How is a charter school (MSSPA) different from a traditional district school?
It’s not that different. Both require the same or similar credits for graduation. Both are tuition-free and open to all students.
The differences lie in size of the school, curricular focus, and board governance.
Our enrollment may not exceed at 325 students, so our community is intimate. Our staff knows our students well, encouraging positive relationships and outcomes for all learners.
MSSPA’s focus of electives are in the performing arts. All students are expected to grow as artists, completing coursework in music, theatre, dance, and/or musical theatre.
MSSPA has an independent school board, made up of community members and teachers. Unique to MSSPA, half of the school board is a teacher, empowering those with a vested interest.
What is a typical class size?
The average class size is 22 students per class. Classes like show choir and choir are large on purpose to encourage collaborative learning, while many classes are small to promote strong relationships between teachers and students.
What are arts classes like at MSSPA?
Our arts curriculum focuses on Theory and Creation. Courses of study are designed to specifically enhance the students’ ability to create his/her own work, placing an emphasis on the history and application of core elements of each discipline. Students are required to fill at least one block per day with an arts course such as improvisation, acting, theatre movement, ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, ballet technique, music theory, music history, or music ensembles. Class environments support and encourage each student’s artistic growth and discovery.
Are world languages offered at MSSPA?
Yes, we offer classes in Spanish, levels 1 through 4.
Will students be able to meet state graduation requirements if they attend MSSPA?
Yes. Main Street School of Performing Arts standards ensure students exceed the state graduation requirements. Students graduate from MSSPA must earn 56 credits.
How diverse is the MSSPA student population?
One of our school’s core values is acknowledging and advancing diverse perspectives. To this end, we cultivate an inclusive environment that supports the academic and artistic needs of a diverse student population. Our student body is approximately 18% racially and ethnically diverse, with approximately 34% male students and 66% female students.
Does MSSPA charge tuition?
No. The Main Street School of Performing Arts is a free, public, charter school open to any student artist residing in Minnesota who is serious about their craft and wishes to attend our school.
Because of charter school law, we operate on a limited budget. We cannot pursue referendums or levies the way that many school districts do. Our programs require additional financial support, so fundraising activities are a critical part of our school revenue. In addition, certain non-required programs may be fee-based.
When can a student enroll at MSSPA?
If a student artist is interested in attending the current school year, they should fill out the online enrollment form and submit it as soon as they can. We accept students for the current school year during the first two weeks of each quarter. Students can submit enrollment materials for the next school year after the first week of October. We will accept enrollment materials through the year, however, if we reach enrollment capacity, a lottery will be held. We encourage students to get all enrollment materials in by the end of March for the coming school year. Enrollment information is available by clicking here.
Are students required to audition to get into the school?
No. The Main Street School of Performing Arts does not have an audition process. We are a tuition-free, public, charter school open to any Minnesota high school student artist serious about their craft and expressing their artistic talents, while participating in a rigorous academic program.
We do, however, expect students to perform at a placement and registration workshop to place them in arts classes that will challenge them to grow in their artistry.
Does MSSPA provide Special Education services?
Yes. We employ a special education staff to manage IEPs and help students succeed. If you have specific Special Education questions, please contact the main office at 952-224-1340 and you’ll be put in touch with more information regarding these services.
What type of technology does MSSPA have?
MSSPA is committed to offering the latest technology to our students including a Mac lab, and several mobile laptop labs for student use. Many courses are supplemented with Google Classroom.
Does MSSPA have sports?
Competitive athletics are not available directly through the Main Street School of Performing Arts. Students may, however, check with their home district regarding participation in competitive athletics. As a member of the Minnesota State High School League, MSSPA has cooperating agreements with several high schools to provide our students the opportunity to participate on their home district sports teams.
Many students and staff take part in intramural Ultimate Frisbee in the fall and spring as an extracurricular activity.
What sorts of extra-curricular activities does MSSPA offer?
Main Street School offers an optional enrichment block called Block 5 for students. Extra curricular activities and arts enrichment activities are available during this time. Block 5 opportunities change throughout the year and are based on student participation and interests. MSSPA also has the popular “No Shame” program, a monthly school-sponsored variety show, giving students an opportunity to showcase their own work in a public setting.
What is MSSPA's food service program?
MSSPA contracts through Royal Cuisine, the Hopkins School District’s nutrition program, for food service. Breakfast is served daily, as are hot lunch, sandwich and salad options. The program is nationally recognized for its nutrition, featuring many locally grown ingredients prepared fresh daily.
Does an MSSPA student need to open enroll in the Hopkins School District?
No. Students enrolling in MSSPA will do so directly with our school. MSSPA is a charter school, an independent school unto itself. Students from any Minnesota school district may enroll directly at MSSPA.
Do Hopkins students get preference for enrollment?
No, there is no geographical preference. The Main Street School of Performing Arts seeks to provide all interested high school student artists from across the Twin Cities and Minnesota the opportunity to attend our school. Students who submit timely enrollment materials shall be enrolled unless the number of interested student artists exceeds the capacity of a program, grade level, building, or class. Enrollment is then determined via lottery.