I know many of you will soon face the difficult decision about where to send your kids to school next year. I agonized over the decision last year as our oldest approached Kindergarten, and did a lot of research. I know it is a difficult process.
I want to tell you about the school that we found because we LOVE it. We believe it fits well with our family's educational and personal values, and we have found a true community at this school.
Its called Harambee (http://www.emid6067.net/harambee/index.html), and it is located near the border of Maplewood and Roseville. It is a YEAR ROUND school. It is part of the East Metro Integration District, which means that you are IN DISTRICT and eligible for bussing if you live in any of the following districts:
South St. Paul- Spring Lake Park -West St. Paul - Inver Grove Heights - Roseville - White Bear Lake - St. Paul - South Washington County - Stillwater - Forest Lake Area
Also, we live in 622 (Maplewood-Oakdale-NSP) and though we are technically out-of-district, still get bussed.
It is a dual magnet: Community Cultures, and Environmental Science. Because its an integration school, and because of the Community Cultures focus, there is a culture of not just tolerance but acceptance of others and their differences. It has a large lot of land, and because of the year-round calendar and Environmental Science magnet there is a focus on an appreciation of the Earth and the outdoors.
They use Responsive Classroom philosophy to its fullest (http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/) and there is active parent involvement. I have gotten to know the principal and many of the teachers very well in my short time there, and I really respect all of them and their dedication and passion to the school.
This school is grades K-5, and the sister school (Crosswinds in Woodbury) is grades 6-10.
It is not free from its budget concerns and in fact did not make AYP last year. I think most schools are in similar circumstances, but I did not want to be all roses and good cheer. There are definitely issues.
I would be happy to talk to anyone about it and invite you to the Open Houses Thursday Jan 12th or Monday February 6th. They will also be at the St. Paul School Fair in early January.
I think this school is a great fit for many, and no doubt it is the best kept secret in the Twin Cities! Feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone you think might be interested.\
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Harambee Kindergarten parent