Last week, the families of 40 Minneapolis students with special needs were informed their children would not be welcomed back to the one-year-old charter Minnesota School of Science, which replaced Cityview Elementary School in August 2011 due to poor standardized test scores, the Twin Cities Daily Planet reports.
Originally, the arrangement stipulated that special education classrooms would remain in the building, and their occupants would remain Minneapolis Public School students in name. A one-year contract required the new charter school to provide opportunities for the special education students — who have autism and Down syndrome, among others — to interact with mainstream peers.
The arrangement represented the first of its kind in the country, reports the online paper. It meant Cityview’s high-needs students would not have their schooling disrupted, and the district wouldn’t need to locate space for more classrooms in already-crowded schools.
On July 9, however, the charter school’s board notified the district they would not re-sign a contract to mainstream MPS students this coming fall.
According to Minnesota School of Science board member Gene Scapanski, the board was reluctant to agree to mainstream the students in the first place.
“We almost chose not to come to this building because of it,” Scapanski told the Twin Cities Daily Planet. con’t.