2018-19 Interest Form

2018-19 Online Registration Form

Bus Transportation Form

Student Packet needed to be completed for enrollment. (Can pick up at the school office.)

Free/Reduced Lunch Application

Health Summary

Student Immunization Record

Transfer of Student Records Request

Application & Enrollment Policy

Early Admission to Kindergarten Policy & Screening

Student Handbook 2018-2019



Student Recruitment, Enrollment and Outreach

2019 – 2020 Enrollment

We will begin to accept applications for the 2019-2020 school year starting November 1, 2018.  Our Open Enrollment period runs from November 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019.  During the Open Enrollment period we will accept new applications from students who wish to attend our school.  Should we receive more applications than we have available openings we will conduct a lottery to determine admission for the particular grades.

Please complete the 2 following pieces to be considered for enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year.


2018 – 2019 Enrollment Information

We are now accepting applications for grades K-5 for this coming 2018-2019 school year.

Please fill out the Registration Form and Transfer of Student Records Request (if applying for grades 1-5) and turn them into our front office or scan and email them to finkell@gatewaystemacademy.org

All enrollment questions can be directed to Laura Finkel at finkell@gatewaystemacademy.org

Gateway STEM Academy (GSA) has identified target enrollment of 300 students in Grades K-5 for its first year of operation, growing to 600 students in Grades K-8 by Year 5.

There is a well-known need for more and better STEM schools. President Obama has called on the nation to develop, recruit, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10 years. He also has asked colleges and universities to graduate an additional 1 million students with STEM majors. These improvements in STEM education will happen only if Hispanics, African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the STEM fields—including women, people with disabilities, and first-generation Americans—robustly engage and are supported in learning and teaching in these areas. GSA will meet this need by providing a quality STEM program focusing specifically on reaching students from population subgroups who are not well represented in STEM fields, and giving them the background to prepare for college study and STEM careers.

Minnesota Report Card data for the Shakopee Schools shows a gap of 15-30% when comparing the proportion of Hispanic, Black, or EL students proficient in Math, Science or Reading to White students. GSA founders have conducted several meetings with parents from the school’s target population, consulting with over 100 parents representing approximately 300 students. These meetings were conducted as focus groups soliciting input from parents’ perspective on the current school system and what its un-met needs are. Data gathered at these meetings show that low income and immigrant families’ access to resources (e.g. technology, homework help) is very limited, and that these families find involvement in the school system difficult due to language and educational barriers. Low income and immigrant parents in Shakopee have expressed support for a school that is culturally sensitive, welcoming toward parents, utilizes a no-excuses approach to schooling, and provides access to technology and extra-curricular activities. These needs are not being effectively met through existing public school options. Based on these findings, GSA’s founders were inspired to create a school that will meet these needs by providing access to quality STEM education in a setting that takes a whole-child approach in supporting students and their families.

There are currently no charter schools in Shakopee or the neighboring town of Chaska, which also has a growing population of students of color and immigrants. The nearest charter school is Aspen Academy in Savage. The success of Aspen Academy provides evidence of the demand for charter schools in the southwest Metro, although Aspen serves a different demographic from that targeted by Gateway.

The table below shows GSA’s projected enrollment for the first five years of operation. Our plan is to begin with a K-5 school and add a grade each year until reaching the final K-8 configuration in year 4. While these numbers are necessarily estimates, charter developers’ research in the Shakopee areas leads us to believe that there is ample demand to fill a school of this size.

To ensure the community is adequately informed about the school, the GSA Interim Board will create a marketing plan once the charter application is approved. The marketing plan will introduce the school to families and organizations within the targeted area. It will also provide for communication with parents of students attending local preschools. Students, parents, and community members in GSA’s targeted communities will have opportunities to learn about the school though various methods including:

  • Publicity through social media (GSA will have a strong presence in Twitter, Facebooks, and via a regularly-updated school website)
  • Traditional print media such as advertisements in local newspapers and shoppers, and information posted at community centers
  • Informational meetings at local libraries and community centers
  • Communication through community organizations in targeted communities, such as the Shakopee Diversity Alliance
  • Community events such as the International Community Festival in Shakopee
  • Door knocking campaigns, direct mail, word of mouth, home visits to interested parents

Every child interested in attending GSA will have an equal opportunity per the school’s admission policy which clearly outlines the timeline and procedures which will be followed in identifying students whose applications have been accepted in addition to spelling out the requirements in statue that govern admissions. GSA will intentionally conduct outreach to all kinds of through organizations that serve these diverse groups of people. A timeline will be created once the school facility is secured, with specific cut-off targets (e.g. we need to sign up our targeted number of students by June 1 or will postpone opening for a year). This is to ensure a viable school before opening.

Transfer of student records is handled by GSA’s office support staff. Office staff will request records from the former school when a new student enrolls, and sends student records to a new school when a student leaves the school

GSA will put practices in place for student discipline, suspension, and expulsion that provide due process rights under the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal act. While basing its Discipline Policy on the Minnesota School Boards Association’s Student Discipline and Notice of Suspension model policy, GSA will strive in its behavior-management procedures and practices to achieve the right balance between prevention, training and disciplinary action. The school will ensure students, parents, and school staff are fully aware of the student discipline policy to prevent such issues to the greatest extent possible. GSA leadership firmly and consistently will turn students away from intimidation (bullying), violence, and drugs. These will not be tolerated in the school or minimized in the school culture.

Strong, positive engagement with students’ families is essential to the school-family partnership. GSA will provide this through the following:

  • Workshops for parents. Many parents are unaware of their children’s learning and relationships and may be equally unaware of the programs that are available for them. GSA will offer a Parent Academy to educate parents about the school, its program and how they can most effectively support their student’s success. This is in response to input from parents consulted by the GSA founding group during its planning phase: many parents did not feel welcome in the existing public schools, and wanted a school that would actively support them and welcome partnership with all parents.
  • Community leaders and activists will be invited to come and talk to the parents in school events, including parent-teacher conferences; and talk about connections to community resources. Community leaders will be invited to attend teacher meetings and assist teaching staff in understanding family situations that may impact students’ interactions and learning.
  • Prevention and Intervention Services to support students’ families will be made available through community partnerships and outreach. According to the U.S. Department of Education, positive school climates require a focus on prevention, using evidence-based strategies focusing on students’ individual needs. GSA will pay attention to the unique needs of children and families. Elements of the prevention and intervention approach will include:
    • Social Curriculum will be integrated into the weekly classroom curriculum to promote pro-social behavior.
    • Social Support Groups will be offered as preventive interventions to help students build necessary social skills. These groups may be held after school; GSA will seek to recruit community supporters as volunteers to lead these groups, building connections with community while supporting students in their social/emotional growth.

GSA welcomes parents as key partners supporting their children’s education, and will seek parents as volunteers to support the program. Once the school begins operation, a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) will be established to which all parents are invited. The PTO will meet weekly and will provide a venue for parents to meet with school staff and jointly plan activities in support of the school. Parents will be invited to volunteer at the school, and GSA will recruit parents for positions at the school as they become available, depending on parents’ qualifications.

GSA’s development team is well-connected with educational and community organizations, and will forge specific links with agencies that GSA can partner with as the school completes its planning and moves toward start-up. Organizations we will seek to partner with include:

  • Page Education Foundation, for partnership with its Page Scholars program. a nonprofit organization founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and former Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Alan Page with a mission is to encourage Minnesota students of color to pursue post-secondary education. Recipients of Page Foundation grants, known as Page Scholars, help develop positive attitudes about education among elementary and middle-school children by volunteering as tutors and mentors in their communities.
  • Wallin Education Partners, for collaboration supporting college and career success. The mission of Wallin Education Partners is to enable college and career success for high-potential Minnesota students with financial need through scholarships, comprehensive advising support, and data-informed collaboration with educational, business, and philanthropic partners.
  • College Possible, for coaching and support to enable college admission and success. This organization makes college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support.
  • Francis Medical Foundation, for support with GSA’s health and wellness programs.
  • Hamline University for support of STEM initiatives.
  • University of Minnesota Extension Program for the Urban 4-H program which supports STEM education for middle school students.
  • Local businesses and organizations in the southwest Twin Cities Metro area including Seagate and Bayer, and the YMCA; GSA will seek partners that can support STEM education

Print your own Registration Form – here.


There will be 2 STAR Sessions on Friday, April 26 from 1:30pm – 3:00pm and Friday, May 17 from 1:30pm – 3:00pm.

For more information on STAR Sessions, please see the document attached below.

STAR Sessions