SuperSpud

Moorhead Area Public Schools' District Blog

Archive for August, 2012

Moorhead elementary schools make dramatic gains in new state ratings

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Secondary schools make progress in closing achievement gap

On Aug. 30, the Minnesota Department of Education released the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) based on 2011-12 test results and data for schools across the state. Moorhead elementary schools made dramatic increases compared to this past May’s initial ratings, which used test results and data averaged from the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

Previously under the federal No Child Left Behind law, schools were labeled as “failing” or “not failing” based on scores from a single high-stakes test. Under the old rating system, all three Moorhead elementary schools made AYP or Adequate Yearly Progress for 2012.

The new MMR measures proficiency, student growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates. Schools earn points in each category, and the percentage of possible points a school earns is the school’s MMR. This new tool is part of Minnesota’s waiver from No Child Left Behind.

A school’s Focus Rating (FR) is a secondary measurement within the MMR that measures schools specifically on the performance of student subgroups that may show an achievement gap in Minnesota (Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Free/Reduced Price Lunch, Special Education and English Learners). The state’s goal is to close the achievement gaps by 50 percent over the next six years.

In Moorhead, S.G. Reinertsen Elementary School improved 30.6 percent, going from 63.53 percent to 94.16 percent this year on the MMR, and the school’s FR increased 30.7 percent, going from 62.76 percent to 93.46 percent. Robert Asp Elementary increased from 43.53 percent to 76.40 percent this year on the MMR, a 32.9 percent increase, and from 55.50 percent to 98.86 percent on the FR, a 43.4 percent increase. Ellen Hopkins Elementary improved by 47.9 percent, going from 34.19 percent to 82.04 percent on the MMR, and from 26.67 percent to 81.96 percent on the FR, a 55.3 percent increase over last year.

All schools receive ratings, but Title I schools may receive additional designations. In Moorhead, both Hopkins Elementary and Robert Asp Elementary are Title I schools. Ellen Hopkins was identified as a Focus School based on the initial MMR last May and has written a school improvement plan that was presented to the School Board on Aug. 27. Focus Schools are the 10 percent of Title I schools with the largest achievement gaps in the state. These schools are identified once every three years.

Robert Asp Elementary has been designated as celebration eligible, which means it falls in the 10 percent of Title I schools with MMRs between the 60th and 86th percentiles and is eligible to submit an application explaining factors that make the school effective. The celebration-eligible status is a turnaround for Robert Asp, which had been identified for mandated restructuring under the former AYP system.

“We’re thrilled with increases at the elementary schools, which is evidence that our implementation of several research-based interventions has resulted in growth for all students,” said Superintendent Lynne Kovash. “This is very positive for our school district. We will be focused on maintaining these efforts and continuing improvements at the secondary level.”

At the secondary level, Horizon Middle School saw improvements, going from 30.60 percent on the initial MMR rating to 55.93 percent for 2012, a gain of 25.3 percent. The FR also increased from 25.54 percent to 36.94 percent this year, a gain of 11.4 percent.

At Moorhead High School, the school’s MMR decreased from 45.1 percent to 17.35 percent, in part because the graduation rate is being measured differently this year. The new rate looks at the percentage of ninth-graders in a school who graduate within a four-year period. This is a change from the AYP graduation rate, which looked at the number of students who graduate and drop out in a one-year period. This year, the target also increased from 85 percent to 90 percent.

Moorhead High’s Focus Rating improved 41 percent, going from 20.57 percent last year to 61.65 percent, indicating gains in reducing the achievement gap.

“I am confident that after gathering all the information from our data, positive changes will be made,” Kovash said.

Governor proclaims Moorhead a Yellow Ribbon Community

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

On Aug. 22, Governor Mark Dayton and Brigadier General Robert Cayton proclaimed Moorhead a Yellow Ribbon Community at a regional Yellow Ribbon Proclamation Ceremony in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Moorhead Area Public Schools is a collaborative partner supporting the efforts of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Moorhead, a program to connect service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources. The local Beyond the Yellow Ribbon chapter was formed in the fall of 2011.

The Moorhead chapter directly supports the largest National Guard battalion in the state, the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry “Bearcats,” along with B Co, 134th BSTB. However, the chapter serves all veterans and family members in the region.

New elementary assistant principals aim to build relationships

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Relationships are key for Moorhead Area Public Schools’ three new elementary assistant principals, Michael Daugs, Jacob Scandrett and Travis Okerlund.

Daugs, assistant principal at Ellen Hopkins Elementary School, is already getting to know the students, staff and community and looks forward to continue developing these relationships. “I plan to use these relationships to develop the mission of our district while impacting our students’ learning and the community,” he said.

Daugs graduated from Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minn., with a degree in elementary education. He earned his master’s degree in education and his principal license from St. Mary’s University. Daugs has been a fifth-grade teacher in the Elk River Area School District for the last nine years.

“The development of good relationships is foundational to the success of our students,” said Scandrett, assistant principal at Robert Asp Elementary. “The relationships we build each day with our kids influence their attitudes about learning, school and themselves,” he said.

Scandrett completed his master’s degree and teaching certification at Minnesota State University Mankato. He has taught science in Tracy, Minn., for the past five years and recently earned his specialist’s degree in educational leadership and his principal license from MSU Mankato.

Okerlund, assistant principal at S.G. Reinertsen Elementary, is eager to meet the students and teachers of Reinertsen when classes resume in September. “I also look forward to seeing so many different great teachers delivering strong lessons to hardworking students,” he said.

Okerlund graduated from Bemidji State University in elementary education and then moved to Las Vegas where he taught at the elementary level. He completed his master’s degree in educational leadership at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After five years away, he moved back to the area and has been teaching at the elementary level in West Fargo. He earned his specialist’s degree in educational leadership at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Moorhead Area Public Schools added the elementary assistant principal positions this year to provide administrative support in part because of increased state requirements for the Reading Well plan and teacher evaluations. While the roles of the elementary assistant principals are still being defined, they will be assisting teachers with student data, working with student discipline, continuing to develop the K+ program in conjunction with Community Education, and supporting the implementation of the Reading Well plan.

Moorhead High School Hall of Honor inducting 2012 members on Sept. 22

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Tickets for induction ceremony must be purchased by Sept. 18

Four graduates and one supporter of Moorhead High School will be inducted into the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor at a recognition ceremony at 5 p.m. Sept. 22 at Minnesota State University Moorhead.Tickets for the ceremony are $20 and must be purchased by Tuesday, Sept. 18. Limited tickets are available. Contact Dean Haugo in the Moorhead High School Activities Office, 2300 4th Ave. S., at 284-2346 to purchase tickets. When purchasing tickets please indicate if you are attending in honor of a certain inductee.

2012 Hall of Honor Inductees
Five inductees have been selected as the 2012 members of the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor. They are Benjamin Dille, Dorothy A. Dodds, Bob Paulson, Lloyd W. Paulson and Steve Wonderlich.
• Benjamin Dille, a 1978 Moorhead High School graduate and National Merit Scholar, was accepted into the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service in 1991, serving in posts in Venezuela, Mexico, Shanghai, Nicaragua, Washington, D.C., The Czech Republic and Iraq.
• Dorothy A. Dodds, a 1941 Moorhead High School graduate, is a lifelong educator who taught kindergarten at Moorhead State Campus School from 1949-1972 and then taught in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s education department until her retirement in 1986. She was a founding member of Moorhead Healthy Community Initiative.
• Bob Paulson, a 1970 Moorhead High School graduate, has worked at The Nature Conservancy in Rapid City, S.D., since 1996, serving as Western Dakotas Program Director since January 2008 to preserve the ecosystems of the region. Paulson created Whitney Preserve, which conserves more than 17,000 acres, and he negotiated the acquisition of three Conata Basin ranches on 32,000 acres of private and public land, enhancing endangered black-footed ferret habitat while providing grazing income.
• Lloyd W. Paulson, a Parkers Prairie, Minn., native, is a generous supporter of youth and the community. Paulson and his wife helped found the Moorhead Area Education Foundation, which has provided 1,389 Moorhead High graduates with $1,127,950 in scholarships since 1992. Paulson has also supported Moorhead Kiwanis, River Keepers, Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival, Nordic Culture Clubs, and the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County.
• Steve Wonderlich, a 1974 Moorhead High School graduate, is a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at University of North Dakota School of Medicine, Grand Forks, director of clinical research at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, and chair of the Department of Eating Disorders for Sanford Health, Fargo.

About the Hall of Honor
The Moorhead High School Hall of Honor recognizes alumni, faculty, staff and other community members who have demonstrated notable accomplishments or provided significant contributions to their school, community or society.

Alumni are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments while at Moorhead High School as well as achievements following graduation. Alumni may not be considered for nomination until ten years following their graduation from Moorhead High School.

Faculty, staff and other community members are recognized for their contributions to Moorhead High School. Individuals may not be current employees of the school district and may not be considered for nomination until five years following their completion of employment with the district.

The nominations committee is now considering candidates for 2013. Nominations are continuously accepted for the Hall of Honor. Nomination forms are available on the Moorhead School District’s website at www.moorhead.k12.mn.us or at Moorhead High School, 2300 4th Ave. S., Moorhead, MN 56560. Nominations also may be submitted online. Nominations previously received are kept to be considered for future recognition.

A committee reviews nominations and conducts research of records to select outstanding candidates for the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor.

Each year inductees to the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor are recognized at an induction ceremony.

Corporate sponsors for the Moorhead High School Hall of Honor are State Bank & Trust, Moorhead Public Service and Gate City Bank.

School Board election set for Nov. 6 in conjunction with general election

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Eight school district residents have filed for four seats open on the Moorhead School Board. During a special meeting Aug. 21, the School Board set the election for Nov. 6. The School Board election will be held in conjunction with the state general election.

The eight candidates for School Board, in order of filing, are incumbent Cindy Fagerlie, Scott Steffes, John Rowell, Paul Baker, incumbent Michael Siggerud, incumbent Trudy Wilmer, incumbent Lisa Erickson and Matt Valan.

The Moorhead School Board is made up of seven residents of Independent School District 152 who are elected at large to four-year terms. Four board members’ terms expire at the end of 2012.

Register for Moorhead Community Education, ECFE fall classes

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The new Moorhead Community Education fall catalog is available Aug. 24, 2012, and includes more than 300 learning opportunities for people of all ages and interests. The starting dates of classes vary, and classes are scheduled conveniently for those with busy lifestyles.

Fall classes include Savory Soups and other cooking classes; Holiday Letters and Labels and other computer classes; yoga and dance classes; wood working, leather working, knitting, crochet and craft classes; Outdoor Mosaic Sculpture and other arts and music classes; online classes you can take from home; beginning Japanese and Arabic language classes; and Cash for College, Ham Radio, and many more.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) begins taking registrations for fall classes on Aug. 24. Classes for parents and children ages birth through kindergarten entry include Monday Fun-day, Thursday Play Group, Terrific Twos, Make It, Take It, Baby Connection, Wonderful, Wobbly Ones, Family Fun and many more. ECFE classes are listed in the fall Parenting Press newsletter and the fall Community Education catalog. Classes are open to all residents of Moorhead, Fargo, West Fargo and the surrounding area.

Moorhead residents and past participants receive a catalog in the mail. Moorhead residents with children ages birth to kindergarten entry who are on the census receive Parenting Press. To request a free catalog or to register for a class by credit card, call Community Education at 218-284-3400 or go online at https://communityed.moorhead.k12.mn.us.

New this year, Moorhead Community Education is offering a number of classes free or at a reduced fee to active-duty service members and their families. Moorhead Area Public Schools is a collaborative partner supporting the efforts of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Moorhead, a program to connect service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources.

Eighth candidate files for Moorhead School Board seat

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

An eighth district resident filed today for a four-year seat on the Moorhead School Board. Matt Valan, Moorhead, was the eighth candidate to file today.

The other seven candidates who have filed for Moorhead School Board, in order of filing, are:
Incumbent Cindy Fagerlie, Moorhead. Fagerlie was first elected to the board in November 2003 for a term that began January 2004.
• Scott Steffes, Moorhead
• John Rowell, Moorhead
• Paul Baker, Moorhead
• Incumbent Michael Siggerud, Moorhead. Siggerud was first elected to the board in November 2003 for a term that began January 2004.
• Incumbent Trudy Wilmer, Moorhead. Wilmer was first elected to the board in November 2010 for a term that began January 2011.
• Incumbent Lisa Erickson, Moorhead. Erickson was first elected to the board in November 1999 for a term that began January 2000.Filing opened July 31 and closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.

The Moorhead School Board is made up of seven residents of Independent School District 152 who are elected at large to four-year terms. Four board members’ terms expire at the end of 2012.

For school district office, a person may be a candidate who:
• is at least 21 years old,
• is a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to the election,
• is an eligible voter, and
• is not registered as a convicted sex offender.

The School Board election will be held Nov. 6 in conjunction with the general election.

For additional information about the Moorhead School Board election contact the Office of the Superintendent at 284-3330 or visit the district’s website at www.moorhead.k12.mn.us.

Five more candidates file for Moorhead School Board seats

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Five more district residents, including three incumbents, filed today for a four-year seat on the Moorhead School Board. John Rowell of Moorhead was the third candidate and Paul Baker of Moorhead was the fourth candidate to file today. Incumbents Michael Siggerud, Trudy Wilmer and Lisa Erickson, all of Moorhead, were the fifth, sixth and seventh candidates to file today.

Siggerud was first elected to the board in November 2003 for a term that began January 2004. Wilmer was first elected to the board in November 2010 for a term that began January 2011. Erickson was first elected to the board in November 1999 for a term that began January 2000.

They join incumbent Cindy Fagerlie, Moorhead, who was the first candidate to file and Scott Steffes, Moorhead, who was the second candidate to file Aug. 9. Fagerlie was first elected to the board in November 2003 for a term that began January 2004.

Filing opened July 31 and will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.

The Moorhead School Board is made up of seven residents of Independent School District 152 who are elected at large to four-year terms. Four board members’ terms expire at the end of 2012.

For school district office, a person may be a candidate who:
• is at least 21 years old,
• is a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to the election,
• is an eligible voter, and
• is not registered as a convicted sex offender.

The School Board election will be held Nov. 6 in conjunction with the general election.

For additional information about the Moorhead School Board election contact the Office of the Superintendent at 284-3330 or visit the district’s website at www.moorhead.k12.mn.us.

Second candidate files for Moorhead School Board seat

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Scott Steffes of Moorhead was the second candidate to file today for a four-year seat on the Moorhead School Board.

Incumbent Cindy Fagerlie was the first candidate to file July 31. Fagerlie, Moorhead, was first elected to the board in November 2003 for a term that began January 2004.

Filing opened July 31 and will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14.

The Moorhead School Board is made up of seven residents of Independent School District 152 who are elected at large to four-year terms. Four board members’ terms expire at the end of 2012.

For school district office, a person may be a candidate who:
• is at least 21 years old,
• is a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to the election,
• is an eligible voter, and
• is not registered as a convicted sex offender.

The School Board election will be held Nov. 6 in conjunction with the general election.

For additional information about the Moorhead School Board election contact the Office of the Superintendent at 284-3330 or visit the district’s website at www.moorhead.k12.mn.us.

Moorhead School District holding substitute training

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Moorhead Area Public Schools will hold substitute workshops from 10-11:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13 or from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21 in the Probstfield Center for Education board room at 2410 14th St. S., Moorhead. Training is for teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians and food service workers interested in being substitutes during the 2012-13 school year.

Substitutes will learn about the district’s Substitute Employee Management System (SEMS) and will be given copies of the district’s substitute handbook, which includes general information about working in the district.

All substitutes are asked to bring their driver’s license and Social Security card. A Minnesota background check is required ($43).

Substitutes should contact Julie Hanson, substitute coordinator, at 284-3701 for more information.

These workshops will be the only workshops held before school starts.