Strong Schools, Strong Community

Jenny Arneson
Our community benefits from strong schools, and our schools need a strong community to thrive. Northeast and Southeast families should not feel like they need to leave their community for a quality education. I believe that only through the collaborative efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, community members, coaches, and the school board, can we strengthen our schools and our community. To this end, during my terms, I have:
  • Sustained and strengthened the vibrant and successful Pratt Community School by advocating for the Pratt school improvements, thereby ensuring a community school option in SE for the future.
  • Pushed for long-range planning for the upcoming enrollment capacity challenges in NE with the re-opening of Webster as a community school for both downtown and Eastside residents.
  • Stressed the importance of attention to academics and cultural improvements to Sheridan Arts magnet, with its conversion to a PreK-5 dual Arts/Spanish Immersion model.
  • Endured that playground and other capital improvements were added to capital improvements around enrollment additions at all Eastside MPS schools.

Eastside Family & Community Engagement

Eastside families deserve a place at the table when it comes to their children’s education. During the last four years, I have prioritized clear communication between the district, school leadership, and parents. As a board member, I have:

  • Created a citizen committee to be involved with the Superintendent search.
  • Developed meaningful ways for parents to provide input with access to the district survey around the school calendar and responded with a two year calendar for better planning.
  • Partnered with other government bodies to provide additional funding and resources to our schools. For example, Edison High School has millions in extra improvements from the Mississippi Watershed Organization, CEE, and Holland Neighborhood Organization. Also, additional mental health resources are now available in all our Eastside schools through the cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Connected communities to our schools for better results. For example, worked in partnership with the Logan Park Neighborhood Association for the successful sale of 807 Broadway, and connected Sheridan Neighborhood Association, Mill City Church, and Sheridan School to create plans for additional building improvement dollars.

Prioritizing Equity

Representing Northeast and Southeast is a unique challenge and requires sensitivity to the many community needs and diverse populations our schools serve. During my time as a School Board Director, I have been constantly mindful of the need to address the city-wide inequalities inherent in our community, and of our responsibility as advocates for every member of our MPS family to provide the opportunity for a quality education.

This is, perhaps, the toughest hurdle we as public servants face, but arguably the most essential. As a School Board Director, I have:

  • Advocated for student funding to be based on student need.
  • Defended integration and compensatory funding at the state level.
  • Encouraged the analyzing of how our integration funds are used and pushed for the appropriate utilization of said funds on data and effective results.
  • Prioritized the revision of the district’s behavior standards/discipline policy to provide consistent expectations across racial and socio-economic designations.
  • Analyzed and revised the district’s field trip policy to make it more equitable across schools and communities of various income levels.
  • Funded and implemented Metro Transit transportation for our high school students to allow all student access to after-school enrichment and post-secondary opportunities, crucial to post-secondary success.

Minneapolis Schools, and Eastside neighborhoods, need practical leadership to turn our dreams for our schools into reality.

I am that kind of leader.