Bonding bill allows Harambee to officially join ISD 623

Thanks to provisions in the 2014 state bonding bill, Harambee Community Cultures and Environmental Science School, a kindergarten through fifth-grade magnet school in Maplewood, will officially become part of the Roseville Area School District.

District 623 has been operating Harambee since last year, but because the school is a state-owned building, the move had to be officially approved by state legislators.

The school, which is located on County Road B, used to be operated by the East Metro Integration District, but was dropped, along with Crosswinds East Metro Arts and Science School in Woodbury, due to funding issues. Bills to transfer oversight of the schools to other school districts failed during the 2013 state legislative session.

The school has a special focus on community culture and environmental science. Many of Harambee’s students live outside traditional district lines but are bussed in from St. Paul and surrounding suburbs.

Harambee runs on a year-round calendar and follows a 45/15 model in which students attend school for about 45 days, followed by a 15-day break. Classes at the school are also looped, meaning students keep the same teacher and classmates for two years in a row.

Because Harambee is part of District 623, students there are eligible to participate in all Roseville Area Schools activities including athletics and music programs.

For more information about Harambee, visit

--Johanna Holub

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