Ramsey kindergarteners have just learned that Ramsey Elementary School has reached its full capacity this year. Kids were supposed to enter kindergarten next year are now going to have to attend Wilson Elementary School in Anoka.
On December 8th the Anoka-Hennepin School Board approved this change unanimously, although one board member was absent for the vote. The vote took place after two community meetings were held in November where people were presented with the scenario that the K-5 students that lived east of Highway 47 or southwest of Ramsey Elementary School would have to attend Wilson. Here is a look at how the decision was made.
How the community feels about the change
Parents have been attending these packed meetings disagreeing with the idea of moving their students out of the school they loved. It’s a comfortable and established school and parents weren’t happy with this idea in November.
The problem is that Ramsey Elementary School is already jam-packed 1,368 students and cannot keep housing more students than this. With the population growth expected in Ramsey, the enrollment for the school was only looking to keep increasing.
The decision process
The school initially considered building an addition to the school. It would have been a 133,000-square-foot area, but it turned out to not be feasible for the core facility. The other areas of the school couldn’t accommodate more students including the gyms, cafeterias and parking lot.
Since that wouldn’t work, the community was in favor of moving kindergartners to a kindergarten center for next year to help with the space at Ramsey. This was an ideal solution since after kindergarten the students could return Ramsey at first grade. They wouldn’t notice the difference at such a young age and they are too young to have an established relationship with their classmates and teachers.
Since Wilson’s site had the least amount of challenges over the others in the area, it was the best solution. Wilson plans to build a 10,000-square-foot seven-classroom addition at the school to accommodate for 150 extra kindergartners.
It’s going to be financed with lease levy funds costing up to $4 million. One-Hundred students will still attend Ramsey for kindergarten and it will go by the location for the ones that will allow for the shortest bus ride.
Parents are now agreeing with the board and administrators decisions.