St. Paul School District to overhaul two schoolsby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Two low-performing schools in the St. Paul School District will get major overhauls.
The state's second largest district is required to restructure Humboldt Junior High and Arlington Senior High, because the schools failed to meet standards required by the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The schools have both experienced decreased enrollment in recent years, and are both considered "pre-restructuring" under the federal guidelines.
Humboldt's students will move into the adjacent Humboldt Senior High, leaving Humboldt Junior High mostly closed.
The junior high and Arlington Senior High will become smaller academies with a narrower focus, longer days and new leadership. Also, most teachers at both schools will have to reapply for their jobs.
"We have a responsibility to take action on making significant changes in these schools, to provide students the best opportunities for academic success now," said Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, in a statement.
"At both Arlington and Humboldt, we will expand on strong academic programs that we believe will meet families' needs and accelerate achievement for all students."
One option the district considered was to expand Humboldt to add sixth grade, but that will not happen. Instead, Humboldt Senior High will house the district's environmental studies program, which serves grades 7-12.
Arlington Senior High is already home to a magnet program called "BioSMART," which will continue there. BioSMART offers a science and math-based curriculum, incorporating a wide array of technology into teaching.
The moves, announced Tuesday night, are not part of the St. Paul district's plans for a wide-ranging "system change." Community meetings for that effort are still being held, although the district says the new plans for Humboldt and Arlington will be incorporated into the system change.
The final three community meetings are Wednesday, Dec. 3, at Phalen Lake Elementary; Thursday, Dec. 4 at Gloria Dei Church; and Dec. 12 at Highwood Hills Elementary.