Menahga working to create ‘World’s Best Workforce’
By Nick Longworth
On Monday, April 7 Menahga Superintendent Mary Klamm led an informational meeting to help garner community involvement within the Menahga School District.
They’re trying to help create the “world’s best workforce.”
According to the 2013 list of Minnesota Statutes, 120B.11 or “School district process for reviewing curriculum, instruction and student achievement: striving for the world’s best workforce,” the “world’s best workforce” means to meet school readiness goals; have all third grade students achieve grade-level literacy; close the academic achievement gap among all racial and ethnic groups of students and between students living in poverty and students not living in poverty; have all students attain career and college readiness before graduating from high school; and have all students graduate from high school.”A school district can determine progress in striving to create this “world’s best workforce” by student performance on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments and high school graduation rates, among other criteria.Adhering to the legislation passed in 2013, Menahga is in the initial stages of creating three different community-oriented committees: the world’s best workforce committee, the building committee, and the curriculum committee.All three will have distinct functions, while communicating with the school board as an advisory group.The world’s best workforce committee will work closely with the school board to help create goals based on community input.“One of the things in the world’s best workforce is to have a community survey that we want the world’s best workforce committee to drive,” Klamm said.The building committee will work with the district’s architect, building manager and community staff to determine the growing needs of the building itself.The curriculum committee will meet with teachers to understand current curriculum in relation to state standards. They will look to update curriculum that has become out of date, beginning with social studies, then science and then English and language arts.“Our social studies curriculum is the latest standards that have been revised by the Minnesota Department of Education. Now it’s our job to go through and look at that. We’re going to begin to take a look at curriculum. It’s different now because it’s not all about textbooks,” Klamm said.Klamm said representatives for the committees will be appointed, not elected; although the meeting was open to the public (with 14 people in attendance- three being school board members Jon Kangas, Brad Goehrig, and Curtis Hasbargen), it did not necessarily guarantee a spot on any committee.Other members in the community will be reached out to as well.“It’s mainly to get the public more involved. We had the Student Accountability Report Committee, it was a community effort and we had it for about probably five years. But it just wasn’t a functional committee. The school board wanted me to do this public meeting process to make sure the community feels involved, but then we will also reach out to people in the community as well,” Klamm said.“We want them to make sure that we have all the pieces in place.”