EMID Families T-Shirts!

To celebrate summer and the work we have ahead of us for Crosswinds and Harambee, EMID Families has decided to produce two limited edition t-shirts. These will be great to wear to the legislative hearing we expect to host at Crosswinds in July, or to various year-end events around the schools.

These t-shirts will only be on sale for one week, until Monday 6/10! Get yours while they last!

You can get a yellow shirt that declares “Integration for Minnesota. Watch us grow!” for $12, or a very special black shirt that just shows off the dandelion symbol for $14.

Yellowshirt Blackshirt

Thanks to Carrie Dickson for coming up with the dandelion theme EMID Families has adopted to let everyone know we won’t be stopped and plan to spread our story.

Please note, these shirts will only be printed if we reach a total minimum order of 25 yellow shirts or 10 black shirts by June 10th, so order now. If you choose the “free shipping” option, then Eric Celeste will deliver the shirt by hand to a future EMID Families or Crosswinds meeting for you.

Harambee NOT OK after all

Seven hours ago we expected Harambee to get language in the waning hours of the legislative session. The Governor had met with all parties and hammered out an agreement. The Senate had agreed to insert the language for Harambee and the House agreed not to insist on corresponding language for Crosswinds. However, this did not happen.

When the final bill of the session came to the House floor from the Senate, it did not include language for Harambee.

As a result, Roseville does not have the ability to run the Harambee program as it had proposed.

BUT THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY FOR HARAMBEE!

It is now up to the EMID board, but Roseville and the board will have to explore alternative ways of facilitating a turnover of governance. There are ideas about this, but they are in the earliest stages of being worked out.

Of course, this makes it clear that especially Harambee parents will want to come to the board meeting on Wednesday 5/29 at Harambee.

Sincere apologies for the earlier post stating that Harambee would be OK. Given the agreement the Governor had worked out, we just could not imagine the result we saw tonight.

House Leadership Press Conference at 2:30pm TODAY

UPDATE, now looking like the press conference is more likely between 3 and 4pm. Note, as a House event, we have no control over this one.

The Minnesota House leadership is holding a press conference about Crosswinds and Harambee at the Capitol today at 2:30. Please meet in the Capitol Rotunda at 2:15 to join up with other families, students, and teachers. Now is the moment! Come to the Capitol if you can. Bring your signs.

Please spread the word.

The House is very upset at the manipulations of the Senate against Crosswinds. Let’s help them make a strong showing!

Last Chance to Save Crosswinds, SUNDAY 11am

The legislature did NOT include Crosswinds in the education omnibus bill, dooming our state-of-the-art $26M east metro integration magnet school to lie empty and disbanding our fine teaching staff and families. We are coming together one more time to ask legislators and the governor to do everything possible before the legislative session ends to continue this important integration magnet program.

Please join us TODAY (for most of you), Sunday at 11am, in the State Capitol just outside the Governor’s Office. Students from theater and orchestra will be present, Mr. Bass and some parents will hold a press conference. We need to ask for action to save Crosswinds.

See our press release for more details.

Check out the Crosswinds video!

Many thanks to the students, teachers, and families who helped us create this video for Minnesota legislators. We know all of you are sending letters to your representatives, feel free suggest they visit emidfamilies.org/crosswinds so they can see the school in action!

The video is available on both Vimeo and YouTube, please “like” it and pass it along to anyone who may help us convince the legislature to give the Perpich Center for Arts Education the authority it needs to keep Crosswinds serving future Minnesota children and teachers.

Make your voices heard!

On January 25, the EMID Board voted to allow Perpich Center for Arts Education to take over governance of Crosswinds if they can receive approval from the Minnesota Legislature by April 1. The Perpich Center for Arts Education is now working very hard to convince the Minnesota Legislature and Governor to give it the authority and funding it needs to run the Crosswinds Arts and Science School. Your voice is critical to this effort, your own state representative and senator need to hear your support for the Perpich proposal.

Please write letters to Governor Mark Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. Let them know what Crosswinds has meant for you and your student and ask them to support the Perpich proposal which will continue to Crosswinds program. Please also write letters to or meet with your State Senator and Representative. Let them know that you are a constituent and why you believe Crosswinds is important.

More information, including addresses and a tool for finding out who your representatives are can be found on our “Contacting your Representatives” resource page.

EMID Families invites you to a meeting with Sue Mackert

As you know, the EMID board has given the Perpich Center for Arts Education only a very short window to seek legislative authority and funding to run our Crosswinds school. If you are interested in helping with this effort, please join us for a meeting with Sue Mackert at Crosswinds this Friday (2/1) at 7pm.

Sue will share the communications plan and talking points that Perpich has prepared for legislators. She can answer your questions about what message legislators need to hear in order to keep the Crosswinds program going under Perpich authority.

This meeting is open to families, students, and staff. If you want to see the Crosswinds program continue, please join us Friday!

A Letter to EMID Families from Sue Mackert of Perpich

Dear EMID Parents, Guardians and Friends,

The strength of Crosswinds is due, in large part, to your ongoing advocacy, strength and sheer determination to do what is right for young people. The EMID Board voted for children this week. They voted to maintain a school that has proven itself to be needed as a school of choice—a school that successfully brings together a community of people able to embrace innovative education delivered in an environment in which all people are valued. I am certain that EMID Board members, in compliance with how governing Boards operate, will support the decision of the majority and will all work in harmony to support the adopted resolution.

You have placed your heart, soul and faith in Perpich to carry on the heritage of excellence you have maintained. We are focused, determined and engaged to make this happen.

We are continuing to assess information regarding the operation of Crosswinds and expect to have an outline prepared early next week for distribution to lawmakers. Your ongoing assistance is welcomed and needed.

I will maintain communication with you through this site and directly with Eric Celeste to keep you up-to-date and informed on how you may participate.

The Perpich Center is honored to be of service to you.

Respectfully,
Sue Mackert

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Come to the EMID Board Meeting, Wednesday 1/23

This is it. Since August 2011 we have been doing all we can do to see that our schools can keep doing the wonderful work they do. Over two years have gone into saving our schools, and the EMID board meeting tomorrow will decide their fate. Whether or not you have something you want to say to the board, just being present to witness the board action will send a message. Please come to the meeting tomorrow. The EMID board meeting will be at Harambee, Wednesday 1/23, 5:30pm. Childcare will be provided.

The big question of the meeting is whether the EMID board will allow Crosswinds a chance of holding together its program as part of the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

If you do want to testify, the public forum will begin at 5:30pm. Some of us will gather early, starting at 4:30pm, to share ideas and feedback on our planned testimony. Feel free to come early if you would like to get feedback yourself.

We are expecting that there may be media at the meeting tomorrow. The Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, and Bulletin have all been covering the story. Meanwhile integration has also been in the news, putting our board’s action even more in the public eye.

If EMID does allow the Perpich proposal to move forward, then our attention turns to the Minnesota Legislature. Stay tuned!

EMID Families Meeting Sunday, 12/23, 3pm

EMID Families will meet tomorrow, Sunday 12/23, 3-5pm in the meeting room at Caribou Coffee, 3100 White Bear Avenue North, Maplewood.

This meeting will focus on how to support the Perpich option (a.k.a saving Crosswinds as we know it) and on planning for the public hearings on school closure coming up in early January.

At the board meeting this week it became very clear that neither the South Washington (ISD 833) or Northeast Metro (ISD 916) proposals would allow the program at Crosswinds to carry on. Even though the Perpich proposal is in very early stages and would be very difficult to pass (requiring not just our board to approve, but also the Legislature and Governor), it is the only remaining hope for carrying forward the spirit of Crosswinds.

The closure hearings are required of EMID by statute. While we hope the schools will not actually close, from a state perspective EMID is “withdrawing” from the schools. These hearings will be the public’s chance to be heard with regard to this change.

Please join us if you want to help us consider strategy and next steps as we try to save our schools.