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White Bear Lake Area Schools
4855 Bloom Avenue
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Phone: 651-407-7500

Archived Article

Schools recognized, follow state trends

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2018

WBLAS Contact: Marisa Vette, 651-407-7695, marisa.vette@isd624.org

Student achievement information was recently released for school districts throughout the state.

The state's new accountability system, the North Star system, was created in response to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidelines and the state's World's Best Workforce law (WBWF).

The foundation of North Star's process for prioritization is a stage-based approach to school accountability that uses multiple measures of evaluation, including achievement and progress over time on state tests, progress towards English language proficiency for students learning  English, four- and seven-year graduation rates, and consistent attendance. It aims to create  more equitable and well-rounded learning opportunities for all students across the state.

The North Star Report identifies schools for recognition and levels of support. Schools are identified for recognition when they have student groups performing in the top 5% for one or more of the school performance indicators. Eight district schools were identified for recognition: Birch Lake Elementary, Lakeaires Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Oneka Elementary, Otter Lake Elementary, Vadnais Heights Elementary, White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus, and White Bear Lake Area Learning Center. Performance indicators related to recognition for these schools ranged from English language proficiency progress, consistent attendance, and grad rates.

"Our schools focused on consistent attendance in their building plans last year and in partnering with families to help students get to school," said Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak, superintendent. "For example, Central Middle School initiated a three-pronged approach of changing student perception about attendance, supporting parents to support students, and engaging students in the classroom by building strong relationships."

Schools may be identified for two levels of support: comprehensive support for those lowest performing 5% of Title 1 schools or any high school that has a four-year graduation rate below 67% for all students or for any student group, and targeted support for those schools when all students or any one student group within that school falls below thresholds in each of the three categories.

None of the White Bear Lake Area Schools were identified for Targeted Support. Because the 4-year graduation rate was below 67 percent, the White Bear Lake Area Learning Center (ALC) was identified for Comprehensive Support, which is a pattern that appears to be happening in other ALCs in the metro area as well. When looking at the 7-year graduation rate, a measure only used for ALCs in this accountability system, the ALC is within the top 5% of all Minnesota alternative high schools. The school's action plan for 2018/19 addresses credit attainment towards graduation and student attendance.

The proficiency and growth components of the North Star Report rely on Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) data. Overall, the district scores are higher than the state average. The slight decreases in overall district scores mirrors the state's slight decreases.

"We will continue to dig into the data and work to increase achievement and student agency as we provide a comprehensive education for all of our students," said Kazmierczak. "The strategies identified in our Strategic Plan will guide us as we implement initiatives to help all students feel welcomed, empowered, and ready to learn and grow."

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