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Willmar, Minn., School Board meets Wednesday to talk about state accountability programs

WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will meet in a workshop session at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center.

The board will discuss the state's new school accountability process and changes that have been made.

In new state test results issued last week, Kennedy Elementary School was listed in the lowest 5 percent of state schools on student growth and achievement gap issues, and Roosevelt Elementary was listed in the lowest 10 percent of schools in attacking the achievement gap between white and minority students and between low-income and more affluent students.

The rankings are based on test scores from 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. New rankings based on 2011-12 testing will be released in late August.

The new ranking is the result of the state being granted a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind education law. NCLB focused on having all students do work at their grade-level by 2014. Under the waiver, Minnesota has switched its focus to the achievement gap.

Both of the schools must develop improvement plans to be implemented at the beginning of the next school year. The designations also make them eligible for assistance from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said last week that he plans to require improvement plans from the middle school and high school and plans to develop a district-wide plan as well.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Nash will talk to the board about ideas for the improvement plans, which will be written this summer.

Kjergaard will talk about staffing, and Business and Finance Director Pam Harrington will discuss the budget effects of the changes the state has made.

Workshops are recorded and shown later on Willmar local cable access channels 18 and 19.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340