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Houston elementary named as a Reward School


By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Oct 4th, 2013
Posted in All Education

The Houston School Board held a meeting on October 1 in the Houston High School Library. At the meeting Krin Abraham, the director of curriculum and instruction, gave an overview of Houston’s Multiple Measurement Rating or MMR score, and gave an update on what 2013 legislation means for Houston Schools.

Abraham was pleased to tell the board that Houston Elementary School received an MMR score of 86.99, making Houston Elementary a Reward School. The MMR rating is Minnesota’s measurement of school performance. It measures proficiency, student growth, achievement gap reduction, and graduation rates. Few schools in the district received a Reward School status. The only other schools awarded this honor in the district were Lanesboro and Lewiston-Altura. The school board members applauded the school’s achievement.

During her presentation on “The Implications of 2013 Legislature”, Abraham said, “This was an equalization year. Instead of Resident Marginal Cost Pupil Units, Minnesota now has Adjusted Pupil Units, which caused most revenues to be increased.”

Abraham also informed the school board that they must adopt a long-term plan that includes, “clearly defined goals and benchmarks; a process for assessing and evaluating student progress; a system to periodically review; education effectiveness practices that integrate instruction, curriculum, technology, teacher quality, performance, and effectiveness; and an annual budget for continuing to implement the district plan.” The board is also responsible for approving the Annual Report and conducting an annual public meeting to address components of long-term plan.

The district is also directed to pay for tests such as WorkKeys job skills assessment, the Compass computer-adaptive college placement test, a nationally recognized armed services vocational aptitude test, or the ACT assessment for college admission for public school students.

Abraham informed the school board that compulsory school attendance changed from age 16 to age 17. Legislation also directs that boards cannot non-renew a coach based only on parental complaints.

At the meeting, Interim Superintendent Bartleson informed the school board that they must start to meet and confer with representatives of the schools professional employees in order for the board to learn from their expertise. The state of Minnesota encourages close cooperation between public and professional employees. The state also dictates that there is a meeting once every four months to exchange ideas. Houston has not held one of these meetings since 2002. No date has been set yet for the meeting; however, the school board does plan to start again in the near future.

The next school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at the Houston High School library at 5:30 p.m.

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