In the coming years, Minnetonka Public Schools will have to tackle many complex issues. Patch asked this year’s School Board candidates about how they’d handle some of the major issues facing the district.
Today’s question is:
- What, if anything, should Minnetonka Public Schools do to attract students through open enrollment and retain students who live within its boundaries?
Minnetonka Schools have a commitment to excellence. This core value influences the services we provide, the teachers we attract, the quality of our facilities and the expectations of our students. We already attract students from outside our district by simply following our course. We retain students by offering a high quality education, up to date facilities, excellent technology, unique programs and strong leadership.
Minnetonka school’s goal is to develop a world class, child centered education for its students. We also seek to provide an environment that is welcoming and supportive for students and parents. Through the combined efforts of our teachers, motivated students, engaged parents, and a stimulating curriculum we have produced exceptional academic, artistic and athletic results. Results, sustained over time are what creates a draw to our district for both resident and open enrolled families to choose Minnetonka. My focus as a board member has been to ensure that we are strategically balancing our focus to ensure that we have the support and resources to ensure our students achieve their highest potential today, and we appropriately support innovation that will best prepare our students for tomorrow. We will sustain high results over time.
Our community thrives by offering high quality programs with proven performance that attract students into our schools. The breadth of programs (e.g., IB, Navigators, Immersion, etc.), the personal attention and the small class sizes attracts families within our boundaries as well as families in our neighboring communities.
The Minnesota open enrollment policy enables parents to choose the public school option that best meets their family’s needs. Open enrollment has enabled the Minnetonka District to balance enrollment by grade and school building. It also has brought in additional revenue which is used for continued investment in our programs.
We should focus on continuing to provide our students and their parents/guardians with quality choices, excellent programs and rich learning environments. This approach has made Minnetonka Public Schools an educational option of choice.
I believe that the job of the School Board and the Minnetonka Public Schools is to do the very best job it can do to educate the children and adults that enroll in its programs. Our attention and effort must be placed on insuring we provide the best educational experience possible. This is not about creating a marketing plan. It is about providing the very best educational experience possible for the students that we serve.
Because of our excellent programs and system, our District has been the recipient of much interest from families outside our boundaries to open enroll their students in our system. The phrase "build it and they will come" has proved to be true here. As a District, we have created a classroom capacity plan that allows our administrators to effectively manage this interest and insure that class size is optimal for learning at each building. Open enrollment has been a true benefit to this District because it has brought millions of dollars in revenue which has allowed us to avoid budget cuts and large class sizes. We welcome all students to our District and at the same time retain the responsibility to ensure that our class sizes by building are the optimal size to meet the needs of our learners.
I am supportive of the thoughtful management of open enrollment in our district.