Laura MacArthur Elem. Receives Grant
Posted at: 09/12/2012 10:24 PM
| Updated at: 09/12/2012 11:02 PM
By: Paige Calhoun
"With a grant of $1.3 million, yeah that's exciting, but at the same time that's where the rubber is going to meet the road," Laura MacArthur Elementary Principal Nathan Glockle said after the school's application for a 3-year state grant was approved.
This announcement follows some not-so-good news a few months back. In may, the state released results from their new rating system, and Laura MacArthur ranked in the lowest five percent of Title I schools in the state, making it a "Priority" school.
"When you look at the staff, it's something that really hurts to see that number there," Glockle said. Since then, a leadership team has been formed to find out what wasn't working and how to fix it. Now they have the Minnesota Department of Education's approval, so it's time to implement their plan.
"The heart of our plan really focuses on improving math and reading scores for the students in this school," Dave Larsen, fourth grade teacher and leadership team member said.
Larsen said to do that, there will be more professional development for teachers. Individually, they will be evaluated three times a year. Their days have also been restructured so they will have 90 minutes each week to meet with teachers from their grade level, "Rather than working in isolation or in a vacuum, there's a greater opportunity for professional development in terms of collaboration."
The new plan also involves more focused student interventions, to help them as soon as problems arise. Staff also said they know they're not alone, and they'll be looking to the community and families to pitch in.
"We were able to hire a family liaison and so we're hoping to work closer with families this year as well and bring them into the building and into their child's education. We're all in it together," Data Coach and Leadership Team Member Bernie Burnham said.
Principal Glockle said the grant is built with long-term sustainability in mind, and they hope to continue these practices long after the funding is gone.