Many Things are happening at MPS

I recently had a community member ask me to visit about the school district and something they were wondering about. While the conversation initially focused on one topic, it morphed into another topic, and then another, and eventually we had talked about almost a dozen different things happening in the district. I actually enjoy being able to have these conversations, as people ask great questions about many different things and I get to share what’s happening. After we finished talking, I realized how much happens in the school district and yet how we probably don’t share nearly as much as we can or should. On that note, here are a few updates from the conversation I had that I thought I would share with you.

As you may perhaps be aware of, our district is in the first year of a “new” Strategic Plan. Much work was done to create a revised mission and vision, develop our belief statements and determine what goals we are going to focus on in the next five years. Part of our strategic planning efforts this year are to share various aspects of our district (things happening) that align with our Vision “to be the premier school district where every student is inspired every day.” On our district Twitter account (@mpstigers), we periodically share tweets that focus on “premier” and “inspired.” We know there are certainly things we can (and will) improve, yet there are also a lot of really great things happening. These tweets are not meant to be boastful, yet we hope they share some insight into the really positive things about MPS. If you use Twitter, I would encourage you to check these out, as I think they will help you learn more about the Marshall Public School District. For additional information about our 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, you can also go to www.marshall.k12.mn.us and select “Strategic Plan” from the “District Info” link at the top of the page.

From a student achievement perspective, last year (2016-2017) was a very good year for our district. We saw growth in many academic areas and are working hard to build on last year’s results in our continuous improvement efforts. Each year, all of our learning levels/sites creates a Site Continuous Improvement Plan which — among other things — contains goals and strategies to: improve reading and math achievement, reduce or eliminate achievement gaps for groups of students who may not be achieving at the same level as their same-grade peers, improve student engagement and to graduate a higher percentage of our students. Our Site Continuous Improvement Plans are well-aligned with many of the requirements in place from the Minnesota Department of Education, such as the World’s Best Workforce Plan and the Achievement and Integration Plan. I am very proud of our students, staff and families who continue to work hard to increase student achievement and help accomplish our mission “to educate, support and prepare all learners for success.”

For several reasons, we closely monitor student enrollment each month. At the start of November, there were 2,518 students enrolled in the district in kindergarten through 12th grade. This year is the eighth consecutive year that we have experienced increased enrollment. Since the 2009-2010 school year, student enrollment has increased 382 students, which is almost an 18 percent increase during that time. As we continue to look at enrollment by grade, historical data and various projection methods, it is likely that we will have double-digit percent enrollment growth from this year to the 2023-2024 school year, and that is using conservative enrollment projections. Increasing student enrollment provides funding to add programming for students, to increase staffing in a sensible manner and to continue to address various needs throughout the district.

Thank you for taking time to read this and for your support of the Marshall Public School District.

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