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HomeNewsEducationLake Superior School Board Meeting; April 9, 2023

Lake Superior School Board Meeting; April 9, 2023

William Kelley Principal Dan Johnson and 2nd Grade Teach­er Tina Goutermont spoke with the School Board at last week’s meeting about efforts that are underway in district schools to boost student reading scores. The impact that the Covid pan­demic has on student learning outcomes has been evident in schools across the country. The decline in reading and math scores has rightly received a lot of attention and Tuesday night’s presentation by John­son and Goutermont focused on the use of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach, to help students grow as readers. According to the Minnesota Department of Education, MTSS provides a continuous improvement framework that helps educa­tors structure classroom learn­ing activities so that students receive necessary instruction, support and interventions based on their specific learning needs.

Using the MTSS framework, all students are screened early in the school year to help deter­mine any academic challenges that they may face. Based on screening outcomes, teachers then provide intervention strat­egies to remedy learning defi­cits. Data from the screenings helps determine the level of support and intervention that each student receives.

Is the MTSS framework work­ing? At the beginning of this school year, 13.6% of students in Goutermont’s 2nd grade class were above the bench­mark for 2nd grade reading ability and 72% of students were in need of intervention. Intervention was delivered to students in the form of indi­vidualized learning activities, direct support from teachers and paraprofessionals and weekly assessments of prog­ress. As of this month, the number of students who are reading above the benchmark has increased to 22.6% and the number of students need­ing the structured intervention strategies has dropped to 36%. Johnson and Goutermont both acknowledged that more needs to be done, but, as is evidenced by the increasing numbers of stu­dents who are reading beyond the “in need of intervention” tier, efforts to address learning deficits using well researched strategies are paying off for dis­trict students.

Students Nathan Holbech and Nataile Tillich made an ap­pearance at the Board meeting to talk about their involvement in the One Act Play competition. Holbech, Tillich and their teammates presented their production of Soapy Smith’s Winter Wish at the 76th One Act Play Festival, which was held at the O’Shaughnessy Au­ditorium in St. Paul last Feb­ruary. Both spoke about what an enriching experience their involvement in One Act Play competition has been. Like students who are involved in sports, band, orchestra and choir, thespian students spend many hours at after school re­hearsals and at competitions that are rated on the quality of their overall performance including plot, characters, theme, language, rhythm and spectacle. The use of technical ele­ments like lighting, sound and props are also assessed.

In other District news, Students at Two Harbors will be pre­senting Alice In Wonderland for their Spring Play and prom will be held on May 18th. The Athletic Awards program will be held on May 20th and Hon­ors Night will be on May 22nd. A day-long trip to Wolf Ridge is planned for the second to last week of the school year for William Kelley elementary students and the Scholarship Awards ceremony will be held on May 15th.

Registration opened earlier this month for learning oppor­tunities offered through Com­munity Education. At the time of this writing, 305 folks have signed up for various class­es. Readers are encouraged to check their Spring addition of the Ripple for current offer­s.

The next School Board meet­ing will be held on May 14th at 6:00 at William Kelley School.

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