Archive for the ‘Special Education’ Category

Strategic Planning And Online Survey Begins

March 24, 2008

281 is asking for public input as it conducts a community planning process. This is a good thing (if they truly are listening to us), and residents should participate.

Planning Today for a Successful Tomorrow is a strategic planning process conducted by the school board and administration of Robbinsdale Area Schools. The resulting strategic plan will be used by the board as a guide in making decisions about the nature and extent of educational programs, staffing, facilities, resources and more. Input from community members and district staff members will help identify district values, renewed vision and mission statements and goals, strategies and action plans. The final plan will be presented to the school board on May 5.

The public is invited to participate by filling out an on-line survey (beginning March 17) and attending community visioning sessions in April:

On-line Surveyposted March 17

The Sun-Post adds:

The public is invited to participate by filling out an online survey and attending Community Visioning Sessions in April.


The sessions are currently scheduled 6 p.m. April 3, April 9 and April 15 at a location to be determined.

At the end of April, groups of community members and staff will identify district values, a renewed vision and mission with goals, strategies and action plans. The final plan will be presented to the school board on May 5.

Court of Appeals Rules Against ISD 281 – AGAIN

January 15, 2008

District 281 is having a tough go with the Court of Appeals, this time regarding a private school student’s rights to access public special education services. From the StarTribune:

By Rochelle Olson | Last update: January 8, 2008 – 10:17 PM

Special education students in nonpublic schools are entitled to services and instruction, even extended-year services, from public schools, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a case involving the Robbinsdale school district.

The decision by a three-judge panel upheld a 2006 ruling by the Minnesota Department of Education and affirmed the agency’s ability to investigate districts.

The department found the Robbinsdale district in violation of state law because it was limiting special instruction and services to disabled private-school students, especially extended-school-year services — even though the school district was found to have provided appropriate services for the student in this particular case.


2007 Lowlights and Highlights for District 281

January 3, 2008

The MN Sun-Post showcased “The best and worst of times for District 281” in 2007. It’s a lengthy read, but well worth the time. Lowlights (quite plentiful) are set in bold for emphasis. The referendum defeat in our opinion is a highlight, not a disappointment as the Sun-Post wrote. Left out are lockdowns at Cooper from fights in December, and countless other items that didn’t make it on the news.


– Superintendent Stan Mack announced a reorganization of leadership in the special education department, following scrutiny by the Minnesota Department of Education for having what the state claimed is a disproportionate number of complaints from District 281 parents about how children with special needs are treated.

– A list of $4.5 million in proposed budget cuts for 2007-08 was approved Jan. 8 by the District 281 School Board.

– More than 700 District 281 employees signed up for an exercise-walking program.

– A bomb threat cancelled classes for students at the Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion program/Robbinsdale Middle School on Jan. 8.

– A Robbinsdale Area Schools transfer bus that has been operating since 1982 will begin phasing out in 2007-08, school officials said.


– Sandburg Middle School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program was one of four out of 2,000 IB programs in more than 120 countries chosen for in-person documentation by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education Project Zero.

– District 281’s enrollment declined 1.3 percent, or 177 students, from January 2006 to January 2007.

– Teach for America, a national corps of recent college grads who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools, indicated interest in District 281.

– Plymouth Middle School sixth-graders will be reassigned to Olson School in Golden Valley for 2007-08, while their school is remodeled, officials announced.

– The Minnesota Department of Education withdrew its threat to withhold $526,638 in special education funding from the Robbinsdale School District because the district took steps to implement corrective action.

– A Bullying Policy Task Force in District 281 began working on administrative procedures to address bullying in the schools.


StarTribune: Appeals Court Rules Robbinsdale Special-Ed Students Were Denied

October 1, 2007

Link to article

Article in full:

Last update: September 26, 2007 – 8:50 PM

The Robbinsdale School District violated student rights when it unilaterally canceled adaptive swimming classes for 31 special education students in 2005, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.In a 20-page, unpublished opinion issued Tuesday, a three-judge panel knocked down every argument the school district made, ruling that it denied the students of their right to a free and appropriate public education.

The court also rejected the district’s claims that the state Department of Education acted arbitrarily when it ordered the district to restore services.