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From the Principal
Thursday, December 12, 2013 6:25 AM


Dear families,

This past Monday and Tuesday, Barton Open School participated in our district’s magnet school study. Over the past two months, more than twenty schools have been studied by teams district evaluators who were gathering qualitative data on the practice of various magnet schools around the city. Last summer, the school board called for this study in an effort to better understand the purpose of various magnet schools (open, arts, immersion, IB, etc.) and their connection to the district integration plan and equity goals.

After two days of observations and interviews, the task force presented their preliminary report to our administration and then to the entire staff. The feedback could not have been more positive! Collectively, the evaluation team shared that they were not only impressed with our K-8 Open program, but saw many things that would be valuable to replicate in programs around the district. They pointed out our “student-centered” and “socially conscious” mission as unique and powerful and were impressed by the values that were articulated at our leadership retreat last year, which included “instilling a love of learning” and “educating for a democratic society.”

The team highlighted our focus on shared inquiry, experiential learning, and racial equity as key strengths and found our K-8 program to have as much clarity of purpose and authenticity as any program in the district – something attributed to a strong sense of school identity and shared leadership among staff, students and parents. One long-time Open school veteran from Minneapolis, and a member of the evaluation team stated “it is good for my heart to see that Open education is alive and truly thriving at Barton.” Another evaluator said they she was moved by our “high expectations for children and inspired by the school we are striving to be”. I encourage us to celebrate what the evaluation team noticed and use it as inspiration to continue to strive for equity and excellence for all of our children! A full narrative report of the magnet school study will be presented to the board and made public in early 2014.

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