According to Robbinsdale School District press release:
Proficiency on state reading tests increased as a whole for Robbinsdale Area Schools, and increases in proficiency rates for both math and reading at various levels continue to build a solid foundation for success in the future.
Noble Elementary, for example, has made large gains over the last two years, experiencing an eleven percentage point increase in students proficient from 2010-2012 on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) in reading.
Forest Elementary had an eleven percentage point increase in students proficient in math in just one year, and Northport Elementary has made a six percentage point increase in students proficient in math in a year’s time.
Proficiency in writing isn’t assessed at the state level until ninth grade, but teachers in Robbinsdale Area Schools are laying a solid foundation in writing early on, and results are impressive. In writing at grade nine, the achievement gap between Caucasian students and students of color on the Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD) decreased by eight percentage points in two years’ time due to the increase in the percentage of students of color passing the writing test.
What is of significant importance to students, families and the district is the growth of students over time, which is something that can be seen by analyzing the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) given in the district three times at the elementary level, and also given at the middle and high school levels. Students in Robbinsdale continue to grow at impressive levels. Noble students meeting their individual growth target in reading increased by seven percentage points in two years. Lakeview students meeting their individual growth target in reading jumped sixteen percentage points, in two years, and Northport students making their individual reading growth targets jumped seventeen percentage points. Also at Northport, the percentage of students making their individual growth target in math increased by 22 percentage points, Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion increased by eleven points, and Forest increased by seventeen percentage points. Sonnesyn Elementary made an increase in both reading and math – eight percentage points and nine percentage points, respectively, over two years. Every elementary school in the district has experienced an increase in the number of students meeting their individual growth targets over two years. District-wide, the gap in growth between Caucasian students and students of color has decreased significantly, essentially eliminated at the elementary level in math.
“We still have work to do,” said Superintendent Aldo Sicoli. “There’s no doubt about that. But I firmly believe we are headed in the right direction and our students, families and communities will benefit greatly from the work we are committed to accomplishing.”
The district has implemented Response to Intervention (RtI), which is a tiered structure of support for students to help them make growth in math and reading, no matter where they are in their skill level. In addition, the district has implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) district-wide this past year, although it has been in some elementary schools for longer. This framework and data analysis focuses on creating a positive environment for learning, and provides an opportunity to build lasting relationships among students and staff. Teachers, principals, support staff and district administration work together to analyze data and map next steps. And with every step of this journey, an equity lens is used.
“We have high expectations for ourselves and our students,” said Sicoli. “All of us, no matter who we are, are capable of learning new and wonderful things. We’ve put systems in place – that are working – to ensure that our students are given the support they need to learn and grow.”