MINNEAPOLIS - At a passing glance, the Minneapolis College Prep school looks like a regular high school, but for the 54 students that make up the first official class, they know better.
"I saw this as a new place, a place to start myself, renew myself and be somebody and its giving me opportunities most schools aren't," MCP 9th grader Wilmarie Dela Cruz said of the new school.
MCP is based on the Noble Schools model out of Chicago.
It is a model that graduates nearly 100 percent of its students and sends more than 90 percent off to college.
A model many question can't work on the North side but a model its leader says will work on the North side.
"I believe all of them can graduate in four years," MCP Principal Angela Chang said.
This school model starts its mission with sweating the small stuff.
Students must be on time. They cannot act out, they cannot curse and they must pay attention.
Chang says the students should act like they already have the corner office.
"It's not a punishment to look professional. It is a privilege because you are going to a place. For them we know you are going places, to college, to start a career," Chang said.
Sarah Chebli knows she is going places. It's why she chose this school.
"I was looking for a high school that was college based that won't have distractions and will let me focus on studies and not other things," Chelbi said.
Her plans are Harvard and a career in neuroscience.
There is no dawdling in class here. No loitering in the hallways. When a visitor goes to a classroom, a student greets them professionally. Those are the little things that begin to form the big changes.
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