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History of South St. Paul Schools

Old SSPPS photos

South St. Paul schools were established in 1853. The schools operated under the name Kaposia School District, serving the sons and daughters of local residents, missionaries, and the Kaposia Village Native American chiefs. Initially under the jurisdiction of Dakota County, the district included sections of West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, and Inver Grove Heights.  In 1887, the county turned over the administration of the schools to the newly incorporated cities and their councils.

South St. Paul Special District No. 6 was officially designated a school district in 1890 when voters established an independent Board of Education. Rapid growth in the city and its schools continued in the 1950's and 1960's, culminating in the 1970's when more than 6,000 students attended six elementary schools, a high school, and a junior high school.

With the closing of the stockyards in 1986, enrollments in the South St. Paul schools began to decline and the community was forced to make the difficult decision to consolidate school buildings.  During the same period, technology advances required the school district to be networked to keep up with the next generation of learners. In 1999, the South St. Paul community passed a technology referendum to maintain the quality of education in South St. Paul schools. This referendum was renewed in 2009 and again in 2019 to continue providing dedicated funding for technology initiatives and innovations.

The South St. Paul School District currently serves more than 3,200 students in two elementary schools, one secondary school (grades 6-12), and an alternative learning center. (grades 10-12)

Our secondary school has been offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) since 1986. We are an authorized provider of the IB Middle Years Progam (MYP) in grades six through ten. In addition, our elementary schools are authorized providers for the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) across all grade levels. We are the first school district in the State of Minnesota to offer an IB World School education to all students K-12.

In 1984, through a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, the South St. Paul Educational Foundation was formed for the purpose of supporting and aiding the school district.  Since its inception, millions of dollars have been raised to help student achieve success in the classroom and beyond. The South St. Paul Educational Foundation welcomes partnerships from the community who embrace the notion that quality educational opportunities are key to the future of our community.

Historic pieces around sspps