• With the start of summer break, it brings attention to summer school activities and addressing school district needs in preparation of the 2022-2023 school year.  Our enrollment in summer school classes in grades K-12 continues to increase, which is very positive as we promote this opportunity to students across all grade levels.  Summer school can provide opportunities to recover credits at the high school level or obtain credits and allow for greater flexibility in the traditional high school schedule; it can also address learning loss and regression at the K-8 level.  The summer break can be a long time for students and natural regression is expected over the summer; any efforts to shorten that time and mitigate the overall impacts are generally productive and greatly assist with students maintaining and increasing achievement during the regular school year. 

    Summer is also a time to review our strategic plan and identify the areas of which success was measured and those areas of which objectives were not met.  The main area of discussion is the academic excellence objective and if our students experienced academic growth at levels expected to maintain and exceed grade level expectations.  One of the main data points used in that assessment is the North Dakota State Assessment.  The results of the most recent NDSA were shared with the school board at the May regular school board meeting.  The overall results were very positive and showed substantial growth in many areas.  The most notable was at the high school level of which Grade 10 gained 17 percentage points in English Language Arts and 16 percentage points in writing; they also achieved a 4-percentage point increase in mathematics.  These scores put the high school very close to state average and closes the substantial gap that existed in previous NDSA assessments.  The middle school also achieved substantial growth with the highest noted in Grade 8 with a 12-percentage point increase in English Language Arts and again closing in on state average in most areas.  Badlands elementary school also achieved solid scores with noted growth and at or above state average scores in both ELA and mathematics; Fox Hills Elementary Grade 4 showed the high level of growth in ELA as well. 

    While these scores are not where we ultimately want to be in our school district, they do show our efforts in these curricular areas are showing results and provide some confidence in continuing our curriculum work and professional development to achieve further academic growth in 2022-2023.  While learning loss is still a factor with the pandemic and virtual learning; we are gaining those losses back and showing continued growth in most areas.  Continued efforts in areas such as social/emotional learning and mental health are noted and will continue to see efforts to gain on these data points as well. 

    The school board and administration will review the strategic plan this summer and revisions and updates will be made accordingly.  The challenge and efforts to obtain our lofty standards remain and will require extensive efforts across all levels; however, the substantial changes are seeing some results and we hope those efforts will continue to refine our efforts and to provide all students with the opportunity to success and to be prepared for their post-graduation life.  The strategic plan revisions and changes will be posted on our website and I encourage anyone to review and ask questions accordingly.  We are excited with the results of our recent Cognia Accreditation review of which our score was one of the highest in our region reviewed during the 2021-2022 school year.  Please feel free to access our Cognia report on the website. 

    Next month will focus on the Bakken Areas Skills Center as it breaks ground in July and continue to progress and develop a firm vision to address workforce and K-12 skillsets in our school district and region.  2022-2023 will be an exciting school year for McKenzie County Public School District #1 and we look forward to once again working with all students.

    In the meantime, enjoy your summer!