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Superintendent's Report 100513

The Minnesota Department of Education recently released the results of their “rating” of schools from the 2012-2013 school year. The results for both Morris Area Elementary School and Morris Area High School are excellent. I would like to share some information and thoughts about these.

The Minnesota Department of Education uses a system called the MMR or Multiple Measurements Rating to rate schools each year. The MMR, largely based on state assessments students take each year, includes the factors of student achievement, student [assessment] growth from one year to the next, and the reduction of any achievement gaps that exist. In addition, high school graduation rates are also used in the calculation.

Elementary schools are eligible to receive a maximum of 75 points and high schools can receive a maximum of 100 points. The MMR ratings are stated as a percentage, indicating the number of possible points that a school earned – for example, if an elementary school earned 45 out of 75 points, their MMR would be a 60 percent. The higher the MMR score, the better.

The MMR data for both Morris Area Elementary School and Morris Area High School (from the 2012-2013 school year) is outstanding and exciting. Morris Area Elementary’s MMR increased from 56.0 percent in 2012 to 92.2 percent in 2013, earning them recognition as a “Reward School”. Reward Schools are in the top 15% of all Title I schools in the state! Morris Area High School’s MMR also increased significantly – from 61.6 percent in 2012 to 87.8 percent in 2013. Morris Area High School is not eligible for any sort of formal recognition from the Minnesota Department of Education because they are a high school and not a Title I school. If they were eligible, I anticipate they would be in the top 15 percent in the state as well.

The MMR results are one of many measurements we use to determine how well we are doing at educating and graduating students. While we were waiting for the most recent MMR results, I was optimistic we would see positive results. The results exceeded my expectations.

Our students take their academics seriously, understand the important of the state tests, and put forth their best effort. Parents are involved in their child(ren’s) education, which we are very grateful for. Our staff work very hard to provide the best education they can – and I mean ALL staff. We sometimes forget that every staff member plays an important role in a child’s education – this includes cooks, bus drivers, teachers, custodians, substitutes, directors/managers, administrators, office staff, and paraeducators.

This year’s MMR results provide an opportunity for everyone in the school district to celebrate. We are fortunate to enjoy tremendous community support, and I believe our students sense this. I think they recognize the pride that community members have in Morris Area Schools and that feeling pushes them to do better than they would without it. I am familiar with how schools are measured, and these MMR results are very much worth celebrating and feeling good about in the communities we serve. I would encourage you to do so.

If you have questions about something or wish for additional information, feel free to contact me. I can be reached at (320) 589-4840 or