2/18 School Board Meeting Followup #2 - Achievement and Integration and MDHR Plans


The data used by RPS to track progress on reducing disparities continues to show that our equity work is not done and must be at the top of our minds when the District makes decisions and sets priorities. Both the Achievement and Integration Plan and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights Plan to Address Disparities give insights to how RPS is setting those priorities through programs and strategies, and provide important outcome measurements that will tracked during each year to see how much progress is being made.

Achievement and Integration Plan The School Board will be asked to approve the Achievement and Integration Plan and Budget for 2020-2023 at the March 17th meeting. Community members interested in how RPS is addressing disparities in student opportunities and outcomes will find a description of important equity work in this plan. This is a good opportunity for community members to provide feedback to the Board before we act on approving this plan. I would welcome your review of and comments about the document at canathan@rochester.k12.mn.us.

Some background - The "Achievement and Integration for Minnesota" program (A&I) is established by Minnesota law to “pursue racial and economic integration and increase student academic achievement, create equitable educational opportunities, and reduce academic disparities based on students' diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds in Minnesota public schools”. Districts are identified for participation based on specific criteria, and MDE calculates how much A&I revenue the district will receive. Districts must submit a plan and budget for how the revenue will be used, and report on results along with the World’s Best Work Force report due in December of each year.

Each section of the A&I Plan presents District-Wide Goals, Strategies, and Key Indicators of Progress (KIPS). The KIPS are an improvement over previous descriptions of RPS equity work, because each goal/strategy defines the indicator, a baseline value for each indicator, and a target to reach in each year of the A&I plan. The progress toward meeting these targets will be reported on each year in November - December as part of the required World’s Best Work Force Plan report. The budget for the plan is $3.2 million, funded by A&I revenue from the state and local levy. Here is a link to the A&I agenda item and the documents presented: http://go.boarddocs.com/mn/rps535/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=BLFT9Y76594B It’s worth watching the video of the presentation by Shavana Talbert, Equity Coordinator; Brenda Wichman, Director of Curriculum and Instruction; and Kris Davidson, Gage Elementary Principal here: https://youtu.be/1KpvCk5PQY0?t=1663

Gage Elementary has its own set of goals, strategies and KIPS because it has been identified as a Racially Identifiable School (RIS). Principal Davidson gave a very informative presentation of Gage’s A&I plan starting here in the video: https://youtu.be/1KpvCk5PQY0

Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) RPS Plan to Address Disparities The update to the MDHR Plan was also presented at the February 18 meeting. The district is required to provide this plan to MDHR in January and July of each year of our agreement with them. The MDHR Plan complements the A&I Plan with updates on RPS policy and procedures in the areas of Positive School Climate, Professional Development/Instructional Practices, Behavior Interventions, Progress Monitoring, and Student/Family/Staff/Community Engagement. You will see some overlap, but also descriptions of other actions not in the A&I Plan. It also serves as a chronological record of when some programs or implementations were put into place. The MDHR Plan - January 2020 update can be found here: https://go.boarddocs.com/mn/rps535/Board.nsf/files/BLWMJU5B856E/$file/2020.01.31_MDHR%20report.pdf The District plans to use an electronic survey to get feedback on the MDHR Plan before the next update is submitted in July of 2020, but your feedback is welcome any time at canathan@rochester.k12.mn.us or to Superintendent Munoz at mimunoz@rochester.k12.mn.us

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