REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK | Frustrated parents turn to social networking site to fight MPS re-organization plans


Here’s a story we are working on. We invite you to add to the story – facts, leads, opinions, suggestions of people we should talk to.

The story The story has changed over the past week, as a dispute between school board member Chris Stewart and Burroughs Elementary School Principal Tim Cadotte led to Cadotte’s suspension. What’s going on in Southwest Minneapolis public schools?

On April 15, here’s how the story looked: Upset that proposals for their local school would kick out an ELL program and city-wide autism program, and enroll more student than the Lyndale building could handle, 10 parents from Minneapolis’ Kingfield, Lyndale, and East Harriet neighborhoods have come together, using a neighborhood-based social networking website, to propose an alternative solution to Minneapolis schools’ restructuring needs.

What’s at stake: The main organizers cite over-crowding in the MPS proposal (neighborhood schools for K-8), the disruption to a number of ELL/SPED-type programs, and the need to increase the diversity of Lyndale and Barton schools as the main problems they seek to solve

What do we know so far? Organizers want to combine online organizing with canvasing neighbors, a la Obama: they already have around 300 signatures to their petition, in a neighborhood that has 7,000 residents, and around 1,000 students

– MPS has encouraged this kind of organizing, pledging to work with parent groups to tailor restructuring solutions to neighborhood needs

How can citizens respond/participate? If you live in Kingfield, East Harriet, or Lyndale (Enrollment Areas F2 and D5), you can join, a social networking site set up by parents in East Harriet and Kingfield to discuss Minneapolis schools’ restructuring plans.

Do you have any information? Do you have an opinion? Let us know by sending an e-mail to (with your phone number for possible interview) or by clicking on “Comment” below.