Insight News

Feb 14th

Pierre Bottineau is state’s fi rst self-governed school

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Pierre Bottineau French Immersion is the first school to open in Minnesota under the District-Created Site-Governed Schools law (123B.04), which was passed by the Minnesota legislature in 2009. The Minneapolis Board of Education approved the proposal in March of 2010 and the new public elementary school will open its doors in north Minneapolis in the fall of 2011.

The development of new schools, which includes Self-Governed Schools (SGS), is one of the core strategies in the MPS Strategic Plan to address the lowest 25% of low performing schools.  New schools aim to bring Minneapolis families a portfolio of quality schools with strong leaders and proven models to dramatically improve student achievement and close the achievement gap.

Self-Governed Schools (SGS), such as Pierre Bottineau, are autonomous schools formed within the district. In order to facilitate the unique teaching and learning environment, the SGS Site Governance Council develops the school budget and can elect to purchase a share of district services as the site deems necessary. SGS are able to design their own leadership model and select the school leader. They are accountable to the Minneapolis Board of Education by way of a performance agreement. Teachers in SGS are members of the teachers’ union, subject to a memorandum of understanding allowing them to set their own work rules.

Immersion programs are one of the fastest growing and most effective types of foreign language programs currently available in U.S. schools. Research shows that language immersion teaches students a foreign language as well as strengthens students’ understanding of their native language. In a letter of support of Pierre Bottineau, Katie Sample, Executive Director of the African American Academy for Accelerated Learning, wrote, “It brings hope and encouragement to those of us who share the philosophy and belief that all children have the potential for learning multiple languages and that the process of developing other languages improves literacy skills.”

Pierre Bottineau will hold an open house event on Saturday, Feb. 5, 3–4:30 pm, at Jordan Park Elementary School.

Parents interested in enrolling their child in Pierre Bottineau French Immersion must complete a School Request Card and return it to the Minneapolis Public Schools Placement Office or request an admissions placement at the MPS on-line Choice Center: SchoolChoice.mpls. All requests are due by Feb. 8.

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