SuperSpud

Moorhead Area Public Schools' District Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Student Achievement’

Horizon teams place first, second and fourth in regional math tournament

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Several Horizon Middle School students received individual awards, and Moorhead teams placed first, second and fourth in the Grade 6 Regional Math Masters Tournament held in Moorhead on March 14. Teams from Detroit Lakes placed third and fifth. Ten teams from the area participated in individual and team rounds.

Horizon Middle School House 6B Team placed first in the Math Masters Tournament. Team members are Hunter Covey, Chrisanto D’Agostino, Sam Grotberg, Brock Klimek and Terry Kreps. Their math teacher is Diana Anderson.

The Horizon House 6A Team placed second in the tournament. Team members are Tyler Balluff, Emma Craig, Kylie Dumas, Cullen Gess and Christian Thingvold. Their math teacher is Sharon Nelson.

The Horizon House 6C Team placed fourth in the tournament. Team members are Rachel Craig, Eric Hawley, Ryan Luthi, Gunner McLeod and Gavin Sorby. Their math teacher is Barb Stack.

Horizon students who earned Fact Drill Awards were Brock Klimek, second place, and Chrisanto D’Agostino, third place. Kylie Dumas, Emma Craig, Cullen Gess, Rachel Craig and Ryan Luthi earned ribbons for Fact Drill.

Individual medals went to Horizon students Emma Craig, first place; Chrisanto D’Agostino, second place; and Brock Klimek, third place. Individual ribbons went to Rachel Craig, Christian Thingvold, Cullen Gess and Ryan Luthi.

Lois Brown and Kathy Cole are the Math Masters coordinators.

Math Masters of Minnesota is a statewide competition that challenges students to use higher-order thinking skills and problem-solving abilities in mathematics and recognizes academic effort and achievement.

Ellen Hopkins Elementary identified as celebration eligible by state

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

The Minnesota Department of Education announced Nov. 1 that Moorhead’s Ellen Hopkins Elementary School is eligible to apply for Celebration School recognition. Ellen Hopkins Elementary’s celebration-eligible status is based on improvements in the school’s Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR).

The 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.

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. Robert Asp Elementary was designated as celebration eligible in August.

Celebration-eligible schools are the 25 percent of Title I schools with MMRs between the 60th and 86th percentiles and are eligible to submit an application explaining factors that make the school effective. Of those applications, MDE will select approximately 10 percent of Title I schools for the Celebration School recognition.

Ellen Hopkins was identified as a Focus School based on the initial MMR in May 2012 and has written a school improvement plan that was presented to the School Board in August. 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.

On Aug. 30, the Minnesota Department of Education released the MMR based on 2011-12 test results and data. 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 Focus Rating (FR), a 55.3 percent increase over last year.

A school’s Focus Rating 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.

District’s 2011-12 annual report now available on website

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Moorhead Area Public School’s final 2011-12 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement was approved by the School Board at the Sept. 24 meeting. The report highlights test scores and district progress toward improvement goals from the 2011-12 school year.

The school district’s annual report is available on the district website at https://www.moorhead.k12.mn.us/district/departments/sia/. From the District Info menu, select Departments and then choose School Improvement and Accountability. The full report is also available by contacting the Superintendent’s Office at 284-3330. A brief summary of the report is mailed to community members.

State statute requires that the School Board approve the annual report by Oct. 1. The report must be made available to the community in October.

Learn about Moorhead Area Public Schools during the ‘State of the District’

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Superintendent Lynne Kovash and members of the district leadership team have a vision for Moorhead Area Public Schools and some concrete plans to move the district forward. Learn more during the “State of the District” session being offered Oct. 23 through Moorhead Community Education. The session will be from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the Probstfield Center for Education Board Room, 2410 14th St. S., Moorhead.

A key topic of the presentation will be progress on the district’s operating levy priority areas and strategic priorities.

The “State of the District” session is free and open to the public. Preregistration is requested. For more information and to register, contact Moorhead Community Education at 218-284-3400 or register online at https://communityed.moorhead.k12.mn.us (class is listed under General Interest).


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.

District’s 2010-11 annual report now available on website

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The Moorhead Area Public School’s final 2010-11 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement was approved by the School Board at the Oct. 10 meeting. The report highlights test scores and district progress toward improvement goals from the 2010-11 school year.

An earlier version was approved by the board Sept. 26. Adequate Yearly Progress results were released Sept. 30 by the Minnesota Department of Education and were included in the final report.

The school district’s annual report is now available on the district website at https://www.moorhead.k12.mn.us/district/departments/sia/. From the District Info menu, select Departments and then choose School Improvement and Accountability. The full report is also available by contacting the Superintendent’s Office at 284-3330. A brief summary of the report is being mailed to community members.

State statute requires that the School Board approve the annual report by Oct. 1. The report must be made available to the community in October.

 

Presentation at all-staff assembly focuses on literacy at all levels

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Many jobs that never involved reading, writing or math are no longer low education jobs, said Dr. Timothy Shanahan, professor of Urban Education at University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Center for Literacy. Shanahan stressed the importance of improving literacy at all levels during his presentation to district employees at the Moorhead Area Public Schools’ all-staff assembly. Literacy, teacher effectiveness and curriculum are focuses in the district this year.

“The world has changed dramatically,” Shanahan said. “Our workplace is a different place. Our kids are competing with kids from all over the world.”

He shared several examples where lower literacy negatively impacted people, including unemployment, which is higher among those with lower education.

“Being low in literacy isolates,” Shanahan told district employees. “Staying connected is inextricably bound to literacy when it was never a literacy thing at all. Our kids need to read and write better than we do.”

Shanahan is a former primary grade teacher, and he served as director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools. His research emphasizes reading-writing relationships, reading assessment and improving reading achievement.

According to Shanahan, instruction should be based on research and success requires a focus K-12. He provided his three steps to improved reading achievement: amount of instruction, curriculum and program alignment.

Students need two hours of reading and writing instruction daily to raise achievement and three hours a day when great achievement gains are desirable, Shanahan said.

The second biggest determinant of school learning is content coverage or what we teach. Shanahan identified four fundamental components of literacy learning. They are:

  1. Word knowledge, including phonemic awareness, phonics, sight vocabulary, spelling and vocabulary;
  2. Fluency, which includes accuracy, speed and expression;
  3. Comprehension, including types of information, information structure and strategies to help understanding; and
  4. Writing for different purposes, products, audiences and processes.

Shanahan’s final step to improving reading achievement is alignment and continuity. Many variables impact learning. Some variables to align are professional development, instructional materials, assessments and interventions, he said.

 

 

Welcome to the new school year

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

It’s hard to believe the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year is just a couple weeks away. The start of a new school year is always an exciting time, not only for students, but also for educators and parents. We all have dreams and expectations for a great school year.

I am so proud to be the superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools. We have great teachers, support staff and educational leaders. Parents are our partners in the educational process. We have the will to improve student learning for every student.

Our district is committed to every student learning. The expectations for schools have changed. Rick Stiggins, a national educational leader, comments about education today, “The rules changed. Where once we were asked to sort and select, now we are asked to guarantee all.” We are working to make sure every student has the same educational expectations in every class and in every school. We are working to make sure our curriculum is aligned both across the district and from grade level to grade level.

As district-level educational leaders, we will provide support to each of the schools in our district to improve student achievement and parent involvement. While achievement on tests is important, it is also important to provide opportunities for our children to develop in many areas. Academics, arts and athletics are all important for our students. Working together, we can continue our mission of preparing all students to succeed by offering a strong educational program in a safe and orderly environment, filled with high quality instruction for all of our students.

Welcome to the 2010-2011 school year! We are excited to have our school buildings full of minds ready for learning.

Sincerely,
Dr. Lynne A. Kovash
Superintendent

Superintendent’s Message

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

It is hard to believe we are ending another successful school year. Moorhead High School seniors are getting ready to graduate and kindergarten students are looking forward to summer and returning to the first grade. We have many students looking forward to a bright future. This senior class has had innumerable honors and awards and collected more than $1.7 million in post-secondary scholarships.

We have 13 staff members retiring from Moorhead Area Public Schools. The staff members have been honored through various celebrations. We wish them well as they leave our school community.

Our school board meetings have been a place for celebrating accomplishments, from math teams to Destination ImagiNation to the musical theater Spotlight Awards, and many other honors for our students. We are fortunate to have students excelling in arts, academics and athletics.

We still have hard work ahead. We have to continue to move forward to ensure all students are proficient. We will work together to close the achievement gap for students. We are working together to develop the maximum potential of every learner to thrive in a changing world.

While we closed the year without major reductions to our work force, we still have at least five years of budget difficulties to weather. We need community support to keep our schools strong and to provide an excellent education for all students.

May is a great month in education. It is a time when educators can be proud of the differences they have made and will make in the lives of young people. It is also a time when this community should be proud of the high-quality professional staff that makes up Moorhead Area Public Schools.

Sincerely,
Dr. Lynne A. Kovash
Superintendent
Moorhead Area Public Schools

District’s 2008-09 annual report now available on Web site

Thursday, October 8th, 2009


The Moorhead Area Public School’s 2008-09 Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Achievement was approved by the School Board at the Sept. 28 meeting. The report highlights test scores and district progress toward improvement goals from the 2008-09 school year.

The school district’s annual report is now available on the district Web site at www.moorhead.k12.mn.us/d…ric. The full report is also available by contacting the Superintendent’s Office at 284-3330. A brief summary of the report is being mailed to community members.

State statute requires that the School Board approve the annual report by Oct. 1. The report must be made available to the community by Oct. 15.