School Board approves new downtown school

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December 11, 2013
By: Dylan Thomas
Closed after the 2005–2006 school year, Webster will reopen in 2015 as a community school for downtown families
Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
Webster will reopen in 2015 as part of the district's 5-year enrollment plan

A new downtown school was one component of a five-year, $222-million district enrollment plan approved Tuesday by the School Board.
The vacant Webster building in the St. Anthony East neighborhood is slated to reopen in fall 2015 as a pre-K–2 school, adding one grade per year until it is a pre-K–5 school. The plan also consolidates downtown neighborhoods into one newly drawn attendance area for Webster.
The Downtown Minneapolis Elementary School Initiative, a neighborhood committee formed about a year ago, advocated for a new downtown school. Committee members said they preferred a site in downtown proper, not Northeast, but were pleased by the creation of a new attendance area.
A district of more than 34,000 students, Minneapolis Public Schools projects enrollment will climb 10 percent by 2017. The new downtown attendance area, designated 1G, has about 1,000 school-age children, according to district estimates.
From Webster, students will follow a pathway to Northeast Middle School and then Edison High School.
The changes in Area A, which includes downtown, North and Northeast neighborhoods, also affect Sheridan Arts Magnet. Two of its kindergarten classrooms will be shifted to a Spanish dual-immersion program in fall 2015, and those students will eventually follow a new dual-immersion pathway to Anwatin Middle School and Roosevelt High School.
The district also plans to offer MetroTransit Go-To bus passes to out-of-district students who wish to attend under-enrolled high schools in Area A and other parts of the city.