GCFirstDay7webGovernor Mark Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius visited Garden City Elementary on September 2 to welcome students back to class and to celebrate key state investments in education that are taking effect this year, including free all-day kindergarten and free breakfast for all kindergartners.

Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Kate Maguire, School Board Chair Teresa Lunt, Garden City Principal David Branch, Garden City kindergarten teachers Tina Thompson and Kris Williams, and other district leaders met with Dayton and Cassellius to share their perspectives about the benefits of all-day kindergarten and other state education investments.

Thompson noted that the extra time available for learning in a full-day program has significant benefit for students. “Some of our students come here with [very few] skills and by the end of the year they are reading and writing,” she said. “That happens with an investment of time.”

Principal Branch said research points to evidence that all-day kindergarten can help close the achievement gap.

Governor Dayton and Commissioner Cassellius greeted students and families with smiles and high fives as they entered Garden City, a 2013 Minnesota Department of Education Celebration School, and wished them a great year.

Osseo Area Schools welcomes back approximately 20,000 students today in grades K through 12.

 

RELATED LINKS:

Garden City First Day of School photos (Facebook)

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Star Tribune News

Star Tribune Class Act Blog 

Star Tribune Back to School video 

-Published Sept. 2, 2014

The 2014 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment results for Osseo Area Schools showed that student proficiency in math, reading and science is holding steady overall. Among nine categories with at least 100 students, the change from the previous year’s scores ranged from a decrease of –0.3% to an increase of 4.0%.

Three student groups saw increases of one or more percentage points in at least two of the subjects tested. Low income (eligible for free or reduced-price meals) students increased their proficiency by more than 2% in both math and reading. This is a large group that includes 41% of the district's students. Asian students increased proficiency by 2.3% in math,  4.0% in reading, and 4.2% in science. Hispanic students increased proficiency by 1.8% in math and 3.1% in reading.

The MCAs are one of the ways the state measures student achievement. At the end of September, the state will release additional indicators that show how schools are doing to accelerate student growth, close the achievement gap on all measures, and improve graduation rates. The new World’s Best Workforce legislation supports continued progress in those areas, along with ensuring that students are well prepared for kindergarten; read at grade level by grade three; and are college/career ready. Test results and other data are also used by schools to develop continuous improvement plans.

-Published Aug. 26, 2014