Frequently Asked Questions
1. When did Cologne Academy open?
Cologne Academy officially opened September 2, 2008. The first day of the 2015-2016 school year is Monday, August 31, 2015.
2. Where is Cologne Academy located?
The school is located at 1221 South Village Parkway; the southwest corner of Hwy 212 and County Rd 53 in Cologne. A 16,000 square foot building next to the Cologne Community Center was constructed in 2008 and in the spring of 2010 an 8,000 square foot building addition was added. In the spring of 2012 a new 13,000 square foot addition was completed in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year and in the spring of 2013 a 10,080 square foot addition of classroom space was complete in time for the start of the 2013-2014 school year. The Cologne Academy campus has begun construction on the second half of the Middle School and also the gymnasium/theater. Cologne Academy will have capacity for three to four classrooms of each grade K-8 when construction is complete.
3. What does it cost to send my child to Cologne Academy?
It’s free! Cologne Academy is a public charter school and receives its funding, like all other public schools, through the State of Minnesota.
4. What grade levels are offered?
Cologne Academy is a K–8 grade educational program.
5. What are the projected class sizes?
Cologne Academy is committed to providing high quality education for all learners. We truly believe that a relationship exists between student to teacher ratio and the quality of instruction teachers are able to provide in order to maximize student achievement. To that end, the school board and administration have established the following reasonable and equitable guidelines for class size targets.
Kindergarten: 13:1 student: teacher ratio – 2 licensed teachers in each kindergarten room
1st-2nd grade: 26 students per class
3rd-8th grade: 27 students per class
Currently, Cologne Academy has 2 instructional coaches, 2 peer coaches, 10 Q Comp leaders, 12 educational assistants, 1 accountability specialist, MN Reading Core Teachers and specialized content teachers on staff that further reduces the student: teacher ratios.
6. Does Cologne Academy offer before and after school programs?
Yes. Regular Clubhouse hours are 6:30 – 8:15 am and 3:30 – 6:00 pm. With prior notice, a start time of 6:00 a.m. and pick up time of 6:30 p.m. will be available.
7. What school district is the school in?
Cologne Academy’s school district # is 4188. Cologne Academy is its own Independent School District (ISD).
8. Is enrollment limited?
Enrollment may be limited to maintain appropriate class sizes. Waitlists will be formed as needed.
9. What happens if enrollment exceeds available space?
If there are more applicants than spaces during the open enrollment period (our enrollment period is the first day of school through the third Friday of February), a lottery will be held to determine admission. Students who are not admitted through the lottery process will have their names placed on a waiting list in the order determined by the outcome of the drawing. Minnesota State statute determines waitlist guidelines.
10. Can I pre-register my child?
Unfortunately, no. However, if you are interested in Cologne Academy, you should call us today. By providing us with your email or mailing address, you will be assured to receive important enrollment announcements.
11. What is the length of the school day?
The school day begins 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m.
12. Will the school provide busing?
Cologne Academy offers bussing from most of the surrounding communities. Families can choose a bus stop from the available bus stops established by the bus company.
13. Will the school provide services to students with special needs?
Yes, we welcome students of all abilities. As a public school we offer all programs that receive state and federal funding including, but not limited to: Special Education, Title I, and ESL.
14. Does the school hire licensed teachers?
Yes, all teachers are deemed “highly qualified” by the Minnesota Department of Education standards and licensed through the State of Minnesota.
15. Will there be standardized testing and how will the school measure results?
Cologne Academy conforms to NCLB (No Child Left Behind) testing, including the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA in the grades required 3-8), STEP reading program in grades K-4, and other curricular resources.
16. How is the school governed?
Charter schools elect their own school boards to oversee all aspects of the school’s mission, vision, goals, and operations. In addition, all charter schools have Authorizers; Cologne Academy’s authorizer is Friends of Education (www.improvek-12education.org )
17. Will the school increase my property taxes?
No, Cologne Academy does not increase your property taxes. Your traditional school district has the authority and option to ask their tax payers to accept referendums. As a charter school, since we have no district boundaries, we cannot ask for a tax levy.
18. How does the charter school impact the local school district?
The State of Minnesota provides funding for charter schools, not the local school district. Studies have also shown that charter schools actually increase the amount of money available for education in the community, because some of the funding and grant money is received from the federal government. As a result, there is a net increase in education funds to the community.
Charter schools also introduce a healthy pressure on the system to provide equal or better services to the students they serve. When schools compete for students, every child wins and our entire education system improves.
19. What is a charter school authorizer?
The role of the charter school authorizer is to first approve charter applications and then monitor the school to ensure success. Authorizers are ultimately responsible for the operational and educational integrity of each charter school they sponsor. Cologne Academy is authorized by Friends of Education. Friends of Education’s sole purpose is to improve the education of children. Friends of Education currently sponsor sixteen Minnesota charter schools. Visit Friends at www.improvek-12education.org
20. Does the school offer any extracurricular activities?
Cologne Academy extracurricular activities are continually expanding. Some school sponsored activities include volleyball, basketball, running club, Knowledge Bowl, Theater Club, etc. We also host Youth Enrichment League which offers classes in chess, soccer, fencing, Legos, etc.
As with all K-6 elementary schools, K-6 sports activities are established and offered through your Community Education program (i.e. Waconia Community Ed, Chaska Community Ed, or NYA/Central Community Ed). For 7-8 graders, Cologne Academy has created a cooperative agreement with some area school districts for participation in their athletics and activities (please contact the main office for more information).
1221 S. Village Parkway
Cologne, MN 55322