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Strategic plan for improvement proposed

For the past three years, the Red Wing School District has been working to improve the quality of education it provides students in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards.

At their regular board meeting Monday night, the School Board will vote whether or not to adopt a five-year strategic plan to keep them on course with their improvement plans.

The strategic plan outlines specific goals to be completed each year in order to strengthen the four areas the district has pegged for improvement: curriculum, intervention, teacher effectiveness and culture and behavior.

"If we bite off chunks each year, we can keep it moving forward," curriculum director Kathy Radmer said.

The strategic plan also outlines steps to improve staff development and administrator effectiveness - two areas that are needed to support the other four areas.

The plan was proposed at the board's quarterly workshop April 4. The district has not previously had a strategic plan in place.

If the board adopts the plan, the district can expect to spend more than $125,000 next year. This includes salaries for two teachers employed to explore improvement options, the purchase of curriculum mapping software, student testing tools and administrator training.

"It's an investment," board member Mike Christensen said at the workshop. "It's not spending money."

Here's a recap of the work the district has done in each of the four improvement areas and what the proposed strategic plan calls for during the next few years.


Progress made: Last year, the essential skills students need to know - called "power benchmarks" - were identified. Power benchmarks are designed to align with state and local standards. Currently, the power benchmarks are being broken down into more specific skills - called "learning targets." These essential skills are being implemented into classroom instruction.

In the strategic plan: Refine and update power benchmarks and learning targets. Implement an electronic curriculum map that will change with student needs and state and local standards. Implement classroom assessments to gauge student achievement.


Intervention is the way the school makes changes to curriculum to meet each individual student's learning needs, whether the student needs extra help or enrichment.

Progress made: This year, the district is working to come up with a systematic approach to intervene with students who are not understanding essential skills. They are beginning to focus on elementary reading interventions and adopting three levels of programming for gifted and talented students.

In the strategic plan: Expand specific interventions to other subject areas and to all grades. Create ways to intervene with behavior in addition to curriculum.

Teacher effectiveness

Progress made: This year, the district is reviewing its teacher evaluation system. It has established a "teacher growth protocol," which will have teachers make goals over three years in order to encourage professional growth.

In the strategic plan: Train administration and staff. Develop peer coaching for teachers, evaluation of teacher effectiveness.

Culture and behavior

Progress made: Three years ago, the district implemented professional learning communities. Teachers are grouped together to establish goals, work together and make sure curriculum is continuous throughout grade levels. The district also is adopting a code of professionalism for teachers.

In the strategic plan: Establish ways to encourage and support positive behavior. Continue to have teachers work with one another in professional learning communities.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.