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

I. Purpose 

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

II. General Statement of Policy 

Implementation of the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards and federal law requires a level of accountability for the school district. The school district will establish a system 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. “Graduation Standards” means the credit requirements and Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards that school districts must offer, and certify that students complete, to be eligible for a high school diploma.

C. “World’s Best Workforce” The goals of the World’s Best Workforce legislation refers 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.

D. “World’s Best Workforce Advisory Committee”: MN statute references various committees established for gaining perspective on continuous improvement (e.g., Graduation Standards Implementation Advisory Committee, Student Achievement Advisory Committee) White Bear Lake Area Schools has established the WBWF Advisory Committee in order to meet these statutory requirements.

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

A. School District Goals

1. The School Board has established school district-wide goals which provide broad direction for the school district. Incorporated in these goals are the Minnesota 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 WBWF Advisory Committee.

2.  The WBWF Advisory Committee will be 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  school district-wide improvement goals shall address recommendations identified through the World’s Best Workforce Advisory Committee process. The school district's goal setting process will include consideration of individual site goals. School district goals may also be developed through an education effectiveness program, an evaluation of student progress committee, or through some other locally determined process. 

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 K-12 Minnesota Academic Standards. Instruction and curriculum shall be reviewed and evaluated by taking into account strategies and best practices, student outcomes and principal evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8, or 122A.41, Subd. 5.

The professional teaching and learning cycle comprises six phases - study, select, plan, implement, analyze, and adjust. Following is a description of, and the goals, for each phase:

Phase 1: Study

Teachers work in collaborative planning teams (grade level, vertical, or departmental) to critically examine and discuss the learning expectations from the MN K-12 Academic Standards.

Phase 2: Select

Collaborative planning team's research and select instructional strategies and resources for enhancing learning as described in the standards.

Phase 3: Plan

Collaborative planning team's work together to formally plan a lesson incorporating the selected strategies, and agree on the type of student work each teacher will analyze as evidence of student learning.

Phase 4: Implement

Teachers teach the planned lesson, make note of implementation successes and challenges, and gather the agreed-upon evidence of student learning.

Phase 5: Analyze

Teachers gather again in collaborative teams to examine student work and discuss student understanding of the standards.

Phase 6: Adjust

Collaborative teams reflect on the implications of the analysis of student work. Teachers discuss alternative instructional strategies or modifications to the original instructional strategy that may be better suited to promoting student learning.

C. Implementation of Graduation Requirements

1. The World’s Best Work Force Advisory 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 WBWF Advisory 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 World’s Best Workforce Advisory Committee shall work with the school site to adopt a plan to raise student achievement levels to meet federal expectations. The World’s Best Workforce Advisory Committee 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 tests are administered, on indicators of achievement growth that show 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. World’s Best Workforce Advisory Committee

1. In the fall of each year, the WBWF Advisory 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 WBWF Advisory 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 Graduation 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 WBWF Advisory Committee:

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

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

c. may establish building teams 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. shall create a process for developing a plan for assessment of student progress toward the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for use by the WBWF Advisory Committee in the instruction and curriculum review process. This plan shall annually be approved by the School Board.

4. The WBWF Advisory Committee must reflect the diversity of the district and its school sites. It must include teachers, parents and/or guardians, support staff, students, and other community residents.

5. The WBWF Advisory Committee shall meet throughout the year to provide input regarding the system of continuous improvement. The WBWF Advisory Committee should offer recommendations to the School Board for its input and approval.

E. A committee of professional staff shall develop a plan for assessment of student progress toward Literacy by Grade 3, the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for use by the WBWF Advisory Committee in the instruction and curriculum review process.

F. Reporting

Consistent with Minn. Stat. § 120B.36, Subd. 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 and instruction, 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 summary report to the Commissioner of MDE.

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. 

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota’s Students)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.018 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process)
Minn. Stat § 120B.128 (Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) Program)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.35 (Student Achievement Levels)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.36 (School Accountability; Appeals Process)
Minn. Stat § 122A.40, Subd. 8 (Employment; Contracts; Termination)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.41, Subd. 5 (Teacher Tenure Act; Cities of the First Class; Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.04 (Site Decision Making Agreement)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.147, Subd. 3 (Principals)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501. 0640-3501.0550 (Graduation Standards – Language Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Graduation Standards – Mathematics)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0800-3501.0815 (Graduation Standards – Arts)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0900-3501.0955 (Graduation Standards – Science)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1300-3501-1345 (Academic Standards for Social Studies)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1400-3501.1410 (Academic Standards for Physical Education)
Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1400-3501.1410 (Academic Standards for Physical Education)
20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. Every Student Succeeds Act)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 104 (School District Mission Statement)
WBLASB Policy 601 (School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals)
WBLASB Policy 613 (Graduation Requirements)
WBLASB Policy 614 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)
WBLASB Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plan, and LEP Students)
WBLASB Policy 617 (School District Ensurance of Preparatory and High School Standards)
WBLASB Policy 618 (Assessment of Student Achievement)
WBLASB Policy 619 (Staff Development for Standards) WBLASB Policy 620 (Credit for Learning)