Achievement Plus will support Saint Paul families through school closures and mergers


After the coming summer school session, John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary on the East Side of Saint Paul will close and no longer be a school in the Saint Paul Public School District. John A. Johnson is one of three schools in the Achievement Plus Initiative, a 20+ year partnership between Wilder and Saint Paul Public Schools in support of full-service community schools which, in part, help organize community services and resources in support of students and their families.

Although difficult for students, staff and families to say goodbye, many will reunite this fall when the John A. Johnson community merges with the school community just down the hill at Bruce Vento Elementary. When the new school year begins in September 2022, Achievement Plus will be in place at Bruce Vento Elementary!

Achievement Plus has played an important role in support of school merger intended to align students, teachers and resources

The John A. Johnson/Vento merger is part of the SPPS Envision Plan with a goal of bringing greater alignment between students, teachers and resources such as space, programming and supportive services. The plan includes the closure of several schools as well as the launching of two pre-Kindergarten “hubs” supporting families with young children.

“During Envision planning and the related school board conversations, it was clear that Achievement Plus is a valuable and integral component of the school community,” says Richard Gibson, Achievement Plus director. “We are happy that Achievement Plus will continue to support students, families and the community at Bruce Vento.”

New building planned for Bruce Vento Elementary School with potential to meet community needs

The move and merger of John A. Johnson and Bruce Vento elementary schools are just the first steps. Plans are already underway to design and build a brand new, state-of-the art elementary school building on the grounds adjacent to the current Bruce Vento building. Among other things, plans for the new building include:

  • Safe, welcoming and technologically smart classrooms
  • Space for family activities and community events
  • Space for community partner services (basic needs, physical/mental and dental health services
  • Classrooms designed for new parents and their young children
  • Many other exciting new possibilities

“Achievement Plus is all about supporting people beyond the classroom and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do,” says Richard Gibson.  In addition to supporting students and families at Bruce Vento next year, Achievement Plus will also continue in place at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary and St Paul Music Academy.