Public Hearing on Crosswinds, 2/23

The Crosswinds Task Force of the Perpich Board of Directors will hold a public hearing at 7pm Thursday, 23 February, at Crosswinds Arts & Science School, 600 Weir Dr., Woodbury.

The hearing is open to the public and is for the purpose of taking public comment on future alternatives for the operation of the school.

Crosswinds is a public integration magnet serving St. Paul and the east suburbs with a focus on arts and environmental science. It was created in 1997 by the East Metro Integration District (EMID), now known as Equity Alliance MN. After EMID announced plans to possibly close the school, Perpich Center offered to take over its management and the state legislature conveyed the school to Perpich in 2014.

Susan Mau Larson voted chair of the Perpich Board

At its meeting yesterday, the Board of the Perpich Center for Arts Education voted for Susan Mau Larson to take over as chair. Susan, a former Crosswinds parent and organizer of EMID Families, will serve out the remainder of the term vacated by former board chair Pierce McNally last month. Perpich is in the midst of both a financial and a program audit by the legislative auditor, so Susan has her work cut out for her.

Audio of the full board meeting is available below.

Perpich Board meeting of 13 October 2016

 

After adopting the concept agenda, the board considered nominations for Board Chair. Susan Mau Larson was nominated by the Nominations Committee and acting chair Ben Vader Kooi was nominated by Julie Workman. The vote was 6-4 for Susan.

Susan reported on the East Metro Integration District (now referred to as Equity Alliance Minnesota) and invited other board members to join her at meetings there.

Luayn Ruch-Hammond reported on the work of the task force that grew from the Crosswinds visit earlier this summer. That group has had an interview with director Sue Mackert, but was not ready to make major recommendations. However, the task force was asking for work to start in building a more robust presence for the board on the Perpich web site. There was a lot of hand-wringing over the request that email addresses for board members be added to the site and the impact of open meeting law on the use of email to communicate amongst the board and with constituents of the board.

Ben Vander Kooi reviewed various legal liability issues with the board, sharing a Handbook of Legal Issues and describing the insurance coverage extended to board members.

Ben also described the expected timeline of the Legislative Auditor’s work. The auditor expects to share financial audit results in November and program audit results in January. The director and board chair will likely see a non-public draft of the program audit in December, but public release will await the meeting of the legislative committee to whom the report is addressed.

Sue gave updates on both the Perpich Arts High School and Crosswinds.

The board discussed their budget review plans with an eye toward being able to speak on behalf of the agency at legislative hearings in the coming year.

The board added a meeting on Thursday, 15 December 2016.

[Not mentioned at the meeting, but presumably the next regular meeting of the board is on Thursday, 10 November 2016.]

Perpich community forum

Susan Larson writes…

It has been a long time since we connected as a group. I miss all of you and our time together working to save our schools.

I am reaching out to you now because our schools once again need help and I am hoping you can assist. As you know there have been a great deal of public concerns raised about the Perpich Center for Arts. It has reached a point where I sincerely feel the whole agency is at risk of survival. This would mean not only losing Crosswinds, but also losing the Arts High. As a Perpich Board member I am trying to understand what is happening and to rectify the situation. I humbly apologize for any action or inaction on my part which has contributed to the situation. I am truly sorry for any pain this has caused any of you and hope that we can build upon our past relationships to come together and find a path forward.

Thursday evening the Perpich Board will be hosting a community forum. Your presence and voices are welcome and needed. I hope you can be there and encourage you to invite anyone else you feel may be interested and available. Below is the announcement that was on the Perpich website.

Thank you.

Susan

Perpich community forum

The Perpich Board of Directors will host a community forum 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at Crosswinds Arts and Science School, 600 Weir Drive, Woodbury.

The Perpich Board iinvites anyone interested to attend. The goal of this forum is for board members to hear more about everyone’s experience with the Perpich Center, the arts high and Crosswinds. We want to know what is working well, learn about any challenges, and gather ideas and opportunities for the future.

Date: Thursday, June 9, 2016
Location: Crosswinds Arts and Science School, 600 Weir Drive, Woodbury
Time: 6:00-8:30 p.m.

The mission of the Perpich Center is to provide all Minnesota students the opportunity to develop and integrate their artistic and academic abilities to their highest potential.
Concerns about the Perpich Center have been raised in the media and in the state legislature. We want to engage in a dialogue about how we can work together to overcome these concerns and build a strong future for all students. Through open communication and collaboration we believe we can achieve and sustain our mission.

Please attend and share your voice!

The Imperative for 21st Century Learning, 10/2

Join Parents United to hear the latest on learning, relationships and stories. The last decade in education policy has increased demand for student and teacher accountability based largely on one metric: test scores. This allowed us to shine a light on gaps in achievement, but it has not proven an effective tool at closing those gaps. Parents United welcomes the insights of David O’Fallon, CEO, and Shandi DiCosimo, Program Officer of the Minnesota Humanities Center and Kent Pekel, Director of the Search Institute. Their research shows developmental relationships and cultural stories have the power to fundamentally change how students learn by bringing connection & context to the lives of students often defined by stereotypes.

This Parents United Parent Leadership Summit will be on Friday, October 2, from 11am to 2pm (with opportunities for networking starting at 10am) at the TIES Event Center (1640 Larpenteur Ave. W., Saint Paul, MN). The $35 registration fee includes lunch, but scholarships are also available if that fee is hard for you to cover. Please register today!

Myron Orfield on school segregation/integration, 4/21

You are invited to a talk followed by discussion by Professor Myron Orfield on school segregation/integration in the Twin Cities at the League of Women Voters Roseville, Maplewood, Falcon Heights meeting. The meeting is free and open to the public.

April 21st at 7pm
Little Venetian
2900 Rice St. Suite 240
Little Canada, MN 55113

For more information please see the PDF flyer and feel free to share it.

Please contact Carrie Dickson you have any questions.

St. Paul Gives Notice to EMID

Both the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio are reporting that the St. Paul Public School Board has served EMID with notice of its intent to withdraw from the integration collaborative. Rehab Feshir writes for MPR: “St. Paul school board votes to leave integration district.”

In a statement released after the vote, the board cited changes EMID has implemented, including dropping Harambee and Crosswinds, as reasons for its intent to withdraw by the beginning of the next school year.

Doesn’t it seem amazing that the SPPS board, which worked so hard to kill Harambee and Crosswinds, would now site the departure of those schools from EMID as its reason for leaving the collaborative?

Anthony Lonetree posts for the Star Tribune: “St. Paul schools to leave integration district.”

The departure from the East Metro Integration District (EMID) takes effect after the 2015-16 school year, according to action taken by the school board at a special meeting Tuesday.

The one-year countdown starts ticking now.

UPDATE:

Star Tribune: Big Challenges

An article in the Star Tribune by Kim McGuire and Erin Adler declares: “Twin Cities integration districts, their schools ready for big changes.”

The West Metro Education Program and the East Metro Integration District (EMID), two special integration districts that serve the Twin Cities, are both facing big changes as inner-ring suburbs grow increasingly diverse and the school districts they serve rely less on them to achieve racial balance.

The article quotes both Kathy Griebel, principal at Harambee, and Eric Celeste, an EMID Families organizer, along with parents and administrators from WMEP schools. WMEP is considering conveying its schools to two separate entities, similar to the outcome at EMID last year.

WMEP following EMID gameplan?

Beth Hawkins writes in MinnPost: “West metro integration district may reinvent itself, spinning off 2 schools in the process.”

At its monthly meeting, the multidistrict joint powers board that governs the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) will hear a proposal to turn its FAIR schools over to the districts where they are located. The districts would commit to continuing the successful, popular programs as they are for a number of years. …

The potential shift comes as another of the Twin Cities’ three integration districts, the East Metro Integration District (EMID), is confronting similar issues. EMID last year used the same state process being contemplated by its western counterpart to “convey” its two schools to two of its 10 member districts. One of its members, West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan, announced last week it is considering withdrawing.

The chair of WMEP’s PTO has said she would love to have EMID parents at the WMEP board meeting tomorrow night. They meet at the FAIR school in Crystal. It will be helpful to show our support. Their agenda starts with an Open Forum at 5:30 pm.

West St Paul leaving EMID?

Erin Adler at the Star Tribune reports that “West St. Paul district signals intent to withdraw from EMID.” Many of us believed that without its schools, the East Metro Integration District would unravel. This process seems to be getting underway. Adler writes:

With EMID, “Collaboration is probably the biggest advantage,” said Jean Lubke, EMID’s executive director. “You can do more things if you’re larger than if you’re smaller.”

But West St. Paul administrators believe the cost of belonging outweighs the benefits, and that the district could provide some of its services in-house. The district might also independently partner with other districts and buy services — AVID training or artist-in-residence programs — themselves.

Approving the resolution doesn’t mean they are withdrawing immediately, said Superintendent Nancy Allen-Mastro, but “this puts us into an exploration phase.” In a year, board members will make a final decision, effective July 2016.

Parents United Legislative Kickoff

Hi EMID Friends! I thought you would like to know that the Parents United Legislative Kickoff is planned for Saturday, January 10th at 9am. There is no fee for this event, but Parents United does ask that you please RSVP so they know how many are coming.

This is the beginning of a new biennium, on in which the Republican party will control the House and the Democrats the Senate. It is also a “funding year” this year. Come learn more about what all this means for education in Minnesota and prepare to fight for your schools as the state’s budget is built.

Parents United Annual Legislative Kickoff
Saturday, January 10, 2015, 9 – 11 am
TIES Main (East) Building, 3rd Floor Cafeteria
1667 Snelling Ave. N., St Paul, MN 55108
Coffee, rolls and conversation! The Kickoff is free, but please RSVP

By the way, if you cannot make it to TIES on Saturday 1/10, but you want to watch the kickoff, we will be experimenting will a live-stream of the event. As soon as we have details about that stream, we will update this post.