Policy 616 - School District Accountability System


The purpose of this policy is to focus public education strategies on a process which promotes higher academic achievement for all students and ensures broad-based community participation in decisions regarding the implementation of the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law.


Implementation of the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law will require a new level of accountability for the school district. The school district also will establish a system to review and improve instruction, curriculum, and assessment which will include substantial input by students, parents or guardians, and local community members. The school district will be accountable to the public and the state through annual reporting.

  1. “Course credit” is equivalent to a student successfully completing an academic year of study or a student mastering the applicable subject matter as determined by the school district.
  2. “Graduation Standards” means the course credit requirements and content standards or Minnesota Academic Standards that school districts must offer and certify that students complete to be eligible for a high school diploma.
  3. “World’s best workforce” means striving to: meet school readiness goals; have all third grade students achieve grade-level literacy; close the academic achievement gap among all racial and ethnic groups of students and between students living in poverty and students not living in poverty; have all students attain career and college readiness before graduating from high school; and have all students graduate from high school.

  1. School District Goals
    1. The school board has established a district-wide continuous improvement plan which provides direction and broad goals related to student learning. Incorporated in these goals are the graduation and education standards contained in the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law. The broad goals shall be reviewed annually and approved by the school board. The school board shall adopt annual goals based on the recommendations of the District Student Learning Team which incorporates input from the district learning and living advisory committee. The improvement goals will address recommendations identified through District Student Learning Team’s process . and will both inform and consider of the goal setting process for individual site goals.
      System for Reviewing All Instruction and Curriculum.
      Incorporated in the process will be analysis of the school district’s progress toward implementation of the Minnesota Academic Standards. Instruction and curriculum shall be reviewed and evaluated by taking into account strategies and best practices, student outcomes, and principal evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 123B.147, Subd. 3, and teacher evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8, or 122A.41, Subd. 5.
    1. Implementation of Graduation Requirements
      1. The school board shall appoint the District Student Learning Team to advise the school board on implementation of the state and local graduation requirements, including K-12 curriculum, assessment, student learning opportunities, and other related issues. Recommendations of this committee shall be published annually to the community. The school board shall receive public input and comment and shall adopt or update this policy at least annually. The school board shall annually review and determine if student achievement levels at each school site meet federal expectations. If the school board determines that student achievement levels at a school site do not meet federal expectations and the site has not made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive school years, the District and appropriate site Student Leadership Teams will collaborate to adopt a plan to raise student achievement levels to meet federal expectations. These teams may seek assistance from the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) (the Commissioner) in developing a plan. The educational assessment system component utilized by the school board to measure individual students’ educational progress must be based, to the extent annual tests are administered, on indicators of achievement growth that show an individual student’s prior achievement. Indicators of achievement and prior achievement must be based on highly reliable statewide or districtwide assessments. The school board will utilize models developed by the Commissioner for measuring individual student progress. The school board must coordinate with MDE in evaluating school sites and continuous improvement plans, consistent with best practices.
    2. District Student Learning Team
      1. Each year, the District Student Learning Team will meet to advise and assist the school district in the implementation of the school district system accountability and comprehensive continuous improvement process.
      2. The District Student Learning Team, working in cooperation with other committees of the school district [such as Technology, Site Student Learning Teams, and District Learning and Living Committee]I, will provide active community participation in:
        1. Reviewing the school district instructional and curriculum plan, with emphasis on implementing the Minnesota Graduation Standards;
        2. Identifying annual instruction and curriculum improvement goals for recommendation to the school board;
        3. Making recommendations regarding the evaluation process that will be used to measure school district progress toward its goals;
        4. Advising the school board about the development of the annual budget.
      3. The District Student Learning Team shall meet the following criteria:
        1. Shall ensure active community participation in all planning for instruction and curriculum affecting Graduation Standards by considering input from Site Student Learning Teams, the District Learning and Living Committee, and the High School Redesign team.
        2. The District Student Learning Team shall make recommendations to the school board on school district-wide standards, assessments, and program evaluation.
        3. Site Student Learning Teams will develop and implement an education effectiveness plan and to carry out methods to improve instruction, curriculum, and assessments as well as methods to use technology in meeting the school district improvement plan.
        4. Annual comprehensive needs assessment will be conducted to create the broad goals related to student learning in the following year’s Continuous Improvement Plan.
      4. The Learning and Living Committee will serve as a community advisory council related to college and career readiness and shall, when possible, be comprised of two-thirds community representatives and shall reflect the diversity of the community. Included in its membership should be:
        1. Director of Teaching & Learning
        2. Principals
        3. Student Representative
        4. One teacher from each the Middle School and High School
        5. Community Members
        6. Representatives of local business or industry
      5. Translation services should be provided to the extent appropriate and practicable.
    1. Evaluation of Student Progress. The District Student Learning Team shall develop a plan for assessment of student progress toward literacy by Grade 3, the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for review instruction and curriculum. cultural competencies, including cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication, and student achievement at the school site. This plan shall annually be approved by the school board.
    2. Reporting. Consistent with Minn. Stat. § 120B.36, Subd. 1, school board shall publish a report in the local newspaper with the largest circulation in the district, by mail, or by electronic means onthe school district website. The school board shall hold an annual public meeting to review and revise, where appropriate, student achievement goals, local assessment outcomes, plans, strategies, and practices for improving curriculum and instruction, and cultural competency, and efforts to equitably distribute diverse, effective, experienced, and in-field teachers, and to review school district success in realizing the previously adopted student achievement goals and related benchmarks and the improvement plans leading to the world’s best workforce. The school board must transmit an electronic summary of its report to the Commissioner in the form and manner the Commissioner determines. The school district shall periodically survey affected constituencies in their native languages, where appropriate and practicable, about their connection to and level of satisfaction with school. The school district shall include the results of this evaluation in published reports and in its summary report to the Commissioner.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations and Graduation Requirements for Minnesota Students)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.018 (Definitions)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.35 (Student Achievement Levels)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.36 (School Accountability; Appeals Process)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8 (Employment; Contracts; Termination)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.41, Subd. 5 (Teacher Tenure Act; Cities of the First Class; Definitions)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.04 (Site Decision Making Agreement)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0010-3501.0180 (Graduation Standards - Mathematics and Reading)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0200-3501.0290 (Graduation Standards - Written Composition)
  • Minn. Rules Part 3501.0160 (District Reporting Requirements)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0505-3501.0550 (Graduation Standards – Language Arts)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Graduation Standards – Mathematics)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0800-3501.0815 (Graduation Standards – Arts)
  • Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1000-3501.1190 (Graduation-Required Assessment for Diploma)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. (No Child Left Behind Act)

Cross References:

Adopted: November 23, 2010
Reviewed: November 8, 2011
Revised: October 8, 2013
Revised: February 21, 2017
Revised: September 17, 2019