nationally certified magnet school logoWeaver Lake Elementary: A Science, Math & Technology School has been named a nationally certified magnet school by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), the national association for magnet and theme-based schools.

To achieve this distinction, staff and school leaders at Weaver Lake completed a rigorous, nine-month evaluation process to show how the school:

  • Promotes diversity;
  • Is working to close the achievement gap;
  • Integrates a theme-based curriculum throughout the day; and
  • Encourages parent and community involvement.

Schools were evaluated by the National Institute for Magnet School Leadership. Weaver Lake Elementary is among select company as one of only 21 schools in a dozen states to receive this honor this year.

“I’m so excited for our school to receive this recognition,” said Dennis Palm, principal at Weaver Lake Elementary. “Becoming a nationally certified magnet school really affirms the great work our teachers and staff do every day to support STEM learning and growth at Weaver Lake. I couldn’t be more proud of both our staff and students.”

Weaver Lake Elementary provides a dynamic, inquiry-based learning environment for students in grades K-5. Weaver Lake’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program incorporates value-added, hands-on activities that focus on problem solving and analytical thinking skills. The school is dedicated to creating lifelong learners who are actively involved in inquiry, exploration and discovery.

This year’s nationally certified magnet schools will be recognized at MSA’s 37th National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in April 2019.

The implementation of Minnesota’s new North Star Accountability System means that in 2018, the state hit the reset button for measuring school performance across multiple areas. While the accountability system itself is new, the 2018 results released by the Minnesota Dept. of Education for Osseo Area Schools echoed previous patterns, showing some bright spots along with areas that will be targeted for improvement.

The new accountability system incorporates measures that Osseo Area Schools has already been monitoring for several years in the areas of graduation rates, English language proficiency, and progress on state tests over time. Starting in 2018, the new state system also holds schools accountable for consistent student attendance. According to the Dept. of Education, the new North Star system meets the federal requirement that Minnesota look at more than test data — extending beyond student proficiency on a test at a single point in time — in order to offer the public a richer understanding of what is happening in schools.

Summary results from 2018 for Osseo Area Schools

  • Proficiency: In both math and reading and across all grades tested, Osseo Area Schools students’ proficiency rates are lower than state averages (Math: Osseo 53%, state 57%; Reading: Osseo 56%, state 60%)
  • Growth: In both math and reading and across all grades tested, the percentage of Osseo Area Schools students who maintained or improved an achievement level (e.g., moving from partially proficient to proficient) is above state averages (Math: Osseo 71%, state 65%; Reading: Osseo 73%, state 69%).
  • English Learners: A larger percentage of Osseo’s English Learners are meeting individual growth targets than their state counterparts (Osseo: 55.4%, state: 48.5%)
  • Graduation rates: Osseo’s graduation rates are slightly higher than state averages for four-year (84% Osseo vs 83% state) and seven-year graduation rates (92% Osseo vs 87% state). A particular highlight was in Black student graduation rates: Osseo’s four-year graduation rate (71%) was six percentage points higher than the state, and Osseo’s seven-year graduation rate (86%) was 14 percentage points higher than the state.
  • Consistent attendance: Osseo’s consistent attendance rate of 81.4% is lower than the state average of 85.6%. “Consistent attendance” in the new accountability system means that 95% of students are in school on at least 90% of the days they are enrolled.

Five schools were recognized for success

Five schools were recognized for success, defined as being in the highest 5% of the state overall on an indicator or where one or more student groups were at the same level as the highest 5% for that indicator. Learn more about the recognition criteria.

Basswood Elementary
Math Progress, Asian Student Group

Weaver Lake Elementary: A Science, Math & Technology School
Progress toward English Language Proficiency

Maple Grove Middle
Math Progress, Asian Student Group

Osseo Middle
Math Progress, Asian Student Group

ALC-Independent Study
7-year Graduation Rate (this recognition is available for credit recovery high schools and dropout recovery schools only)

Some schools will receive additional support

The state will use the North Star Accountability System to determine how to allocate resources to support continuous improvement in schools. In Osseo, 12 schools have been identified to receive state-level support. Assistance can range from training sessions with state education experts to more hands-on support from the state’s Regional Excellence Centers. In addition, district-level staff will be more closely involved in guiding schools that were identified for support.

Schools were identified as follows (some schools will receive more than one type of support):

  • Targeted support for schools that need to focus on a single student group or need support on more than one accountability measure: Birch Grove School for the Arts, Fair Oaks Elementary, Fernbrook Elementary, Palmer Lake Elementary, Rice Lake Elementary, and Zanewood Community School.
  • Comprehensive support for schools that were identified to improve across multiple measures, or for graduation rates (high school only) below 67% overall or for any individual student group: Crest View Elementary, Osseo Senior High, Park Center Senior High, and Osseo Area Learning Center.

For details about each school’s results, see the Minnesota Report Card on the Minnesota Department of Education website.