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E ducation School Shopping

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SPPS to host parent information fair January 11

P

arents shopping for a school in Independent School District (ISD) 625 in St. Paul can learn about the many choices available to them at the Parent Information Fair, held at noon, Saturday, Jan. 11 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The event is free. All St. Paul public schools, as well as many charter, private and parochial schools will be represented. The fair will also offer information on early childhood education, English language learner programs, services for gifted students, special education and more. Interpreters will be available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Khmer (Cambodian), Laotian, Oromo, Amharic and American Sign Language. The St. Paul Schools application deadline for all grades is Saturday, Feb. 15. Here are some tips provided by St. Paul Public Schools to help you choose a school. How do I find the right school for my child? Start by making a list of what you want for your child. Will you provide transportation or will your child take a bus? Do you want your child to attend a school close to home or closer to your work? Does your child have special language and educational needs? Do you want to enroll your child in a specialized learning program, such as science/technology, arts, environment, or in a language-immersion school? Consider your child’s learning style. Is it logical, mathematical, methodical, creative, artistic or to-

be-determined? Does your child like to learn in groups or independently? Ask about teaching styles and class sizes. Along with the school’s curriculum, you will want to know about school policies and services. For example, how does the school handle students who misbehave? What security measures are in place? What is the policy on school absences? Does the school have a dress code? What extra-curricular activities and after-school programs are available? Keep in mind that admission processes can vary. Some schools require a test or an interview, a transcript from a previous school, recommendations or other information. It’s never too early to begin the admissions process to make sure you meet all the deadlines.

its charter is the school? How are students enrolled? Is this the permanent location for the school? If not, will the school be moving to another location in the near future? Who is the charter holder, or the group that created the school? How does the school select its teachers? Are the teachers certified?

Charter schools

Thinking about a parochial school? Additional questions about tuition and payment plans should be considered. Is there a sliding scale for tuition based on parish/church affiliation or family income? Are there other fees and expenses for room and board, uniforms, books, transportation, lab and computer, activities? What scholarships and loans are available? Are students or their parents required to be of a particular faith? Does the school have a policy on student participation in religious instruction and worship? Does the school have the same schedule as the local public school?

Charter schools fill a niche between private and public schools. A private group can get a charter to run their own school, giving them independence to try new forms of teaching and experiment with what they believe is the best way to teach their students. If academic performance lags behind comparable public schools, the charter is pulled and the school is closed. Questions to ask specifically of charter schools: Why was this school created? What teaching methodology does it embrace? Does the school have a specific focus? What is the academic progress, as measured according to its charter requirements? How long into

Magnet Schools Magnet schools are different from private/parochial and charter schools in that they remain part of the public school administrative system. What distinguishes them from other public schools is that magnets usually have alternative modes of instruction and a focus that is taught in all classes within the curriculum.

Parochial schools

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Area Charter Schools Academic Arts High School (7-12) Sponsor: Audubon Center of the North Wood 60 E. Marie Ave., West St. Paul 651-457-7427 River’s Edge Academy (9-12) Sponsor: Audubon Society of the North Wood 188 W. Plato Blvd. St. Paul 651-234-0150 Dakota County Area Learning School North Intermediate School District 917 150 E. Marie Ave. West St. Paul 651 332-5570 West Side Summit (K-4) 497 Humboldt Ave. St. Paul 651-200-4543

Area Public and Magnet Schools Cherokee Heights Elementary (Pre-K-6) Community School 694 Charlton St. St. Paul 651-293-8610 Riverview Elementary (K-6) Dual Immersion magnet program 160 Isabel St. St. Paul 651-293-8665

Humboldt Secondary School (7-12) Environmental magnet program 30 E. Baker St. St. Paul 651-293-8600 Creative Arts High School 65 E. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-292-3480 Open World Learning Community (6-12 magnet school) 30 E. Baker St. St. Paul Henry Sibley High School (9-12) 1897 Delaware Ave. Mendota Heights 651-403-7100 Garlough Environmental Magnet School (K-4) 1740 Charlton St. West St. Paul 651-403-8100 Moreland Academy Arts and Health Sciences Magnet (K-4) 217 W. Moreland Ave. West St. Paul, 651-403-8000 Somerset Heights Elementary (K-4) 1355 Dodd Rd. Mendota Heights 651-403-8200 Mendota Elementary (K-4) 1979 Summit Lane Mendota Heights 651-403-8000

Friendly Hills Middle School (5-8) 701 Mendota Heights Rd. Mendota Heights 651-403-7600 Heritage E-STEM Middle School (5-8) 121 W. Butler Ave. West St. Paul 651-403-7400

Area Parochial schools Saint Thomas Academy (7-12) 949 Mendota Heights Rd. Mendota Heights 651-454-4570 Convent of the Visitation School (PreK-6, and 7-12, all-girls) 2455 Visitation Dr. Mendota Heights 651-683-1700 St. Croix Lutheran (6-12) 1200 Oakdale Ave. West St. Paul 651-455-1521 Crown of Life Lutheran School (Pre-K-8) 115 W. Crusader Ave. West St. Paul 651-451-3832 St. Joseph’s Catholic School (Pre-K-8) 1138 Seminole Ave. West St. Paul 651-457-8550 Community of Saints School (K-8) 337 E. Hurley St. West St. Paul 651-457-2510

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