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Input needed on 196 integration efforts

District 196 is looking for residents and staff members interested in assisting with the development of a new integration and educational equity plan that will guide continuing integration efforts in the district for the next three years.

In 2004 the Minnesota Department of Education notified the district that two of its elementary schools were “racially identifiable,” meaning minority enrollment at these schools exceeded the district average by more than 20 percent. As a result, state law required that the district develop and implement an integration and educational equity plan. A three-year plan was developed by members of the district’s original Community Collaboration Council and was approved by the school board in December 2004. This year is the final year of the district’s third, three-year plan, which was approved in March 2011.

The next three-year plan must also be developed by a Community Collaboration Council of residents and staff that is representative of the diversity in the district and includes representation from the district’s one remaining racially identifiable school, Cedar Park Elementary STEM School. The other elementary schools that currently surpass the district average for minority enrollment are Echo Park and Oak Ridge. The council will look closely at these schools, as well as schools at the secondary level with increasing minority enrollment.

According to the law, the integration plan should benefit all students and schools in the district and may include programs with multicultural emphasis, duplication of successful programs, staff development opportunities and targeted resources at the racially identifiable school. The plan may not include involuntary reassignment of students (busing) or academic programs that segregate minority students from the general student population.

District residents and staff members interested in serving on the Community Collaboration Council can call integration and equity coordinator Stacy Wells at 651-423-7914 or email

The Community Collaboration Council is tentatively scheduled to meet Oct. 8 and 22, Nov. 6 and 19, Dec. 10 and Jan. 14. All meetings are scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the District Office, 3455 153rd St. W., Rosemount, MN 55068. The new integration plan will be presented to the School Board for consideration in spring 2014.