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Park Rapids School shares World's Best Workforce report card

During his presentation to the Park Rapids School Board Monday night, Eric Hillesland said,"The World's Best Workforce is our report card to the state on how our district is doing. There's five things that they want us to report on called the five cornerstones."

Hillesland presented the district's plan for the current school year to the board members. According to Hillesland, the five cornerstones are the following:

• All students will meet school readiness goals for the preschool program. One of the things the preschool is doing is partnering with Mahube-Otwa meeting together as a Professional Learning Community. They have also adopted a new assessment to gauge how the preschoolers are doing called the Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment.

The district's goal is to have 80 percent of students transitioning between preschool and kindergarten to be assessed with the proper skills to be successful in kindergarten.

• All third grade students will achieve grade level literacy. The school is measuring the students abilities by using the STAR Reading test and the aimsweb assessment.

The district's goal is to increase the student's Minnesota MCA III Proficiency Projection on the STAR Reading test and to increase the number of students reading 119 words per minute.

• Close the academic achievement gap among all students. Teachers are focusing on the diversity of students to ensure all of them are achieving to the best of their abilities. One way they are reaching that goal is through the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments which test students in reading, mathematics and science. They also have an ALC program with the middle school and the high school doing progress monitoring.

The Proficiency Index Targets for both reading and math are set by the state. The district will strive to meet that goal by reducing the gap by 50 percent by 2017.

• Provide college and career preparedness activities in support for all students, including ninth graders taking the MCIS to help with a portfolio throughout their high school career; tenth graders taking the Passport to the Future program helping students become workforce ready, and eleventh graders are taking assessments to assess their career interests and skills as well as taking the ACTs. The district is also helping students and parents with Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) applications and college visits Teachers are bringing experts in various fields into the classrooms to share on their career experiences.

The district's goal is to get 80 percent of tenth graders involved in the Passport to the Future program and 90 percent of the eleventh graders to complete the assessments.

• Increase the high school graduation rates. Park Rapids Area School District will target 83 percent of graduating students in 2017; last year they had 83.3 percent.

The school board approved the World's Best Workforce plan.

In other business, school board members did the following:

• Approved payments presented for Nov. 2016.

• Approved the Stellher Children's Therapeutic Services Supports Individualized Education Plan Related Contract for 2016-17.

• Approved the Stellher School Linked Mental Health Grant Contract for 2016-17.

• Approved the World Classroom trip for 2018.

• Approved five new hires including; Kirsten Kisner for the School Age Care Coordinator position, Raelyne Fieldsend for the School Readiness/Voluntary Pre-K para, Carly Helfrich as the assistant boys swim coach, Teresa Jensen as the new Accounting Technician and Megan Evans as the District Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

• Were informed that the middle school will be receiving a new grand piano through Partners for Pianos.

The next Park Rapids Area School Board meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.