Nov. 27, 2006

Delano one of four schools in pilot program

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Delano High School was recently selected as one of four schools in the state to participate in a pilot program from the Minnesota Department of Education.

“Your school application was rated as one of the best high school applicants across the state for the ‘Systematic High School Redesign: Building a Minnesota Model’ initiative,” Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Alice Seagren told High School Principal Dr. Bruce Locklear in a recent letter.

The top four schools selected as demonstrating the highest degree of readiness and commitment to the project’s goals, which includes Delano, were invited to enter into an agreement with the department of education.

Seagren said the goal of the new program is to increase student engagement and academic achievement.

The technical assistance the state will provide as a part of the program will:

• ensure student achievement at globally competitive levels;

• ensure more rigorous and relevant course-taking for all students;

• create more personalized learning environments for students with the support of parents and other adults; and

• ensure students have access to multiple pathways to post-secondary training or college, as well as early career exploration and planning.

Locklear said a good example of this is the program Delano has in place with School Within a School program.

• support out-of-school learning opportunities for students.

• ensure high quality teacher and principal leadership.

• utilize student data to improve and evaluate school improvements for student achievement.

As part of the initiative, Delano Schools will partner with the North Central Comprehensive Center (NCCC) to implement systematic school reforms and improvement.

It is hoped by Seagren that results from Delano’s participation in the program will serve as a model for other Minnesota high schools to implement significant redesign so as to adequately prepare all students for a fast-changing global economy.

The agreement Delano will sign with the state will be for one year. Once all four school send back signed agreements to the state, an introductory meeting will take place with principals, most likely in January 2007. A follow-up two-day retreat for all site team members at each school will then be scheduled for early 2007, as well.

Locklear felt Delano was chosen because of its college course offerings that are already in place, along with a partnership with Rasmussen College, offering a program where students can earn college credits, and countless other “cool things.”

“Our staff is unbelievable,” Locklear said. “They work so hard and do so many good things for the students. The community is also very supportive – it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

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