Great MN Schools (GMS) will make investments in select high-performing schools that wish to replicate and/or expand in Minneapolis. GMS’ intention in supporting “homegrown” replication and expansion is to enable outstanding leadership teams in Minnesota to have their proven school models reach more Minneapolis students. This has been an effective method for starting and growing high-performing schools in other cities, but has only recently begun to emerge as part of the local K-12 education landscape.
GMS funding for the replication and/or expansion of high-performing schools will be made in two connected phases.
- First, a school must initiate a GMS review of its academic performance, operational stability and leadership strength. A school that passes this screen will be invited to apply for a “Planning Grant” to help develop a comprehensive, multi-year business plan.
- Following the planning process, a school may submit its completed business plan and accompanying financial model to GMS for funding consideration. With the plan as the foundation, the school will then be evaluated for a multi-year “Growth Investment” to support the school’s proposed replication and/or expansion.
Planning Grant applications are by invitation only. Generally, schools must have at least three years of operating history and proven student outcomes (including state assessment data) to be considered. However, GMS will also consider a grant to promising schools with two years of strong academic performance data (including from norm-referenced standardized tests). GMS will only support expansion efforts for schools that can commit to financial sustainability at full enrollment.