Wednesday, January 8, 2020 5:20 AM

Over the past year the Minneapolis Public School district has been working on a Comprehensive District Design to address ongoing budget issues and the troubling achievement gap that plagues our system. At this point two phases have been released which suggest major changes.  
PHASE ONE - During this phase of the study the district investigated how a community school model, without magnet schools, would impact capacity and alleviate under and over enrollment. This model indicated 63% of students would attend a different school than they currently do.  
PHASE TWO- In the second phase of the study, a decreased number of magnet programs were put back into the model but in new centralized locations, resulting in schools such as Armatage and Windom losing their magnet status and becoming neighborhood schools. Centralizing magnet schools is intended to allow families from all over the city improved access to the specialized programming provided at magnet schools. In addition, this model eliminates K-8 schools, opting for K-5 elementary schools and 6-8 middle schools district wide, with the intent to provide equitable and consistent programming for all students. High schools would not be affected by any of the current proposals.  
HOW THIS IMPACTS LHCS - There is apparent momentum with Superintendent Graff and the school board to move away from K-8 modeled schools. Lake Harriet would become a K-5 community school presumably retaining our existing boundaries. Middle school students (6-8) would then attend a 6-8 middle school, presumably Anthony based on the most recent information available.  
Based on current and projected class enrollment, the Upper and Lower Campus buildings would be over-capacity and could not absorb the 200 or so students who live within current LHCS boundaries but currently do not attend their community school if LHCS remained a K-8. If the K-8 model is eliminated we would theoretically still maintain our boundaries in a K-5 model given the 400 open middle school seats that would be shifted to a 6-8 middle school, presumably Anthony.  
Since this is a model, we do not have clear answers about boundaries, the K-8 model, or middle school pathways. However, we do want your voices to be heard and considered.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? -At this point the district is looking for input from school communities based on the information they have shared thus far. We have a Site Council Task Force dedicated to monitoring the process and advocating on behalf of LHCS. In order for your voice to be heard, we encourage you to submit questions and input to our task force email We plan to present our questions and community responses to a district representative in January.
You can also find more information about the Comprehensive District Design by going to