School Guide 2009
When it comes to choosing the right school, one size doesn’t fit all. Some students thrive in a large school, where they’re able to enjoy a wide variety of class selections, student organizations, and social options. Other students prefer a small school, where they’ll receive more individual attention, lower student-to-teacher ratios, and opportunities to work closely with the same group of classmates. Some schools are liberal; others are conservative. Some are more diverse than others. Students should not only look at tuition, but whether or not a school meets their varied interests, values, and goals. We provide a snapshot of some of the best schools around—both pre-K-12 and post-secondary—to help you narrow your search.
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When choosing the best K-12 school for your child, the options can be overwhelming. Public, private, or charter? Look to see if the school has a solid reputation, established procedures and rules, and an invigorating curriculum. Do the programs encourage independence and creativity? Last but not least, visit the school and watch the other children in class. This will be the best way to tell if you can envision your child thriving in that learning environment.
ANOKA-HENNEPIN SCHOOL DISTRICT 11
Total enrollment: 40,100
How is your district distinctive? Our annual statistically-valid random survey of the community indicated that 98 percent of respondents feel Anoka-Hennepin Schools are safe. All elementary schools have specialists who teach art, music, physical education and media. We offer many after-school activities at all levels, with before and after-school child care available for all elementary students. All of our high schools offer a full range of Advanced Placement courses plus College in the Schools courses that allow students to earn college credit.
THE BLAKE SCHOOL
Total enrollment: 1,380 (preK-12)
Average Class size: 16
2009-10 tuition: Varies by division/grade. Lower school starts at $13,000; middle school at $21,000; and upper school at $21,600.
How is your school distinctive? We offer a rigorous academic program, intentional work around diversity and pluralism, three stunning campuses, expert teachers, a robust need-based financial aid program, student support services, and amazing alumni. Annually, 20-25 percent of our students are officially recognized by the National Merit program. Our graduates attend some of the most selective, challenging colleges and universities worldwide.
Total enrollment: 1,200
Average Class size: 18
2009-10 tuition: Tuition (including mandatory fees) ranges from $15,740-$22,825.
Signature academics: Minnesota’s first K-12 Chinese curriculum and advanced research opportunities in both science and history.
How is your school distinctive? Breck is big enough to offer a wide array of classes and activities, but small enough so that every student is known; a school with a long and proud history, but deeply committed to curricular and technological innovation; a school that’s academically rigorous but filled with joy. www.breckschool.org
Total enrollment: 180
2009-10 tuition: K-8 full day: $6,750;
PreK-3 T/Th half day: $2,100; PreK-3 T/Th full day: $2,800; PreK-4 MWF half days: $3,400; PreK-4 MWF full day: $4,200; PreK-4 M-F half day: $5,300; PreK-4 M-F full day: $6,500
How is your school distinctive? Small classes, all day PreK and kindergarten, single gender classroom instruction, and uniforms.
One more thing: We are dedicated to educating the whole child and to giving each student the depth of character, academics and moral purpose needed to become true leaders in society.
Total enrollment: 950
2009-10 tuition: $8,950 (7-8); $10,100 (9-12)
Strongest programs: Hill-Murray’s overall academic program has been recognized by the ACT for its rigor and for preparing its students for college, stating that the school “has proven… that rigorous content can be taught to students,” and that (Hill-Murray) “is clearly a leader in preparing all high school students for postsecondary education.”
One more thing: We offer a wide range of co-curricular activities, including 25 varsity sports for men and women, an award-winning theatre program, and a full range of other activities.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF MN
Total enrollment: 588
2009-10 tuition: Ranges from $8,500-$14,900
Signature programs: World Language: Spanish and French are taught daily from preschool on by native speakers. Chinese is offered as an elective.
Our students are… a mini United Nations. Primarily our families are from the U.S., however, we attract a large group of families from around the world.
How is your school distinctive? Academic achievement: ISM students consistently achieve a 50 percent AP Scholar rate compared to an 18 percent national average.
MARANATHA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Total enrollment: 685 (preK-12)
Average Class size: 19
2009-10 tuition: Ranges from $3,900-$7,776 (PreK: $3,900-$6,924; Elementary: $7,152; Secondary: $7,776)
How is your school distinctive? A diverse student-body representing 58 municipalities and 65 area churches, with 24 percent students of color. A solid foundation of core subjects, plus numerous electives, enabling each student to explore their interests and develop their God-given potential. Faith and learning integration.
One more thing: In this tough economy, more and more families are beginning to see Maranatha as a high-quality alternative to higher-tuition private schools.
Total enrollment: 1,203 (preK-12)
Average Class size: 18
2009-10 tuition: Ranges from $11,720-$13,875
Most unique programs: Classroom technology – interactive whiteboards at all age levels; award-winning AP program covering 21 subject exams; June Term – a five-day cultural immersion experience; Senior Capstone – senior level course examining important matters that integrate academics with faith.
How is your school distinctive? 2007-09: Chosen as the top school in Minnesota for our Advanced Placement Math and Science Program.
MINNETONKA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Total enrollment: 8,100
How is your school District distinctive? Minnetonka Public School District is nationally recognized as a district of choice and a leader in using technology as an accelerator of learning in every classroom. Technology in the hands of master teachers yields impressive results. With an average ACT score of 25.5, Minnetonka’s Class of 2009 had a 99 percent graduation rate and 92 percent are headed to college. With high expectations from parents and teachers, coupled with outstanding community support, our district is focused on world-class, child-centered excellence.
NEW LIFE ACADEMY
Total enrollment: 650
2009-10 tuition: preK: $2,796; Kindergarten ranges from $4,140-$6,248; 1-6: $6,864; 7-12: $7,428
Signature programs: Spiritual growth and development are an integral part of every class. Students take Bible courses throughout the elementary and secondary grades and participate in weekly chapel services.
How is your school distinctive? We are best known for reinforcing Godly character throughout all aspects of the student experience—in the classroom, in activities and athletics, and on the stage.
SHATTUCK - ST. MARY'S SCHOOL
Total enrollment: 434 (6-12)
Average Class size: 12
2009-10 tuition: Boarding: $36,950; day: $23,950
Signature programs: Our Centers of Excellence programs include The Pre-Conservatory Strings Program (for students interested in pursuing their passion for music); The Center for Academic Achievement offering an Academic Skills Program to provide students with learning difficulties the necessary strategies and skills they need to succeed; and The Honors Program offering a unique academic experience for a selective group of students.
Our students are… from 39 states and 17 countries. They are all college-bound.
ST. PAUL ACADEMY & SUMMIT SCHOOL
Total enrollment: 870 • Average Class size: 15
2009-10 tuition: Lower school: $20,620;
Middle school: $21,520; upper school: $22,410
Signature programs: Interdisciplinary thematic units (K-5); developmental design (6-8); strong advisory program (6-12); journalism, debate, Spanish (K-12); Chinese, German, and French (6-12).
How is your school distinctive? We are best known for a strong liberal arts curriculum coupled with many extra-curricular activities. We have a well-trained and experienced faculty: our 102 teachers average 21 years of teaching at SPA and 75 percent have advanced degrees.
THE TESSERACT SCHOOL
Total enrollment: 157
Average Class size: About 10
2009-10 tuition: K-6: $13,920
Signature programs: Morning Meeting, integrated technology, community projects, and multi-age learning in Buddy Groups.
How is your school distinctive? We have a small student-teacher ratio, we are student-centered rather than teacher-centered, and our students learn real life aptitude skills. In addition, many students test above and beyond the standards (many of our sixth graders, for instance, leave at an 11th grade Spanish level). We have weekly director-to-parent and teacher to-parent-communication.