NEW ULM - During a nearly three-hour study session on Thursday, the District 88 Board of Education reviewed proposed vision and goal sheets that represent a strategic plan in the making for the district.
The board also heard a "state-of-the-high-school" report by Principal Mark Bergmann and reviewed and made changes to committee formats and schedules.
The proposed vision of the district, under development following work sessions with a consultant from Big River Group, LLC, reads: "preparing all of our students to be successful in a 21st century world."
The draft mission of the district under consideration is stated as follows:
"To create a regional center of academic and social excellence for all children that includes:
Challenging and engaging programs for each student
Learning opportunities for all children from birth to post high school
Teaching every child as a whole child
Integrating technology with instruction to provide opportunities for individuals
Providing safe and modern facilities that meet our student and community needs
Collaboration with community organizations and civic groups
Encouraging appropriate parent engagement in their child's educational program."
This mission will be accomplished through: work on updating facilities to meet current and future needs; developing innovative academic programs; providing a systematic intervention program (ranging from remediation to enrichment); an emphasis on technology as a tool to achieve the above goals; and potential study of year-round education options.
High School report
In his extensive report, Bergmann covered elements such as state and district test score results, new testing requirements, and new developments at the high school.
Brief highlights include:
Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) scores in reading, mathematics and science show a steady improvement across most grades (with exception of grade seven, which is a subject for further analysis).
The high school showed off well on a state rating system that looks at four factors: student proficiency; student growth; a reduction of the achievement gap between the majority of the students and students from traditionally lower-performing sub-groups (in this case students receiving special education and receiving free or reduced lunches); and graduation rate.
The school received a rating of 91.65 out of 100, an improvement from 2012 and 2011.
New initiatives at the school include: a new online delivery tool, Edmentum, that adds course options for higher-achieving students, including seven-week ACT test preparation sessions; an added opportunity to take a health or a band class during resource time; and an added college psychology class Wednesday nights.
Committee list trimmed
The board agreed to drop some standing committees (comparable worth, insurance, personnel and transportation) and add a committee on technology.