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Questions and Answers

The following frequently asked questions provide families with important information on the school enrollment process and the program options available to students. Topics covered include:

Pre-School and Early Childhood

High Five, offered in 27 MPS community and magnet schools, is for children who will turn four by Sept 1, 2022. Three School, offered at two MPS school locations, is for children who will turn three by Sept 1, 2022. To learn more about eligibility and locations, visit the Early Childhood Department website. Placement in either of these preschool programs can be requested at the ExploreMPS.org request site.
Children who turn five on or after September 1 are not eligible for High Five, and should enter Kindergarten. If you are concerned that your child is not developmentally or academically ready, please contact Early Childhood or ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) for guidance. If your child is too young for one of the preschool programs, please reach out to Early Childhood for ideas and guidance finding age-appropriate preschool or childcare.

We will automatically assign all currently enrolled High Five students to their community school based on the address we have for the student. Parents interested in requesting a school for their kindergartener at a school other than their community school should submit a request between November 20, 2021, and February 7, 2022

Current High Five students at some of our magnets will be automatically enrolled in that school’s kindergarten. If your child is not enrolled in a magnet listed on the left side of the chart below and you wish for your child to continue at that school in kindergarten, you will need to submit a request for that school.

Students will roll over from High Five to Kindergarten at:

  • Hall STEM
  • Jefferson Global Studies and Humanities
  • Sheridan English Spanish Dual Language
  • Sullivan Steam
Students will NOT roll over from High Five to Kindergarten at:
  • Bethune Arts
  • Emerson English Spanish Dual Language
  • Green Central English Spanish Dual Language
  • Marcy Arts
  • Seward Montessori

    Bethune, Emerson, Green Central most magnets would need to have a Current High Five students at Jefferson, Hall, Sheridan and Sullivan will all be automatically assigned to kindergarten at that school.

    Kindergarten

    Children who turn five after September 1 through October 31, 2022 are eligible for consideration for Early Admission to Kindergarten.
    MPS supports a smooth transition to kindergarten. We are happy to work with families to address any hesitations regarding children beginning an all-day kindergarten program. Contact Early Childhood Education at 612-668-2140 for more information

    High School Selection

    Your student is guaranteed a spot at the community high school for your attendance area. Under the new placement priority protocols, we are no longer able to place students at an out-of-area high school. Other options include FAIR School of the Arts, and MPS Contract Alternative Programs.

    We encourage all students completing 8th grade at a 6-8 middle school or K-8 magnet to submit a high school request, but if they do not, they will be assigned automatically to their community high school based on their home address. If they do not live in the attendance area of the community middle school they are currently attending, they will not pathway to that school’s pathway high school but to their community high school.

    The exception to address-based pathways is for students at the English/Spanish Dual Language program at Anwatin who will automatically pathway to the Dual Language program at Roosevelt.

    A Go-To Card is a prepaid Metro Transit bus fare card for students. Students can use their Go-To Cards for unlimited rides on city buses and light rail to and from school. Cards can also be used after school hours for other student activities. Students requiring special needs busing will still be eligible for district transportation.
    We do not maintain high school waiting lists. If your student does not get a spot at your top requested school and you believe there is information we should know that might change this outcome, such as a health or safety concern, please communicate with the Student Enrollment team.

    The following are citywide schools and programs:

    • Contract Alternative Schools
    • FAIR High School for the Arts • Heritage Academy
    • Minneapolis Academy and Career Center (MAAC)
    • MPS Online School
    • Spanish Dual Language
    • South All Nations program at South High School

    General Enrollment Questions

    We encourage you to request either your own community school based on your address, or a citywide magnet, or a combination of these as your first and second choices. If you submit your request by the initial due date of February 7, you will have the best chance of getting a spot at your first requested school. Visit the school finder at ExploreMPS.org to learn your school options and submit your online school request.

    The Minneapolis Public Schools district is divided into small attendance areas, and each area has its own community school (elementary, middle and high school), which is an option for everyone who lives inside the school’s attendance area boundaries. Everyone who lives in that area but outside the school’s unique walk zone is eligible for bus transportation or a Go To Pass for high school. While community schools may have a theme or academic focus area, they are designed to have general appeal and provide excellent quality instruction across all content areas.

    Magnet schools are ‘citywide’ because they are a request option for students throughout the city of Minneapolis, and any resident student placed there who lives outside the school’s walk zone is eligible for bus transportation. Magnets are also different in that they offer a specific theme such as Arts, STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), English-Spanish Dual Language instruction, Global Studies and Humanities, or Montessori. This additional focus on a specific subject or style of teaching (as with Montessori) are infused across all content areas to provide excellent quality instruction using the magnet focus as a teaching and curriculum theme.

    Placement in magnets is based on the new magnet placement priorities approved as part of the Comprehensive District Design approved by the MPS School Board in June 2019. Priorities include (in order of weight):

    A. Students who live within a half-mile radius of the school; A. Students with siblings already attending the school who will continue to be enrolled at the same school;

    B. Students who do or do not qualify for Educational Benefits, depending on the school’s projected balance of students who qualify for Educational Benefits; and

    C. Students who are experiencing homelessness.

    To learn more, click here.

    If you do not request your community school, we will not know that you are interested in having your child attend there and you might not be able to get a spot later on if the school has been filled at your child’s grade level. We are typically able to grant placement for all community school requests received by the February due date.

    When you complete your school request form (online or paper request), you will have the option to include up to three schools. We strongly recommend that you list your community school as one of your choices. The following guidance may be helpful:

    • If you are only interested in your community school and you are requesting before the February due date, you do not need to list any other schools. (Please be sure to confirm that the school you are requesting is the correct community school for your child’s home address).
    • If you decide that one of the magnet options is your most desired school for your child, you should indicate that as your first choice. If you second choice is your community school, you should indicate that as your #2 choice and you do not need to list a third choice.
    • If there are two magnet schools you are interested in more than your community school, you should list them as your #1 and #2 choices and you should list your community school as your third choice.
    No, all requests submitted by the lottery due date are considered "on time" and will be included in the placement lottery.

    Your child will be placed if the following three situations apply:

    1. You are requesting kindergarten for a child who will be age appropriate for kindergarten,
    2. Your request is submitted by the lottery due date of February 7, 2022, and
    3. There is sufficient classroom capacity at your community school based on your home address (MPS Policy 5262).

    Families seeking placement for children in grades 1-8 will be assigned based on available space. We promise a school that your child can bus or walk to.

    If your child is currently enrolled in an MPS school, please let your school office know as soon as possible so they can update our Student Information System and reach out to the Enrollment Department as your move could change your school options and your address-based priorities.
    All children living in the same household are considered siblings. To qualify for sibling preference, the older or younger sibling must be currently enrolled (and still enrolled during the year for which the request is submitted) in a school. Sibling preference does not apply to students enrolled in citywide special education or pre-kindergarten programs.

    Requesting an Out-of-Area Community School

    While you can submit a request for any Minneapolis Public Schools school, only a small number of students who don’t live in the school’s attendance area can be placed.
    MPS does not provide transportation to/from an out-of-area home or childcare address. If your child is enrolled in an out-of-area community school, transportation would be provided only to/from an address (such as a childcare) within the school’s attendance area.
    If your child is attending an out-of-area community elementary school, you would need to submit a request (by the due date during their 5th grade year) for that school’s pathway middle school. A small number of out-of-area placements may be done at each community school (including middle and high schools). The same is true for students transitioning from middle to high school.
    While you will not be required to un-enroll your child from a school they have already been placed at or enrolled in, they will not be eligible for transportation and will not pathway with their peers to middle (or high school) if your new address is outside the middle school’s (or high school’s) attendance area boundary.

    Waiting Lists and Transfers

    Every magnet school request we receive is entered into our School Enrollment System, which assigns each request a ‘priority weight’ that is the accumulated total of all the priorities that apply to the request. When we run the placement lottery, we place as many students as possible to fill the open seats at that school. Students who remain on the list after the lottery make up the waiting list. Students stay on the list in priority order. Priorities include:

    • Whether the student lives in the city (resident or non-resident)
    • Whether the student lives inside the school’s attendance area (in-area or out-of-area)
    • Whether the student has a sibling already attending the school who will still be there during the school year for which placement is being requested
    • Whether the student lives within a ¼ mile of the school (for magnets only)
    • Whether or not the student qualifies for Educational Benefits (Free or Reduced Price Lunch)
    Every community school request we receive is entered into our School Enrollment System, which assigns each request a ‘priority weight’ that is the accumulated total of all the priorities that apply to the request. When we run the placement lottery, we place as many students as possible to fill the open seats at that school. We anticipate being able to honor all community school requests when the student’s own community school is requested, so no student should need to be added to a waiting list for their own community school.
    No. A small number of out-of-area requests may be honored in the first lottery, and students will not be added to the waiting lists for out-of-area community schools, however, lists of un-placed students are retained.
    In general, students may be placed from waiting lists through the first month of the school year, but waiting lists for High Five, and sibling preference remain active through May 1 of the school year for which the request was submitted.
    Students can be on one waiting list. If we are not able to honor your first requested school and that school is a magnet or your community school (based on your home address), your child will be added to that school’s waiting list. If we are able to honor your second or third listed school, your child can remain on the waiting list for the first requested school.
    No. If a student requested a spot in 3rd grade at Apple School but didn’t get in, if they wish to try for Apple School again for 4th grade, a new request for 4th grade at Apple School would need to be submitted.
    Continuity and stability for students are very important for students’ academic success, and school changes mid-year are to be avoided in most cases. If you are unhappy with your school or an aspect of your child’s education, it is important to bring your concerns to your child’s teachers and school leaders before requesting a transfer. Most issues can be successfully resolved at school.
    If you are unhappy with your school or an aspect of your child’s education, it is important to bring your concerns to your child’s teachers, school social worker and school leaders before requesting a transfer. Most issues can be successfully resolved at school. If a transfer is needed, your school social worker will work with the district Special Education department regarding the possibility of available openings in a similar program elsewhere in the district.

    MPS Online School

    In March of 2020, school districts across the country responded to the Covid 19 pandemic by shifting to distance learning as their mode of education when children could not attend school in-person. Through doing this, districts have learned we can provide high quality education online, and that many families prefer this option. In response, for the 2021-22 school year, MPS expanded our 9-12 alternative school to the K-12 MPS Online School. Once students are enrolled, they stay until they graduate or request a move to an in-person school for the following school year.
    MPS Online isn’t technically a magnet school, but it functions like one in that it has a unique method of curriculum delivery (online), and is accessible to all students in the district equally as long as there are openings. While we do prioritize Minneapolis residents, the MPS Online School’s attendance area includes the state of MN and we are glad to welcome students from throughout the state.
    While we don’t recommend midyear transfers, if a transfer from the MPS Online School is necessary due to changes in family circumstances, the Enrollment Department will work with you to identify an in-person school option.

    Second Lottery

    Magnet school requests received after the first lottery due date and before April 4 will be part of a second school placement lottery. Magnet requests that can’t be honored in the first lottery will also automatically be entered in the second lottery. Please see the school request timeline for more details.
    The process to request a school is always the same. You can submit a request online or if you need assistance, you can contact Student Enrollment at SPS.Department@mpls.k12.mn.us or call 612.668.1840.
    Yes. Any magnet requests that we are not able to honor in the first lottery will be automatically entered in the second lottery. If your child has been placed at your community school and you have decided you no longer want your child to attend a different school, please let us know so we can remove your child from the second lottery and magnet waiting list.
    No, the second lottery is only for magnets. If you request your community school, the Enrollment Team will work to process your request as quickly as possible. If there is capacity at your community school, you will receive a placement notification letter by either mail or email. In some cases, you may be required to submit proof of address.
    You can submit a request for any school at any time. If you request your community school, we will try to place right away, and if you request a magnet school before April 4, your request will be entered in the lottery.

    Families are welcome to submit a request at any time, but magnet requests received by the February 7 and April 4 due dates are included in the initial and second placement lotteries, when we do many placements all at one time and send placement notifications to families.

    If you submit a request for your community school between November 20 and late June, we will most likely be able to place your child at your community school (in some cases, you will be required to provide proof of address).

    If you request a magnet school after both due dates have passed, placements will be made based on priorities and openings. If we are not able to honor your magnet request at the time of submission, your child’s name will remain on a waiting list for that school through the end of September of the school year for which you have requested placement, and we will work with you to identify a placement option for your child.

    Most importantly, having a second due date and lottery gives more families an opportunity to participate in the school request and lottery process. Another reason for the second lottery is that it gives us a tool to move continuously toward the CDD goal of economic diversity in our magnet schools. We do this by holding out a percentage of magnet seats when we do the first lottery, then prioritizing requests for the second lottery based on whether the school has more or fewer students who qualify for Educational Benefits (Free or Reduced Price Lunch).

    Childcare

    Minneapolis Kids is the childcare program provided through Community Education to MPS families on a sliding-fee scale. A list of locations can be found on the Minneapolis Kids website.
    If your child will need to attend childcare before or after school, and your childcare is not in your home attendance area, a magnet school may be the best solution for you as all magnets now provide citywide bussing.
    Contact Us

    English : 612.668.1840
    Español: 612.668.3700
    Soomaali: 612.668.3700
    Hmoob: 612.668.1840

    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Sps.department@mpls.k12.mn.us

    Address
    1250 W. Broadway Ave., 55411

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