At Large School Board Candidate Kimberly Caprini

My vision for Minneapolis Public Schools is to be the first choice families make for their students because they know the quality of education their students will receive is provided to all students. Your economic/social background, gender identity, learning challenges, physical abilities or family make up circumstances should not matter.

This vision includes a high quality education, that provides a culturally relevant curriculum, that will inspire all students and teachers. Schools that have the resources they need to provide support services (health, social workers, counselors) to all students – specifically, students in Special Education and English Language Learners. We need teachers that differentiate classroom instruction to meet the needs of students that exceed the standards so those students don’t become bored and complacent with their school work.

We need elementary schools that provide strong literacy programming with music, art, technology and time for free play, and don’t rush students through lunch.

This vision offers school immersion programming that provides experienced teachers and offers the extra time and resources teachers and students need to be successful. By ensuring we are respecting home cultures, as well as using volunteer supports from the students’ community, we can provide quality curriculum and have high expectations for growth.

We need middle school programs that offer students the foundation to explore innovative, creative, educational opportunities, and student activities that include band, art, world language, chess, debate, athletics, and life skills classes.

We need high schools that provide career-based pathways to college through Post Secondary Education. Opportunities for students to learn technical skills, receive job training to earn college credits, begin a pathway to the healthcare or educations fields, or become an entrepreneur through the inspiration of local small business owners.

My vision for Minneapolis Public Schools has a strong committed principal that puts the needs of others in front of their own to build good relationships with their staff and school community. One that is well organized and is not afraid to balance between praise and tough conversations. One that has connections to build strong partnerships with local businesses, neighborhood associations and school foundations.

My vision for Minneapolis Public School is for every school to mirror the diversity of the city we live in. We have a shared responsibility to see our schools integrated. We have to understand the district cannot do this alone.

My vision includes working with a board that governs in true governance, that has the ability to think collaboratively and collectively make decisions that show we understand the diversity of our school population and their lived experiences. A board that is willing to make tough decisions that best fit the needs of all students; but, most importantly our students and families that require more support.

My vision is for MPS to recover from years of systematic, institutional racism, educational isolation and instability. Over the years, we’ve identified these issues and still we struggle. Our district is in the painful stages of doing the work to make systemic changes to our policies, and implementing strategies to support this work. I see a small measure of progress, but we have so much more work to do.

My life experiences that prepare me to do this work effectively ~

Having children who are past and present MPS students, being a member of several different site council/ parent advocacy groups in a variety of schools, over many years with different populations, has shaped my understanding of our schools. This work has given me the experience to advise, advocate and influence school programming, school budgets, student activities and community engagement/involvement. I’ve been instrumental in reviewing funding, policies, school practices and school climate in many of our schools. I have a great deal of historical knowledge and have watched archived board meetings to gain background information on how we got here, and why we lost our ability to retain families and change the academic outcome for students of color in our school communities.

My district level committee participation has also afforded me a deeper understanding of how the system has continued to show the same results year after year with little progress. I’ve successfully fought for capital improvements from building renovations, the reopening of schools, co-teaching models and middle school athletics. All this work through an equity lens!

My work in the restaurant industry for 25 years in a host of different positions brings a great deal of customer service skills that are extremely important in being a public servant.

Lastly- I took my time because I couldn’t stop thinking about the reality of our city’s plan for its residents (2040 Plan). It’s difficult to have a long term vision when we haven’t done most things long enough to truly see progress. We have been through a number of school initiatives and strategic plans over the last decade. When are we going to allow the work to be done and be the work we’re doing?

“We are most relevant when we are the most centered.” I love this quote, problem is what should be most relevant hasn’t been centered for some time. I have hope.

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends”
Mary McLeod Bethune

Kimberly Caprini
Education Activist