When it comes to education and schools in Minneapolis, parents will have plenty of choice. There are some good public schools in the city, the best of which are often charter or magnet schools. A number of private schools are also available.

As with the rest of the US, the Minnesota schooling system is divided into three levels:

  • Elementary school – Kindergarten to Grade 5

  • Middle school – Grade 6 to Grade 8

  • High school – Grade 9 to Grade 12

Public schools in Minneapolis

The majority of children in Minneapolis attend public schools, which are free to all children living in the city. Children attending public school will usually attend the nearest school within their district. However, they are permitted to attend a school outside their school district, provided there is space at that school.

Charter schools

There are a number of charter schools in Minneapolis. These are independent public schools, operating on a performance-based contract with the local school district. While they are partially funded by the state, they have more flexibility in terms of their teaching style, policies and academic programmes. No fees are charged for charter schools and admission is open to all children provided there are available slots. If the demand is greater than the school’s capacity, placement is done via a lottery.

Magnet schools

Like charter schools, magnet schools are state-funded. Each magnet school focuses on a specialised area, such as science, languages or the arts. In most magnet schools, attendance is determined by lottery, except where a certain level of ability must be achieved for admittance, such as in the case of music schools.

Private schools in Minneapolis

There are many private schools in Minneapolis that operate outside of the public schooling system. Most of these offer a high quality of education. Class sizes are usually much smaller at private schools, affording more personalised interaction between students and teachers. 

Admission to private schools can be more stringent and may include entrance exams and personal interviews. Competition for a place at private schools can be high, and parents therefore need to plan well ahead if wanting to send their child to one of these institutions.

International schools in Minneapolis

Although there are very few international schools in Minneapolis offering foreign curricula, a number of public and private schools in the city do offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. This globally focused curriculum is often preferred by expat parents because there are IB schools in most major expat destinations around the world, allowing for a relatively easy transfer between schools.

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