Principal Franks December Update
Monday, December 16, 2019 8:20 PM

Dear Armatage Families,

Season’s Greetings.  We are only a few days away from a much-anticipated break for students and staff.  The colder temperatures, snow on the ground and everyone’s busy schedules are definite indicators that schools will be closed from December 22, 2019 – January 3, 2020.  If you have kids attending Minneapolis Kids, you will want to connect with Kiera to confirm dates and times the program will be open.

Winter Clothing

This week I have caught myself humming the song, “Baby its cold outside” every time I hear the crackling sound of snow under my feet.  Thus, it is a good time to remind families that we have outside recess and this means the kiddos need to dress in warm winter clothing.  As long as the temperature is above zero and the wind chill is above -20 degrees, there will be outdoor recess. Please make sure to send your child/ren to school with a coat, snow pants, boots, gloves or mittens and a hat.

School House Rock

Last Thursday and Friday, 56 extremely talented Armatage students performed in the musical School House Rock.  What an incredible treat for all of us to be able to witness so many kids who poured their hearts and souls into practicing for months to prepare for these performances.  They developed their artistic skills, in addition to learning how to perform in front of a crowd with grace and dignity. This skill will help them in years to come as they participate in debate club, speech or communication classes.  Thank you to Staci Owens and Marie Voreis for bringing back this wonderful tradition to Armatage Montessori School.   

Comprehensive District Design

Last week-end, I received several emails asking if there would be information from the PTA / or me about the impact of the CDD on Armatage Montessori School.  The district has posted the results of the study on their website. However, I am happy to share what I know in a more consolidated form:

  • At this point, the CDD is a study and not a plan or proposal.

  • The community school study (phase 1) showed that potentially 67% of students in the district could have to change schools.

  • In phase 2, layering on of centralized magnet schools, Armatage Montessori would no longer be a magnet and would become a community school.

  • Schools that lose their magnet status would have the opportunity (at a later date) to apply to become a “specialty” school.  There will be a process for community schools to apply to become specialty schools. This process has yet to be determined.

  • There would be community boundaries for Armatage and thus, there would not be bussing to Armatage from other parts of the city.

  • The study could affect the diversity of students at Armatage because of the community school status. 

Questions asked of me so far:

  • Will my child be grandfathered in if we are currently at Armatage? This is to be determined, also depends on the model.

  • Can my child remain at Armatage if we do not live in the community but I am willing to drive him/her to school?  We always have open enrollment as long as space is available.

  • If Armatage is no longer a Montessori School and I want my child to continue with this type of education, will we have the right to go to Seward and will transportation be provided?  This is to be determined.  The school will have additional space if it moves from K-8 to K-5.

I had the opportunity to speak with Brian Zambreno, Asst. Supt. last Friday morning regarding this issue and the questions stated above.  He was very transparent about this being a study, thus, the granular details that I am most interested in knowing about are not part of the discussion at this point.  As the study becomes a plan and then a proposal, the details will start to develop.

At this point in time, I would encourage families to continue to watch the district website for the most current information about the plan, attend meetings and ask questions.  If you have something specific you would like me to gather information about, please feel free to email me at Joan.franks@mpls.k12.mn.us or call me at 612-668-3180 and I will do my best to locate someone at the district who may have an answer.

I wish you a very happy holiday filled with laughter & joy.  If you are traveling, please be safe! I look forward to seeing the kids back at Armatage on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Sincerely,

Joan S Franks, Principal