The State of Minnesota provides each pubic school with an annual rating called the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR). Schools are measured on how students do in their annual assessment, the growth of individual students from one year to the next and if we have closed the achievement gap for select groups of students. New Ulm did very well with proficiency and growth. Our area of concern is the achievement gap.
Achievement gap refers to how our subgroups did as compared to their peers. Some of our subgroups did just fine, while others need more work. The staff has been provided with the assessment information and is working on strategies to help the students grow with the overall goal to close the gap.
Many people have heard about the proposed South Central Conference (SCC) and Southwest Conference (SWC) merger. New Ulm is currently in the SCC. The intent of the merger into a larger conference is to stabilize programs for all schools and have a consistent schedule to follow. There are six schools in the SCC and seven in the SWC. As of last week, four schools in the SCC indicated they would join the new conference. That would leave two schools in the SCC, which means no conference.
New Ulm has looked at options, which aren't many. Not having a conference means we are shopping around for every sport, at all levels, for competition. They call this going independent. The benefit of a conference is consistency in scheduling all levels of programs, hiring officials, having say in when you play and awards and honors for the athletes. The board and myself continue to work on areas of the proposed conference merger that could negatively affect New Ulm programs. Most of the proposal works for us and will provide us with a direction moving forward.
The board published a decade facilities plan in September. The intent of this plan is to study our current facilities and programs, and then look ahead to future programming and what our community needs are. The staff spent time completing a facility needs survey and will hear from our architects in the next few weeks.
The next stage of this process is to assemble a community task force to review all of the information, brainstorm on what New Ulm Schools and the community of New Ulm could use and present this to the board for consideration. We are looking for community members to be on the task force. Please call the district office at 359-8414 to sign up.