The 2019 North Star Results (which includes MCA & MTAS Test Scores) were recently made available across Minnesota. While district scores dropped slightly from last year, ISD 882 remained above the state average across the board, including up to 20 percent above state average in several categories.

There were a number of specific highlights across the district. Some of the brightest were:

• 66.5 percent of Gr. 11 students at the High School passed the Math MCA/MTAS compared to 46.8 percent state average.

• Almost 28 percent of Gr. 7 students at the Middle School earned an E (highest possible rating) on the Math Assessment.

• 83.3 percent of Gr. 4 students at Little Mountain passed the Math assessment compared to 65 percent state average.

• One third of Gr. 4 students at Pinewood earned an E on the Math Assessment.

Monticello School District begin to move to a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focused curriculum last school year in order to better take care of the whole child, and invest time in teaching students how to better develop relationships and understand emotions. The district believes, and research shows, that students will continue to see even greater results in the classroom, as well as the world at large as this curriculum continues to be established. 

While some of the benefits of an SEL focused curriculum are more challenging to measure, the benefits are already showing up in several measurable ways as well. Monticello graduated 93.7 percent of all students in 2018, which was a two percent higher graduation rate than any of the previous four years. The district also receives consistent attendance (students attending at least 90 percent of school days) from 91 percent of students, which is six percent above state average. 

Perhaps the most important piece of data in the North Star Report came from an educational survey that went to just shy of 1,000 students. More than 92 percent of students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “at my school, teachers care about students.” Nearly half of those students were in “strong agreement” with that statement.

Monticello School District is constantly looking to improve in every aspect, something that is reinforced in the district’s brand new goals that were developed through a lengthy strategic planning process. Those goals are:

• Safe and Healthy Culture

• Teaching and Learning

• Collaborative Connections

• Innovative Leadership

The district is taking multiple steps to make progress in these goal areas during the 2019-20 school year. One of the biggest additions will be district level instructional support in the form of a district social worker (Sarah Welk), curriculum support (Cindy Fasching), and achievement and integration support (Melissa Erickson). Additionally, the district will be incorporating Digital and At Home Learning Days to cut down on the number of student contact days that are lost due to inclement weather, and to increase the educational opportunities for each student. Meanwhile, we will continue our pursuit of whole child education and focusing on meeting every student where they are at in order to help them achieve their full potential.

More information on North Star Accountability System, as well as full MCA results, can be found at the Minnesota Department of Education website.

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