News release: Minneapolis schools demonstrating success with underserved children have space to enroll more students for the upcoming school year

Low-performing schools’ enrollment is declining as more families opt for better options

For immediate release

Media contact: Nicholas Banovetz (651) 815-5999;  

Minneapolis – May 22, 2019 – Minnesota Comeback today announced that multiple district, charter and independent schools demonstrating strong results for children from low-income backgrounds have space to enroll more students for the 2019-20 school year. These “changing-the-odds” schools outpace Minneapolis district averages in academic proficiency or growth—some outpace the state. Enrollment at many of these schools is on the rise, several have availability to accommodate more families.  

“Some schools in our city do right by kids, but too many are keeping them behind. My number-one priority is to have information on great schools for my child so he can attend a school that meets his needs and be able to lead a fulfilling life,” said Minneapolis parent Toya Reid.

“High-performing schools that enroll kids from low-income backgrounds and students of color deliver twice the academic growth and almost four-times the proficiency rates of low-performing schools,” continued Al Fan, MN Comeback executive director. “These schools prove that all kids can excel, no matter their background.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, 59 percent of students graduating from high-performing schools persist through college, while only 8 percent from low-performing schools do. 

Across Minneapolis, enrollment in low-performing schools has declined by 748 students since the 2017 release of Minneapolis School Finder—the only family resource guide of all schools across the city. 

“We believe every family should have access to information on our city’s schools and we believe every child should enroll in a school that meets their academic, social emotional and cultural needs,” said Rashad Turner, director of community engagement for MN Comeback. When space is available at gap-busting schools, we choose to broadcast this news far and wide.”

Changing-the-odds schools still accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year:

  • Anthony Middle School
  • Armatage Montessori (limited availability in grades 2, 4 and 5)
  • Ascension Catholic School
  • Dowling School (limited availability in grades 3 and 5)
  • Fair Senior High
  • Field Community School (limited availability in grades 6-8)
  • Friendship Academy of the Arts (limited availability)
  • Green Central Park Community School
  • Hennepin Schools
  • Hiawatha Community-Howe Campus (limited availability in grade 4)
  • Hiawatha Leadership Academy-Morris Park
  • Kenny Community School (limited availability in grades 2-5)
  • KIPP North Star Academy 
  • Lake Harriet Community Upper (limited availability in grades 4, 7 and 8 for families in the neighborhood or zone)
  • Minnesota International Middle School
  • Patrick Henry High School
  • Pillsbury Community School
  • South High School (for families in the neighborhood or zone)
  • Southwest High School (for families in the neighborhood or zone)
  • St. Helena Catholic School
  • Twin Cities International Elementary School
  • Ubah Medical Academy (availability in grade 9 only)
  • Universal Academy Charter School
  • Waite Park Community School
  • Washburn High School (for families in the neighborhood or zone)

“Schools that work commit to strong instruction, grade-appropriate assignments, deep student engagement and a culture of high expectations,” continued Turner. “Data is a tool for reflection and growth, adult-student relationships are positive, there’s strong school leadership and educators have flexibility to make critical decisions to boost learning.”

Families looking for a new school or interested in any of the above options, should contact the schools or reach out to Family Advocates to assist with the school search and enrollment process:, 612-568-6810. (Note: For the Minneapolis Public Schools, families can also call its school request center to determine if their student is eligible for enrollment and transportation; for charter and independent schools, contact the school directly to learn about application and enrollment processes.) 

“Helpful information on our city’s schools is hard to come across; sometimes I can’t find anything at all” continued Reid. “Minneapolis School Finder is correcting this, leveling the playing field so families of color can find their way to a great school, too.”

Toward filling this information gap and connecting students to schools they can thrive in, MN Comeback created the school finder in partnership with 36 community organizations. Since then, 26,000 copies have made their way across the city and MN Comeback released a corresponding, easy-to-use website so parents can access information on-the-go:

About MN Comeback
We believe black and brown students deserve great schools, too. As a broad coalition transforming education, we have set out to triple the number of students attending high-performing schools—to 10,000—by 2022. We focus on strategies shown to help schools succeed: provide funding and support to schools demonstrating success, recruit and retain extraordinary educators, engage and empower families, advocate for supportive public policy, and help schools access quality facilities. Learn more at

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