Dist. 84 board OKs 2019 payable 2020 levy

SLEEPY EYE — The District 84 Board of Education unanimously approved the 2019 payable 2020 levy Wednesday.

Action came on a motion by board member Casey Coulsen, seconded by Sheila Wurtzberger for the proposed levy of $1,140,046 which is $137,071 (10.6%) less than the 2019 levy of $1,285,117.

The school district 2019-2020 general fund balance is estimated at $2,475,843. The total estimated fund balance is $2,811,000.

Nobody commented at the Truth In Taxation hearing.

The board unanimously approved a $60 agriculture program donation from the Class of 1959.

Co-curriculum coordinators Kevin Schneider and Samantha Schmit presented the 2018-2019 World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) and Achievement and Integration (A&I) reports.

“We have a strong teacher induction program designed to support teachers as they continue to grow in their practice and discipline. School administration strives to ensure all students have a highly-qualified teacher in each classroom. No teachers were teaching out of their licensure area in 2018-19,” Schneider reported.

Schneider reported a small school district with limited resources, it can only do so much in recruiting diverse teachers.

“We cannot hire those that do not apply,” Schneider wrote in his report. “However, according to standardized test results, there appears to be little discrepancy between our students of color and our white population.”

A goal of 50% of Pre-Kindergarten students enrolled in the All Students Ready for School program during the 2018-2019 school year identifying 30 of 40 letters by May 10, 2019. This was met as 60% of the students identified at least 30 of 40 letters, according to the report.

A goal of 51% of all grade 3 students enrolled by Oct, 1, 2018 meeting or exceeding the state reading accountability test in 2019 was met with 57% of all grade 3 students meeting or exceeding the test in 2019.

A Close the Achievement Gap Between Student Groups goal was partially met as the percentage of Non/Free/Reduced Price Lunch students in all grades tested on the state reading proficiency test increased from 64.2% in 2018 to 65.7% in 2019, according to the report.

A goal of the percentage of Free/Reduced Price Lunch students in all grades proficient on the state reading test fell from 50% in 2018 to 48% in 2019, according to the report.

A goal of All Students Career and College-Ready by Graduation was met as 70% of all 8th grade students met or exceeded the 2019 state reading accountability test.

Plus 67% of all 8th grade students enrolled by Oct. 1, 2018 met or exceeded the state math accountability test in 2019 and 59% of all grade 8 students enrolled by Oct. 1, 2018 met or exceeded the state science accountability test in 2019.

The All Students Graduate goal was met with 97.77% of students graduating in 2018 and 100% in 2019.

The achievement goal of the number of students enrolled in vocational and/or college prep level courses increasing 10% from 2015-2016 to 2020 was not met. In 2017-18, 46% of high school students were enrolled in vocational or college/prep courses.

“Every year, we hold student-led conferences where advisory teachers promote college level courses to their respective students and parents,” read Schmit’s report.

In 2017-18, 90% of 6th grade students attended College Expo hosted by the Cottonwood River Integration Collaborative (CRIC), putting the district on track to meet the goal.

“We will continue to plan and offer, in collaboration with CRIC, an event that brings together not only our students, but students from other schools, exposing them to post-secondary opportunities,” Schmit reported.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.