Austin Public Schools racially identifiable schools update

Racially Identifiable Schools Update

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(ABC 6 News) – Sumner Elementary School qualified as a racially identifiable school under the Minnesota School Desegregation/Integration rules.

Now that status has been dropped because of what school leaders called a successful year.

The goal is to enable all students to have opportunities to achieve academic success no matter the race.

Sumner elementary was considered a racially identified school after enrollment data showed the protected class student population was more at least 20% higher than other schools in the district.

Protected class students are students who identify as a member of an ethnic or racial minority.

According to Austin Public Schools and the Minnesota Department of Education, more than 58% of APS students are members of an ethnic minority.

38% of APS students say English isn’t their first language, a number superintendent Page says is increasing.

“[Sumner] had that designation for several years, and so this year, through our neighborhood enrollment plan, our schools come back into balance across the entire system and they were removed from the list,” APS Superintendent Joey Page said.

“We’ve really seen it grow since the beginning of January we’re almost at 80 students that have enrolled in the Austin Public Schools.”

Page announced despite Sumner Elementary no longer considered an RIS school under integration rules, the district will continue to implement achievement and integration strategies going forward.

“We’ll continue to monitor it and adjust our resources to support the learning environment,” superintendent Page said.

Unless the school is racially identifiable again, it doesn’t need to be included in the district’s three-year plan.

Even though APS has seen an increase of multilingual students this past year, they will continue to monitor and adjust its English as a Second Language program accordingly.