Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), Special School District Number 1 is an amazingly large district, serving more than 36,000 students with almost 100 public schools. Since we understand that nearby schools are important to home values, we’d like to introduce you to the city’s schools and allow you to get to know them a bit better.
We start with May’s School of the Month ― Andersen United Community School. Both an elementary and middle school, Anderson teaches kids in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.
The first thing you should know about Andersen is that it has a dress code. Children in the lower grades, Pre-K through 4th grade are required to wear navy blue tops and khaki bottoms. In the 5th through 8th grades, students wear black tops and khaki bottoms.
Andersen offers the following special programs:
- Early Childhood Family Education
- Spanish Bilingual Language Development Program
- English as a Second Language Instruction
- Gifted/Talented Program
- Somali Culture and Language Support
- Special Education
In addition to the special programs and the core curriculum, Andersen offers a technology lab, environmental learning camp participation for fifth graders, anti-bullying programs and more. There are computers in all classrooms and Promethean boards in most.
Parents at Andersen enjoy the monthly family fun nights with a family dinner, student activities and parent workshops.
Middle school students can participate in the following athletics:
- Girls’ volleyball
- Girls’ softball
- Boys’ baseball
- Boys’ and Girls’ basketball
School ratings site GreatSchools.org gives Andersen one star out of a possible 10, while SchoolDigger.com awards it with zero stars out of a possible five.
Last year, Andersen ranked worse than 97.6 of elementary schools in Minnesota. It also ranked 27th among 35 ranked elementary schools in the Minneapolis Public School District while the middle school ranked worse than 93.4 percent of the state’s middle schools.
In 2014, 25.6 percent of Andersen’s fifth graders met the standard on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-III (MCA-III) math exams, while the state’s average was 61.8. Middle schoolers (8th grade) fared better with 32.6 percent meeting the standard. The state’s average for the 8th grade was 59.7 percent.
Reading is challenging to both the middle and elementary school students. Only 26.9 percent of 8th graders met the standard (as opposed to the state average of 55.7 percent), and 29.1 percent of 5th graders met the standard. The state average for the 5th grade is 67.7 percent.
These numbers don’t tell the entire story, however, as they are an improvement over 2013’s scores. Administrators are optimistic that the school is improving as far as assessment test scores are concerned.
Andersen’s student body is split almost equally between the number of girls and boys and the ethnic composition is quite diverse. Hispanic students account for the largest share of those enrolled (65 percent), with African American students accounting for 17 percent of the student body, white students making up 8 percent and Native Americans 6 percent. Only 1 percent of Andersen’s students claim Asian heritage.
Andersen United Community School is located in Minneapolis’ Phillips community, at 1098 Andersen Lane. You can reach them by phone at 612.668.4200.