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PreK-8 School Request: Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How old does my child have to be to attend school? 

A: Children who turn five years old on or before September 1, 2021 are eligible to enter kindergarten. It is recommended that children begin school with their same-age peers.

Q: What if my child is not five years old by September 1 but I think s/he is ready to start kindergarten? 

A: Children who turn five between September 2 and October 31, 2021 are eligible for consideration for Early Admission to Kindergarten. Minneapolis Public Schools also has excellent pre-kindergarten options for children under five years old.

Q: Do I have a better chance of getting into our first school preference if I apply early?
A: No, all requests submitted by the lottery cut-off date are considered "on time" and will be included in the placement lottery.

Q: If I submit a request for my community school during the request window, will my child get a spot?

A: If the following three situations apply, your child will be placed.

1) You are requesting kindergarten for a child who will be age appropriate for kindergarten,
2) Your request is submitted by the lottery cut-off date, 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. You are promised a school in your busing area (or a school your child can walk to).

Q: What if I believe my child is not ready to attend all-day kindergarten?

A: 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.

Q: If my child is attending a High Five program, do I need to submit a request for kindergarten?

A: We automatically assign current High Five students to their attendance area community school for kindergarten. If you want your High Five student to attend your community school for kindergarten, you do not need to submit a school request for kindergarten. If you wish to request a different school, you should submit a request by February 7, the lottery cut-off date.

Q: Who is considered a sibling and what is sibling preference? 

A: All children living in the same household are considered siblings. To qualify for sibling preference, the older or younger sibling must be continuously enrolled in a school before sibling preference is granted. Sibling preference does not apply to students enrolled in citywide special education or pre-kindergarten programs.

Q: How does sibling preference affect school request? 

A: In order to qualify for sibling preference, a family must have a child already enrolled at the school who will continue to be enrolled at that school the following school year.  Both children must be attending the school at the same time for the younger child to enter that school with sibling preference

Q: What if my child does not get into our first requested school? 
A: Your child’s name will be placed on a waitlist for the first requested school, and will be placed in your second requested school if space is available. If space becomes available at your first requested school before May 1 of the school year for which space was requested, we will contact families to offer placement

Q: If my child was on a waitlist for this school year, do I need to submit a new request to try again for that school?

A: Yes, waitlists do not roll over to the next school year and are only for the grade level that was requested. If you have not been contacted about moving off the wait list by the lottery cut-off date, you should submit a request for the grade the child will be in the next school year. 
EXAMPLE: If you requested a magnet school for your child entering kindergarten but stayed on the waitlist, you would need to submit a request for a spot in 1st grade in order to try again for placement at that school the following year.

Q: What if my child is already enrolled in a school and wants to attend another school for the next school year? 

A: All school requests should be submitted by the lottery cut-off date.

Q: What is an attendance area? 

A: Attendance areas are the geographic area around community schools. Students who live in a school's attendnace area are prioritized above students from other attendanace areas, and students living in a school's attendance area are eligible to receive bus transportation unless they are in the walk zone (one-half mile or less from school). 

Q: Can we request a school outside of our attendance area? 

A: Yes, but students who live in that school’s attendance area will be prioritized for enrollment. Out of area requests will be considered if there is sufficient capacity once students who live in that area have been placed. If your child attends a school outside your attendance area, s/he will not get bus transportation and a parent signature on a Transportation Waiver is required prior to out of area placement. Signing a transportation waiver indicates intent and commitment to transport your child to and from school on time every day.

Q: Who is eligible to ride a school bus? 

A: Generally, elementary school students are eligible for transportation if they live within their school's attendance area, but outside the school's walk zone, which is a 1/2 mile or less from the school. Middle school students are eligible for transportation if they live within their school’s attendance boundaries but not within the middle school walk zone of one mile from school.

Q: Can my child attend a school based on her/his daycare address rather than our home address? 

A: You can reqeust a school based on your childcare address, but -placement priorities are based only on home addresss. If the student is assigned to your preferred school, then you can request transportation to and from the daycare address if it is within the school's busing attendance area. You may request a school outside of your attendance area but priority placement will be given to families who live within that school’s attendance area. If you live outside of a school’s attendance area but your daycare is located in the attendance area, you may be granted admission to the school if space remains after all attendance area requests are honored. Transportation is not provided to addresses (home or daycare) located outside of a school’s attendance area.

Q: My child has special needs. What services are available? 

A: Minneapolis Public Schools offers a wide range of Special Education programs and services. If you have general questions about special education, please call 612.668.5444.

Q: What type of childcare is available for elementary students? 

A: Minneapolis Public Schools Community Education provides have partnered to provide Minneapolis Kids School Age Care sites on a year-round basis at many district locations. For help and guidance searching for and exploring childcare options in the region, we encourage you to visit Parent Aware or call 888-291-9811. Parenet Aware is a service of the MN Department of Human Services.

Q: Are you still making decisions about Minneapolis Kids? My former school had Minneapolis Kids, but now my new school doesn’t. 

A: Minneapolis Kids will maintain its level of service for the 21-22 SY. All current Minneapolis Kids sites will remain active with the exception of Justice Page, which is being relocated to Keewaydin. We have also made necessary changes to ensure that Minneapolis Kids is accessible during times that best meet the needs of Minneapolis families. This table has more information.

For a majority of sites without Minneapolis Kids, we are also looking at expanding our Youth Enrichment opportunities. Minneapolis Kids is the child care program provided through Community Education to MPS families on a sliding-fee scale. However, due to COVID-19, Minneapolis Kids must prioritize MPS-enrolled students of emergency and health care workers as declared by Governor Walz’s executive order.

 

Q: If I’m in early childhood programming at a school that’s changing, will I automatically have a spot in the new school? For example, if I’m in High Five at Windom, does that guarantee me a spot at Windom?

A: We will automatically assign all currently enrolled High Five students to their community schools based on the address we have for the student. Parents interested in enrolling their student in kindergarten at a school other than their community school should submit a school request between December 5, 2020, and February 7, 2021. In the example given above, if the student lives in the attendance area for which Windom is the new community school, the student would be automatically assigned to Windom. 

Priority placement for all preschool programs goes to students who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for free or reduced lunch (based on family income)
  • Is an English Learner (home language is not English)
  • Is homeless
  • Has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or an individual interagency intervention plan
  • Is identified, through health and developmental screenings, with a potential risk factor that may influence learning
  • Is defined as at risk by Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Lives in the school’s attendance zone

To support integration goals at selected magnets (Hall, Sheridan, Sullivan and Jefferson), early childhood opportunities will be made available at these schools without cost regardless of home income. This is possible based on magnet guidelines seeking to establish a student population balance of 60% students who receive free and reduced-price lunches, and 40% students who do not. Students in these 60/40 economically integrated classrooms will have automatic enrollment into kindergarten at the magnet sites. There are a limited number of seats available at these schools, however, so a lottery will be employed as needed if the schools receive more requests than the available seats. 

Additional sections of High Five will be also added to Lyndale, Folwell, Pillsbury and Nellie Stone Johnson.  Due to the shift of Andersen to a middle school, its three sections of High Five will be moved to Bancroft, Bethune, and Sheridan. Windom’s High Five classroom will be moved to Whittier.  Please see table below:

2020-21
H5 Programs

# of
Classrooms

Type of High Five

Anishinabe Academy 

2

Full Day

Anne Sullivan STEAM Magnet

2

Full Day

Bancroft Community

2

Full day

Bethune Arts Magnet

3

Full Day

Bryn Mawr Community 

2

Half day

Cityview Community 

2

Full Day

Elizabeth Hall STEM Magnet

2

Full Day

Emerson Dual Language Mante

2

Half day

Folwell Community

3

Full Day

Hmong International Academy

2

Full Day

Jefferson Global Studies and Humanities Magnet 

2

Full Day

Jenny Lind Community

2

Full Day

Longfellow High Five

1

Half Day

Loring Community

2

Half day

Lucy Craft Laney Community

2

Full Day

Lyndale Community

2

Full Day

Mona Moede - North Star

2

Full Day

Mona Moed Three School

2

Half day

Nellie Stone Johnson Community

3

Full Day

Pillsbury Community

2

Full Day

Pratt Community

2

Half day

Green Central Dual Language Magnet

2

Full Day

Seward Montessori Magnet

2

Half day

Sheridan Dual Language Magnet

2

Full Day

Waite Park Community 

2

Half day

Webster Community

2

Half day

Whittier Community

2

Full Day

 

If you have questions about the enrollment process, please contact us at sps.department@mpls.k12.mn.us or call us at 612.668.1840.
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