mca web graphicPerformance on the 2017 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) continued to hold steady for students in Osseo Area Schools, according to results released on Aug. 7 by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The MCAs measure student progress toward state academic standards in reading, math and science, as required by federal guidelines. Students in grades 3-8 completed the MCA tests in both reading and math; 10th graders completed reading; and 11th grade students completed math. Science tests were given to all students in fifth and eighth grade, as well as to high school students upon completion of a life science course.

The MCA is one measure that schools and districts use to monitor student achievement. The results reflect student levels of proficiency relative to grade-level standards and are a snapshot of student performance throughout the course of instruction.

“While we are pleased with our maintenance of proficiency for some student groups, we remain focused on ensuring high levels of achievement for all students and accelerating growth for students who are underperforming in order to close the achievement gap,” said Angie Freese, director of research, assessment, and accountability. “Each student in our district has the right to achieve the expected levels of mastery and to also demonstrate high levels of growth from year to year.”

Overall, there was a slight increase in the percentage of Osseo students who demonstrated proficiency in math. Osseo students continue to perform above the state average in reading, although there was a slight decrease in Osseo students’ overall proficiency in 2017. Freese also noted, “As we strive to close the achievement gap and ensure all students are reading at grade level by third grade, we are pleased that our grade 3 Black students’ proficiency improved almost 6% from last year and is now above the state average for the first time in four years.”

High school science scores improved from 53.6% to 57.4%, which now closes the gap with the state average.

District and school administrators will work with teachers in the coming weeks to further examine site-based results to help teachers interpret which concepts students understand and which areas may require further instruction. MCA data, along with additional site-based student performance data, are used to assist schools in developing continuous improvement plans to ensure equitable student achievement for each student.

View MCA results by school

elm creek playgroundFor students returning to Elm Creek, Rice Lake and Rush Creek elementary schools this fall, recess just got an upgrade.

Through a partnership with the City of Maple Grove, those three sites are recipients of playground makeovers this summer. It’s part of an ongoing process organized by the city to ensure the play structures remain in top condition, said Jeff Evenson, superintendent of parks and planning with the Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Board.

“We have a program to replace playgrounds as they become worn,” he added. “This year’s playground updates incorporate new nets and climbing features. Things have changed so much in the past 15 years, so this is definitely an upgrade.”

The process to replace the play structures at Elm Creek, Rice Lake and Rush Creek schools was many months in the making. Evenson said the city worked with stakeholders at each school in a “very collaborative” process to generate ideas and solicit feedback.

Elm Creek Elementary’s new playground was completed earlier this summer and is ready for use. Evenson noted that the Rice Lake and Rush Creek playgrounds will be completed prior to the first day of school on Sept. 5.

PHOTO: Students enjoy the new playground at Elm Creek Elementary this summer.