underserved populations.

"This is an urgent conversation," Superintendent Ed Graff said Monday night before the meeting. "It's one that has been needed for many, many years and certainly don't expect that it's going to be well-received by all people."

In the last month, parents have raised concerns about the plan, saying they believe it was too vague and didn't provide enough clarity on which schools would be impacted.

Parents speak out on Minneapolis Public Schools comprehensive district design plans

During the meeting, Graff, who was joined by other district staff at the meeting, said candidly that each option would impact every student that attends MPS schools.

An hour-long presentation detailed portions of the plans. Four of the five models had similar themes, including moving magnet schools in the district to a more centralized location to accommodate more students. The proposals also looked at opening more community middle schools, rather than relying on traditional K-8 options that currently exist.

Parents who attended the meeting said the details provided were helpful, but that they felt like the presentation lacked specific information about how the plans would impact schools and students.

"We still have a lot more (questions)," Shelly Bawiec said. "We're hoping that our own school will have an opportunity to address it."

"I am a little concerned about what would happen with North (Minneapolis) schools but they seem to think that it would improve the health of those schools too," Ellen Lapinski said.

The school board is expected to vote on a final proposal early this summer.

For information on Monday's presentation, click here.