2014-15 Highlights
In This Section

2014-15 Highlights

Organizational Accomplishments



  • MPS received the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grant which will work to support middle school to high school transitions.
  • Wallace Grant funding associate superintendent expansion. Read more.
  • MPS has been selected to receive nearly $14 million in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the GEAR UP effort. Read more.
  • The U.S. Department of Education awarded MPS nearly $2 million from the Turnaround School Leaders Program, under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program, to prepare, train and support leaders of reform efforts in the nation’s lowest-performing schools.


  • In May, MPS welcomed eight Urban Scholars who will be full-time, paid interns with various MPS departments.
  • Establishment of the Office of Black Male Student Achievement.
  • Agreement to launch Partnership for Early Learning (early childhood program) w/ Univ. of Minnesota.
  • The Fast Track Scholars program provides students the opportunity to connect with future high school classmates, counselors, and teachers while earning up to four quarter high school credits. It is a 6 week program held at South High School during summer break. In 2014, 639 student participated and earned 886 credits.
  • The Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science (GEMS) and Guys in Science and Engineering (GISE) programs are project- and problem-based with the goal of building competencies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content and processes. The K-8 afterschool program consists of fall and spring sessions that run 2 hours twice a week (at most sites) and the summer program is held at Augsburg College during summer break.This year 1,589 students participated in GEMS & GISE afterschool at 22 sites and 395 students participated in GEMS & GISE summer session at Augsburg. GEMS & GISE is connected to increased student growth in math and increased interest in science and technology careers. Learn more.
  • Minneapolis Public Schools Summer School provides an opportunity for students to advance their learning through engaging instruction and enrichment activities during 6 weeks of summer break. MPS Summer School programming also includes Fast Track Scholars, which is a program for 8th graders to help them prepare for high school and the GEMS & GISE STEM academy at Augsburg College. In 2014, 6,638 students participated in Summer School at 17 sites. 93% of parents agreed that their child felt better about going back to school in the fall after attending summer school and Summer School students had above average attendance when they went back to school in the fall.
  • Nutrition Services:
    • 21 cooking kitchens, preparing fresh food on site to MPS students.
    • 50 salad bars in 41 sites offering a variety of fresh fruit and veggie options daily.
    • FREE summer meals are available in Minneapolis for all children ages 1-18 Monday June 8 – Friday, August 14.
    • True Food Taste Tests offered over 40,500 samples of tasty, flavorful dishes over the course of last year, encouraging students to be adventurous eaters!
    • Community Eligibility Program was implemented, allowing all students in the building to eat free at 4 MPS sites.
    • MPS Farm to School BBQ brought about 750 MPS community members to the Nutrition Center parking lot for good food and a chance to meet the farmers who grow their food.
    • Our Farm to School program served 14 varieties of produce from 9 small, sustainable farmers in the region.
    • Our Fresh Fruit & Vegetable program served over 1.6 million servings of fruit and veggie snacks to low-income students in their classrooms.


  • Board approves the Strategic Plan, Acceleration 2020.
  • MPS placed a moratorium on suspensions for students in prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade for nonviolent behavioral issues.
  • Implemented new behavior standards policy to decrease out-of-class time for students.
  • The Minneapolis Board of Education welcomed its first-ever student board member in February.
  • Student-based allocation pilot started.
  • Welcomed WMEP Fair Downtown school to our school district.
  • Signed collaboration agreement with Hiawatha Academies.
  • Launched Community Partnership Schools (CPS) in partnership with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. The CPS model will grant some schools increased autonomy along with increased accountability, while also allowing them to develop stronger and more aligned partnerships with the community. Four schools were approved as CPS for the 2015-16 school year: Bancroft, Folwell, Nellie Stone Johnson and Ramsey.
  • School Board recognizes every second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day.


  • Graduation rates increased for the third year in a row. The MPS graduation rate increased 5 percent, from 54 to 59 percent. This is an increase across all high schools and represents improvement for nearly all student groups.
  • After a successful launch in 2014, MPS expanded K-8 Spring Break Academy. Some 3,427 students at 25 sites focused on core subjects while also participating in enrichment opportunities that make learning exciting. 1,933 students had perfect attendance (attended all 5 days of SBA).