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ISD 279 - Osseo Area Schools - Corrections & Clarifications

We want you to have accurate information about schools and school operations. On this page, you’ll find corrections and clarifications to rumors or inaccurate information that might be making its way around the community. Over time, we’ll group them by topic; for now, they are listed by date.

July 2015

Has high school marching band been cut?

No; all three high schools still offer marching band. For the 15-16 school year, Osseo Senior High chose to offer marching band in fall instead of summer. Maple Grove and Park Center continue to offer it in the summer and will have some marching band activities in the fall, depending on the school. Staff will be discussing the marching band schedule for all high schools this year to determine what it should look like in the future. Regardless of the schedule chosen, each high school will continue to offer marching band.

November 2014

Will S+ classes continue in the middle school model?

A large team is continuing its work on the design of all aspects of the middle level program. While no decisions have been made yet specific to middle-level gifted education programming, the goal is to make those decisions in January.

Planning for new grade spans provides the opportunity to assess all of our practices, K-12, and to make adjustments where needed to improve the educational program. As part of its work to plan for a change in grade spans, the Middle Level Design Team is looking at all aspects of the middle level educational program, including services for gifted and talented students. The team is considering how best to meet the needs of gifted/talented students within the new middle school interdisciplinary teams.

Here’s where the middle level design work on this topic stands at this time:

  • First, whatever the gifted and talented services look like, our staff is committed to providing challenging curriculum, differentiated instruction, and personalized learning in the middle school model.
  • 6th grade classes may continue in a cluster model, as they do elementary school, for math and English/language arts. Please note, though, that final decisions are yet to be made.
  • Teachers will be equipped with skills to meet the needs of advanced learners. For example, we’re working with the College Board to provide training on pre-AP teaching strategies to all middle school teachers in math, social studies, science and English/language arts. One of the ways all interdisciplinary team teachers can differentiate instruction, particularly for 7th and 8th graders, is to teach the higher-level thinking that prepares students to take AP courses in high school.

Wendy Biallas-Odell, director of Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Standards, anticipates that the Middle Level Design Team will recommend how gifted education services will be provided in the middle school interdisciplinary team model by early January.

August 2014

Will high school boundaries change as a result of the change to new grade spans in 2015-2016?

No. We have learned that an inaccurate rumor is circulating in the community, claiming that high school boundaries will supposedly change within the next two years as a result of the transition to new grade spans. This is not accurate. In Spring 2014, in response to community feedback, the ISD 279 School Board approved a plan that would allow 9th grade to move to high school by creating space (building additions and renovations) at each of the three comprehensive high schools specifically to avoid any boundary changes related to grade span changes.

District administrators regularly note that while changing grade spans will not result in boundary changes at any level, it does not mean that the district will never change school boundaries. Staff constantly monitors student enrollment and housing development. Periodic adjustments to school boundaries will continue to be necessary as populations shift in our communities and schools. 

May 2014

Was there an attempted abduction of students in southern Maple Grove?

No. Here’s what happened:  On May 15, two elementary students reported that a woman beckoned to them from her car as the students were walking to school near Oak View and Cedar Island Elementary Schools. When they got to school, the students told school staff and staff contacted police. Oak View and Cedar Island families were informed of the reported incidents by email that same day.

Upon investigation, police labeled the reports as "suspicious activity because there was no attempt to abduct the students." [emphasis added]

An inaccurate social media post by a local media organization was subsequently removed and replaced with accurate information confirmed by police. 

April 2014

Is busing being discontinued for children who live less than 2 miles from their schools?

No. Busing will still be provided to eligible students who live less than two miles from school and, under the proposed revision, more elementary students may qualify for transportation.

For a long time, school board policy has reflected the state requirement to provide transportation for students who live two miles or more from school, but our actual practice has been to set eligibility at shorter distances, allowing more students to qualify for transportation.

The school board is currently reviewing a proposed revision to transportation policy that would provide consistency in eligibility for elementary students now that all-day kindergarten will have the same start/dismissal times as the other grades at each elementary school (effective with the 2014-2015 school year).

At its April 15, 2014 regular meeting (watch the discussion), the school board considered a revision to Policy 707, Transportation of Students.

  • No changes are proposed to secondary student (grades 7-12 for school year 14-15; grades 6-12 for school year 2015-2016) transportation eligibility. Secondary students will continue to be eligible for transportation if they live one mile or more from school.
  • At the elementary level, all elementary students would be eligible for transportation if they live 0.8 mile or more from school. This is a slight increase for kindergartners (going from 0.5 mile to 0.8 mile) and a slight decrease for students in other elementary grades (going from 1.0 mile to 0.8 mile).

The board will vote on the revised policy on May 20. Update: The revised policy was adopted by the Board on May 20.