School Board Policy 616 -
School District System Accountability

Adopted: october 13, 1997
revised: may 26, 1998
REVISED: june 11, 2001
revised: may 9, 2005
revised: december 14, 2009
revised: april 11, 2011
revised: march 12, 2012

revised: march 14, 2016
revised: october 8, 2018

REVISED: January 13, 2020
Revised: May 10, 2021
Revised: March 14, 2022
Revised: March 13, 2023
Revised: September 11, 2023

I. Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to focus public education on a process that promotes higher academic achievement for all students and ensures broad-based community participation in decisions regarding the implementation of Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards and federal law.

II. General Statement of Policy 

Implementation of Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards and federal law requires accountability for the school district. The school district maintains a process to review and improve instruction, curriculum and assessment, which will include input by students, parents/guardians, and local community members. The school district will be accountable to the public and the state through annual reporting.

III. Definitions 

A. “Credit” means a student’s successful completion of an academic year of study or a student mastery of the applicable subject matter, as determined by the school district.

B. “World’s Best Workforce” means striving to meet school readiness goals; 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.

IV. Establishment of Goals; Implementation; Evaluation; and Reporting 

A. School District Goals

1. The School Board has established school district-wide goals that provide broad direction for the school district. Incorporated in these goals are the graduation and education standards contained in the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards and federal law. The broad goals shall be reviewed annually and approved by the School Board. The School Board shall adopt annual goals based on the recommendations of the Systems Accountability Committee.

2. The Systems Accountability Committee created under Policy 603 (Curriculum Development) is established by the School Board to ensure active community participation in all phases of planning and improving the instruction and curriculum affecting state and district academic standards.

3. The district's improvement goals should address recommendations reviewed by the Systems Accountability Committee process. The school district's goal setting process will include consideration of individual site goals. 

B. System for Reviewing All Instruction and Curriculum

Incorporated in the continuous improvement process will be analysis of the school district's progress toward implementation of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards. Instruction and curriculum shall be reviewed and evaluated by taking into account strategies and best practices, student outcomes and principal evaluations under Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.147, and teacher evaluations under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.40 or 122A.41. See Policy 616 Addendum A - Continuous Improvement Model for Teaching and Learning.

C. Implementation of Graduation Requirements

1. The Systems Accountability Committee shall also advise the School Board on implementation of the state and local graduation requirements, including K-12 curriculum, assessment, student learning opportunities, and other related issues. Recommendations of the Systems Accountability Committee shall be published annually to the community. The School Board shall receive public input and comment and shall adopt or update this policy at least annually.

2. The School Board shall annually review and determine if student achievement levels at each school site meet federal expectations. If the School Board determines that student achievement levels at a school site do not meet federal expectations and the site has not made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive school years, the Department of Teaching and Learning shall work with the school site to adopt a plan to raise student achievement levels to meet federal expectations. The Department of Teaching and Learning may seek assistance from the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) (Commissioner) in developing a plan which must include parental involvement components.

3. The educational assessment system component utilized by the School Board to measure individual students’ educational progress must be based, to the extent annual assessments are administered, on indicators of current achievement that show growth relative to an individual student’s prior achievement. Indicators of achievement and prior achievement must be based on highly reliable state- or district-wide assessments. The School Board will utilize models developed by the Commissioner of MDE for measuring individual student progress. The School Board must coordinate with MDE in evaluating school sites and continuous improvement plans, consistent with the best practices.

D. Comprehensive Continuous Improvement of Student Achievement

1. Each year, the Systems Accountability Committee will meet to advise and assist the school district in the implementation of school district system accountability and comprehensive continuous improvement process.

2. The Systems Accountability Committee working in cooperation with other committees of the school district will provide active community participation in:

a. Reviewing the school district instructional and curriculum plan, with emphasis on implementing the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards;

b. Identifying annual instruction and curriculum improvement goals for recommendation to the School Board;

c. Making recommendations regarding the evaluation process that will be used to measure school district progress toward its goals; and

d. Advising the School Board about development of the annual budget.

3. The Systems Accountability Committee shall meet the following criteria:

a. The Systems Accountability Committee shall ensure active community participation in all planning for instruction and curriculum affecting Graduation Standards.

b. The Systems Accountability Committee shall make recommendations to the School Board on school district-wide standards, assessments, and program evaluation.

c. Building teams may be established as subcommittees to develop and implement an education effectiveness plan and to carry out methods to improve instruction, curriculum, and assessments as well as methods to use technology in meeting the school district improvement plan.

d. A local plan to evaluate student progress, using a local process, shall be used for developing a plan for assessment of student progress toward the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for use by the Systems Accountability Committee in the instruction and curriculum review process.  This plan shall annually be approved by the School Board.

4. Translation services should be provided to the extent appropriate and practicable.

E. Evaluation of Student Progress

The Department of Teaching and Learning shall develop a plan for assessment of student progress, the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for use by the Systems Accountability Committee to review curriculum, instruction, educational equity and student achievement at the school site. This plan shall be approved annually by the School Board.

F. Reporting

1. Consistent with Minnesota Statutes section 120B.36, subdivision 1, the School Board shall publish a report and make it available on the school district website. The School Board shall hold an annual public meeting to review and revise, where appropriate, student achievement goals, local assessment outcomes, plans, strategies, and practices for improving curriculum, instruction, and educational equity and efforts to equitably distribute diverse, effective, experienced and in-field teachers, and to review school district success in realizing the previously adopted student achievement goals and related benchmarks and the improvement plans leading to the world’s best workforce. The School Board must transmit an electronic summary of its report to the Commissioner of MDE in the form and manner the Commissioner determines. The school district shall periodically survey affected constituencies about their connection to and level of satisfaction with the schools. The school district shall include the results of this evaluation in its published report and in its summary report to the Commissioner of MDE.

2. The school performance report for a school site and a school district must include performance reporting information and calculate proficiency rates as required by the most recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

3. The school district must annually report the district's class size ratios by each grade to the commissioner of education in the form and manner specified by the commissioner.

4. The school district must report whether programs funded with compensatory revenue are consistent with best practices demonstrated to improve student achievement.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 120B.018 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations and Graduation Requirements for Minnesota’s Students)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process for Reviewing Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Achievement; Striving for the World's Best Workforce)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.35 (Student Academic Achievement and Growth)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.36 (School Accountability)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.40 (Employment; Contracts; Termination)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.41 (Teacher Tenure Act; Cities of the First Class; Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.04 (Site Decision Making; Individualized Learning Agreement; Other Agreements)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.147 (Principals)
Minn. Stat. § 126C.12 (Learning and Development Revenue Amount and Use)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501. 0640-3501.0655 (Graduation Standards for Language Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Graduation Standards for Mathematics)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0820 (Graduation Standards for the Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0900-3501.0955 (Graduation Standards for Science)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1300-3501-1345 (Graduation Standards for Social Studies)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1400-3501.1410 (Graduation Standards for Physical Education)
20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. (Every Student Succeeds Act)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 601 (School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals)
WBLASB Policy 613 (Graduation Requirements)
WBLASB Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plan, and LEP Students)
WBLASB Policy 618 (Assessment of Student Achievement)
WBLASB Policy 619 (Staff Development for Standards)
WBLASB Policy 620 (Credit for Learning)