Metro Schools ReimaginED

An Initiative to Improve Academic Outcomes for All Students

Metro Schools is a diverse, vibrant school system, committed to finding innovative solutions that provide students with the best possible Pre-K-12 experience.

Through Metro Schools' ReimaginED initiative, a comprehensive planning process that seeks to thoroughly review many different types of information - including student academic achievement, current and projected enrollment, building use, programs andPreK graduation students staffing - and take that information to reimagine how to best improve academic outcomes for all students, the district is exploring new systems of supports, rebranded and strengthened academic pathways and a focus on cluster climate and culture.

Metro Schools ReimaginED has identified uniform strategies that each cluster will implement alongside its academic programming and student supports. 

These uniform strategies are: 

  • Intensive, ongoing professional development for teachers 
  • Unified cluster leadership structure 
  • Cluster support network of internal and external leaders 
  • Community partnerships 
  • Advocacy Centers in all elementary schools 
  • Mentors for teachers and principals 
  • Post-secondary opportunities and transition supports 
  • Consistent instructional support for literacy 
  • Community partnerships for personalized literacy 
  • PreK/K-5, 6-8, 9-12 school model 
  • SEL + Academics integration 
  • Robust instructional technology to support blending learning 

These uniform strategies, coupled with the district’s Focused Outcomes, will mean that MNPS students will receive educational experiences that are robust and rigorous, that allow students to explore their interests, and that create choice for families. Across the district, all MNPS students can expect exposure to all the uniform strategies.  

Hunters Lane, McGavock, and Stratford have started in-depth data dives and cluster collaborations to identify best practices that can be leveraged across clusters and determine academic pathways that reflect each cluster’s strength and diversity.  

Reimagining 5th Grade at MNPS

Starting in 2021, 5th grade began moving from middle schools to elementary schools with the Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood and Whites Creek clusters.

MNPS data shows 5th-grade students who remain in the elementary setting outperform their peers who are in a middle school setting, and this change would better align MNPS grade levels with state grade band curriculum standards. Additionally, previous engagement efforts show that MNPS parents would like their 5th-grade students to remain in the elementary setting.

The following elementary schools have 5th grade in their buildings starting 2021-22 and 2022-23:

Advocacy Centers 

We have long recognized that our youngest learners need support to help them develop their emotional wellbeing and behavioral regulation strategies. An Advocacy Center, then, is a regulation space that employs a structuredclassroom-01 (1) (1) model designed to support wellness for elementary students who become emotionally or behaviorally dysregulated during the school day and need short-term, trauma-informed and restorative care. Each center will have a coach who has completed extensive training in the use of calming, restorative strategies designed to assist students in regulating their emotions so that they can return to their classroom communities. Centers are designed and furnished with materials that support stress reduction and regulation. All elementary schools in the first six ReimaginED clusters and all early-learning centers are in the process of establishing their centers and hiring coaches. Through ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief), we have been able to accelerate this uniform strategy and establish Advocacy Centers in these additional schools:  

Using the district’s Equity Matrix, the needs of the above schools were prioritized to ensure that we are distributing resources equitably toward supporting students in achieving their Focused Outcomes.  The remaining schools, listed below, will receive Advocacy Centers for SY 2022-2023. 

2020-21 Consolidations and Closings

In May 2020, the Board of Education approved a ReimaginED proposal for consolidations and one school closure in two different clusters. Our schools are important cornerstones of our communities, and consolidating and closing schools are difficult decisions. Each proposal was the result of significant research and analysis, made by weighing the immediate impact on students, staff, and communities with the long-term benefits.

The recommendations below were designed to better serve our students by creating supportive, engaging learning environments. Studying enrollment and capacity at these specific schools, and consolidating where possible, will let us focus our attention on improving academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students in these clusters.

Learn More 

Read about Metro Schools ReimaginED.