Answers to general frequently asked questions are at the top of this page. Answers to frequently asked questions by cluster are toward the bottom of this page.
General frequently asked questions
What is an attendance boundary?
From the National Center for Education Statistics: A school attendance boundary is a geographic area from which students are eligible to attend a district school.
Why are attendance boundaries being changed?
In Anoka-Hennepin, generally, schools in long established neighborhoods have fewer students, while schools in rapidly growing areas have many more. Most district schools are clustered in these older neighborhoods, in the southern two-thirds of the district. Few schools are located in the northern third, which is now the fastest growing area of the district – specifically Blaine and Ramsey.
Some schools have been impacted. Overcrowding is occurring and teachers are sharing lessons from a cart instead of a designated classroom in some instances. Portable classrooms have also been used as a solution in some cases.
With the passing of the Fit for the Future referendum, two new elementary schools are now being built in Blaine and Ramsey, and portable classrooms are being removed throughout the district (portable classroom removal reduces a school's capacity).
With or without the referendum attendance boundary changes would have been needed – and that was shared quite often during the election. However, the good news now though, is that there’s more space to work with in the growth areas.
As a result, attendance boundary changes will be needed at the elementary and middle school levels to balance student enrollment all across the district with new and existing space. Projected enrollment growth is considered during this process, as well as other parameters.
Which attendance boundaries are changing – the district's or the schools'?
The attendance boundaries of the schools within the Anoka-Hennepin School District are changing, not the school district boundaries alongside other school districts.
It's rare for a district attendance boundary, alongside other school districts, to change. State and county approval are needed, as well as approval from the multiple School Boards impacted.
When was the decision made?
The School Board approved 2019-20 attendance boundaries at its regular meeting Sept. 24, 2018.
When will the new attendance boundaries start?
The new attendance boundaries go into effect the 2019-20 school year.
Where can the presentations from the community meetings be found?
The following are links to presentations shared at community meetings.
School community meetings:
- Andover elementary schools, Feb/March
- Anoka elementary schools, Feb/March
- Blaine elementary schools, Feb/March
- Blaine middle schools, March
- Blaine: Roosevelt Middle School, April
- Champlin Park: CBPA, Dayton and Oxbow Creek elementary schools, Feb/March
- Champlin Park: Monroe and Evergreen Park elementary schools, Feb/March
- Coon Rapids elementary schools, Feb/March
- Coon Rapids middle schools, March
- Sand Creek Elementary School, August
Cluster community meetings:
- Andover High School, May 10
- Anoka High School, May 9
- Blaine High School, April 30
- Champlin Park High School, May 1
- Coon Rapids High School, April 18
Why were some areas chosen over others?
A variety of planning parameters were used to create the attendance boundaries. This is why certain areas of the district were chosen to move over others.
Did ethnicity or socioeconomic statistics have an impact?
The first planning parameter, adhering to state and federal guidelines, included not creating a racially identifiable school. A racially identifiable school is defined as: the difference of enrolled protected students at a school is 20 percent or higher when compared to a school in the same district serving the same grades, the school with the higher percentage is considered a racially identifiable school.
Each year the district creates a student enrollment report that details the total amount of students for each grade level and school, including specifics on ethnicity and whether students are on the free/reduced priced meal program, an indicator of poverty. A projections report is then created after the enrollment one. It's developed using a variety of sources, including: building permits issued by cities within the district boundary, number of live births in Hennepin and Anoka counties, preschool census population counts as well as historical and potential growth patterns of enrollment.
Because of these existing reports, both ethnicity and socioecnomic statistics were available in the attendance boundary process, but only ethnicity became a factor – and only if an attendnace boundary was creating a racially identifiable school. Poverty was not a factor.
What will the transition look like?
There will be some transitional pieces in place.
The first, will be some options for fifth and eighth grade students to remain at their current school. In both of these instances, transportation will be the responsibility of the family. The in-district transfer process will need to be followed in order for a student to do this.
Second, all students moving will be welcomed in various ways to their new schools. They will become part of their school community.
What is in-district transfer?
The in-district transfer option is for a student who resides in the Anoka-Hennepin School District and requests to transfer to a different Anoka-Hennepin school from his or her regularly assigned school.
Transportation is the responsibility of the parents/guardians.
Families that apply during the application period (Dec. 1 through Jan. 15) will be considered first.
Can an in-district transfer application be submitted after the priority period?
Yes, in-district transfer requests can be submitted all year.
If a student's home/originally-assigned school changes, can students be granfathered in to stay?
In-district transfer would be the only way for students to stay at former schools in 2019-20. Transportation needs to be provided by families though.
What is open enrollment?
The open enrollment option allows a student to attend a school district outside his or her home school district. Open enrollment is a commitment to another school district, not necessarily the choice of school in that district. For example, a student at Osseo Junior High School, which is in the Osseo School District, could request open enrollment to attend Jackson Middle School in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. If Jackson is full, the district could offer another Anoka-Hennepin middle school.
Are programs and services similar at all district schools?
Educational programs, services and support are similar throughout the district. School websites have additional information, including contact details.
Families and community members continually have positive responses to share on the annual survey. 90 percent rate the quality of education as good or excellent in Anoka-Hennepin schools. 90 percent also say that most or all learning needs are met in Anoka-Hennepin schools.
Where do I go if I want to find statistics on district schools?
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) annually creates "school report cards" to show school information, test results, revenue and expenditure data, demographic information, and other statistics. Keep in mind, the test results are past performance – they could alter with changing student enrollments.
What are class size guidelines?
There are class size guidelines that have already been established and will be adhered to:
- Kindergarten: 19-22
- Grade 1: 20-23
- Grade 2: 24-27
- Grade 3: 26-29
- Grade 4: 27-30
- Grade 5: 27-32
- Middle school: 29
- High school: 35.5
With the approved attendance boundaries, student enrollment overall, throughout elementary schools especially, will be lower. This will naturally lower class size.
With the passing of the Fit for the Future referendum, 60 additional teachers are also being added district-wide.
Will my property taxes change if my neighborhood changes school attendance boundaries?
No. Property taxes are set by the county based on city, school district and county levies. A home with the same assessed value within a particular city will have the same property tax regardless of school attendance boundaries.
What exactly is a reasonable bus ride?
The attendance boundary parameters state that reasonable bus rides were taken into consideration. The average bus ride is 32 minutes. The longest bus rides are approximately an hour. These routes are mainly in the rural portions of the district, or in areas with limited access to main roads. High traffic areas can also cause longer bus rides.
When are bus assignments shared with families?
Bus assignments are shared on an annual basis in late August. The assignments are for the upcoming school year.
Are bell times being reviewed?
School bell times will be reviewed as normal. For 2019-20 this review will take place late fall 2018.
How will students enrolled in Adventures Plus school-age care be impacted?
If a student currently enrolled in Adventures Plus school-age care changes schools (through the attendance boundary process or otherwise), they are automatically enrolled in their new school. Students not enrolled in the program, will have to follow the regular sign-up process at their current or new school. Contact the Adventures Plus school-age care staff at 763-506-1400 with any additional questions.
What is a cluster?
The district is divided into five clusters, each of which represents the five high schools - Andover, Anoka, Blaine, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids. Elementary and middle schools that feed into the five high schools are a part of these clusters. Four elementary schools are currently part of two clusters, meaning students go to two sets of high schools. These schools are Crooked Lake, Rum River, Sand Creek, and University Avenue elementary schools.
Why are students being moved from Andover Elementary School?
The Andover cluster is served by three elementary schools, with Andover Elementary School being located in the geographical center of the cluster. With an enrollment exceeding 1,400 students, and classroom space at a premium, the district is required to reduce student enrollment at Andover Elementary School in order to accommodate growth and address class size expectations in alignment with the Fit for the Future referendum. Rum River and Crooked Lake elementary schools are the only available options to maintain the feeder system to Oak View Middle School and Andover High School.
Blaine and Coon Rapids clusters
Why does the approved middle school attendance boundary divide some elementary schools in Blaine?
With 24 elementary schools and two being built, mathetmatically-speaking elementary schools have to be divided at the middle school level at some point. There are already examples of this at four elementary schools: students at Crooked Lake and Rum River elementary schools go to either Oak View Middle School or Anoka Middle School for the Arts and eventually to either Andover High School or Anoka High School; students at Sand Creek and University Avenue elementary schools go to either Roosevelt Middle School or Northdale Middle School and eventually to either Blaine High School or Coon Rapids High School.
The district has six middle schools and five high schools. The proposal creates fewer splits at the middle school level – Andover, Anoka, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids middle and high school boundaries would align (currently Northdale splits between Blaine and Coon Rapids high schools). Students going to Northdale and Roosevelt would all go to Blaine High School for grades nine through 12 then.
As the Fit for the Future task force discovered, there is significant growth in Blaine. Opening up Roosevelt Middle School a little, would make way for some of this growth, as it's expected to continue over the next several years.
Champlin Park cluster
What is the reasoning behind the merging of Monroe and Evergreen Park elementaries?
Monroe Elementary School's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program has been successful. The plan is to expand this successful program to Evergreen Park Elementary. Over the last few years, STEM programming, statewide, and in Anoka-Hennepin, has become highly sought after.
More details are in this letter shared with Monroe and Evergreen Park families March 3 and 4 and this response to a community member.