In March 2014, after several months of study and community feedback, the ISD 279 School Board approved a change in grade spans that will begin in the 2015-2016 school year.

Effective Fall 2015, grade spans within Osseo Area Schools will be as follows:

  • Elementary:         PreK/K-5
  • Middle School:     gr. 6-8
  • High School:         gr. 9-12

The change in grade spans developed out of a need for additional space to accommodate state-funded all-day kindergarten. Early learning is a proven accelerator to close achievement gaps, and expanding access to all-day kindergarten has been a school board-approved priority goal since 2007.

Reflecting staff and community feedback, the board approved a plan to change grade spans in a way that would avoid school boundary changes caused by grade configuration. The plan relocates 6th grade to middle school and 9th grade to high school. In order to accommodate 9th graders, space will be created at each of the three comprehensive high schools through building additions and repurposing existing space.

A comprehensive project management plan is in place that includes multiple perspectives in planning and implementation of new grade spans.  The plan includes areas such as middle level and high school programming, student transitions, facilities additions and repurposing, financing and operational logistics.

Changing grade spans offers opportunities to support learning for students at all levels

Elementary schools will have fewer space pressures, allowing them to:

  • Maintain and grow early learning programs that help prepare students for kindergarten (a requirement under World’s Best Workforce legislation), and
  • Provide more flexibility for gifted education, student assistance, and other special programs.

Middle schools will be designed to better meet the social and academic needs of young adolescents through:

  • Interdisciplinary teacher teams that consist of teachers in math, language arts, science and social studies who focus their attention on a group of about 150 students at one grade level in a “house” concept (instead of several hundred at more than one grade level in the current junior high model);
  • A daily advisory with structured curriculum around social/emotional learning, academic oversight, and college/career planning (the latter element being another World’s Best Workforce requirement);
  • Allowing high-performing 6th-graders access to higher-level coursework.

Senior highs will offer a more coherent high school program:

  • All courses required for graduation will be under one roof instead of being spread between junior high and high school;
  • High-performing 9th graders will have access to our most rigorous courses;
  • 9th graders will have easier access to high school sports and activities;

For all students, K-12:

  • Grade spans will be aligned with state K-12 academic standards.

Learn more

Learn more about the planning for new grade spans by reviewing the additional information and regular updates in this section.