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District schools show strong growth in elementary reading and among English learners

Nine out of ten District 191 elementary schools equaled or outperformed the state average when it comes to student progress on state reading tests in 2019, and on average, English learners at each elementary school showed greater progress toward English proficiency than the state average. 

“It shows that we are having success taking students where they are and supporting their growth,” said Imina Oftedahl, the district’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. 

Gideon Pond Elementary students, in particular, showed great growth on the state reading test. With 78 percent of students showing progress and nearly 40 percent of students improving from one level of proficiency to the next, Gideon Pond ranked in the top 10 elementary schools in the state in terms of reading growth.

District 191 elementary schools are in their third year of a new literacy model and reading curriculum, and this is the first year teachers are using the complementary writing curriculum. In addition, teachers and schools have begun using the FastBridge assessment tool this year, which provides more relevant, timely data.

Middle schools

At District middle schools, overall proficiency rates declined in both math and reading, though strong growth was shown for English learners in math and reading, and for students with disabilities in reading

The district completed standards and curriculum review for math and reading last year, and the 2019-20 school year represents the first implementation of new math curriculum and realigned reading. in addition, middle schools are now providing a newly created math intervention - Blaze Math - that provides targeted intervention for students just below proficiency.

High school

At Burnsville High School, four-year graduation rates remained above the state average at 85%, and 7-year graduation rates were also above the state average. 

There was little change in reading and math proficiency results overall, but strong growth in proficiency rates among Hispanic students in both reading and math, steady growth in math results for both English learners and students receiving free/reduced lunch, and strong growth in science for students of color, English learners and students with disabilities. 

Burnsville High School completed work to realign English and language arts curriculum to state standards last year, implementing a completely overhauled course offering this year. 

Additional work to meet students needs and support improvement includes:

  • Continue strengthening Pathways at BHS and middle school levels

  • Focus on schoolwide AVID college-prep programming during staff development for all teachers at all secondary schools throughout this year

  • Implemented new summer programming to support student success in high school: Summer STEM Academy, Summer AVID Bridge

  • Continue the College Possible program, providing resources and support for juniors to prepare them for college

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 15:10