The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 10, 2013

St. Peter Schools get high marks from accreditation team

(Continued)

ST PETER —

The team also scored the district in categories under the new Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool rating system, which is being piloted as a new evaluation tool but doesn’t yet count toward re-accreditation.

The lowest score was for “Digital Learning Environment,” which measured student use of digital tools in the classroom.

“Keep in mind, we were in your classrooms for 20 minutes (at a time),” he said.

A higher score Schoonover emphasized was the 3.19 in the “Well-Managed Learning Environment” area.

“School is all about teaching and learning, and you want that to be a high rating,” Schoonover said.

Three areas that require a plan of action within a year included analyzing the equity of the learning environment for all students and families; reviewing the program for English language learners; and evaluating and implementing plans and procedures to address school safety.

Schoonover said none of these measures mean the district is underperforming in these areas. He said the first two measures have to do with the ever-increasing diversity in school districts, and it’s not enough to meet the needs of the current population of students; there have to be plans in place for the future.

Similarly, school safety is an important issue that should always be evaluated, he said.

“It’s just that, in this time in our history, we really need to continually address how we can improve school safety,” he said. “No matter how well you’re doing, you can always improve.”

Ytive Prafke, district special programs administrator, helped coordinate the process. She and Olson said they were pleased with the outcome.

Olson said he was glad to have the feedback on areas to work on so the district can begin plans for improvements.

“I think it was very positive,” Olson said. “We really got some good things to work on.”

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