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

I. Purpose 

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

II. General Statement of Policy 

Implementation of Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law requires a level of accountability for the school district. The school district will establish 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. “Graduation Standards” means the credit requirements and locally adopted content standards Minnesota 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” means striving 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.

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 graduation and education standards contained in 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 Systems Accountability Committee.

2. The improvement goals shall address recommendations identified through the Systems Accountability Committee process. The school district's goal setting process will include consideration of individual site goals. School district goals may be developed through an education effectiveness program, a committee to evaluate student progress, 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 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.

C. Implementation of Graduation Requirements

1. The Systems Accountability Committee which 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 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. Systems Accountability Committee

1. In the fall of 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 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 Systems Accountability Committee shall, when possible, be composed of two-thirds community representatives and must reflect the diversity of the community. Included in its membership should be:

  • Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
  • Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Director of Equity and Engagement
  • Director of Technology and Innovation
  • Selected principals
  • Selected School Board members
  • Student representatives
  • One teacher fro each building
  • One parent from each building
  • Cultural Liaisons
  • Community-at-large representatives

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

E. The Department of Teaching and Learning 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 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

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, 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.

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)