May 21, 2012
Fieldstone Elementary School is ranked among the top 15% of the highest performing Title I schools in the state according to a report released by the Minnesota Department of Education. Fieldstone is designated as a "Reward School", a program that will annually recognize the top performing schools.
Jeanette Aanerud, Fieldstone Principal said, "I'm very proud of our students, staff and families! We have a talented and trained staff, academic interventions to help our students needing assistance in reading and math, and very supportive parents." Fieldstone is the sole elementary school in the district that receives Title I federal funding for reading and math instruction to ensure that all children meet challenging academic standards.
The designation is part of the new Minnesota accountability system approved by the U.S. Department of Education in February arising from the waiver granted to Minnesota. Under the new plan, schools will continue to be judged on students' proficiency scores in math and reading but also included will be yearly academic growth in individual students and a shrinking achievement gap between white students and minority, special education, English language learner students and students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. In addition, graduation rate will be used at the high school.
Fieldstone's recognition as a Reward School included students' scores on proficiency, yearly academic growth in individual students and a shrinking achievement gap. Behle said that the recognition shows Fieldstone's commitment to ensuring that all students are learning and challenged.
Jim Behle, STMA Superintendent believes that the new accountability system is an improvement because it includes multiple measures for monitoring and improving learning. "STMA has long believed that the single measure of proficiency was limited in helping teachers to plan instruction and monitor student achievement, and therefore, used yearly academic growth as well. We are pleased to see that the state accountability system now also recognizes student growth and will include a measurement on closing the achievement gap." The state has set an aggressive goal of closing the achievement gap by 50% over the next six years.
Behle said that the new accountability system matches well with the district's new strategic plan to personalize learning to maximize proficiency achievement and learning growth in all students. "Four years ago, the district's goal was to rank in the top 25% of schools in Minnesota. We met the goal and the new strategic plan sets the vision to consistently be ranked in the top 15% or better. Fieldstone shows us that it is possible."