Crosswinds Arts and Science School joins the Perpich family
Crosswinds Arts and Science School in Woodbury, Minn., became part of Perpich Center for Arts Education in the spring of 2014 upon passage of state legislation conveying the school to the center.
Crosswinds has served the east metropolitan region of the Twin Cities for 15 years. It is a free, public year-round school for grades six through 10 that focuses on arts and environmental science education.
The school serves as a vital inter-district integration magnet, creating a student body whose members reach beyond simple co-attendance to the same school to develop friendships and a true respect for each other’s various cultures. Perpich will continue management of the school to fully support the integration goals, arts and science focus and year-round calendar.
Currently the school serves 50 percent students of color, 40 percent students on free or reduced-fee lunch and 23 percent who receive special education services. Crosswinds’ racial balance and high academic achievement record speaks to the well-researched phenomenon showing well-integrated schools can lead to excellent academics for all students.
Thanks to its role as an integration magnet school, Crosswinds can offer free transportation to and from the school to students from Saint Paul and nine east metro districts: Forest Lake, Inver Grove Heights, Roseville, South St. Paul, South Washington County, Spring Lake Park, Stillwater, West St. Paul and White Bear Lake.
Crosswinds originally was created as part of the East Metro Integration District (EMID), made up of the St. Paul and the school districts listed above. The EMID board at several points in its governance of the school reduced funding for the school and considered closure in order to focus its integration services within its districts. In late 2012, when none of its member districts wanted to take over running the school as an integration magnet program, EMID approached Perpich to request a proposal. After managing the school under a one-year contract during the 2013-14 school year, Perpich was granted official conveyance during the 2014 state legislative session.
The school was designed specifically as an arts and environmental science integration magnet and its architecture has won awards. It sits on a beautiful 37-acre property just off I-94 and I-494 that includes wooded areas, a lake and wetlands.
Students maintain a vegetable and herb garden that provides fresh produce for use in the school’s kitchen. The site also includes a peace garden, butterfly garden and tree nursery, all maintained by students and staff.
The school provides a strong arts program including visual arts; an award-winning orchestra; concert band; musical theater; MainStage, a songwriting class where students learn to play guitar, sing and write original music; and after-school and intersession programming.