NOTES ACROSS THE DISTRICT
The end of this week in our calendar marks a longer weekend break in the ROCORI School District. Students have a five day “weekend” scheduled in the calendar. Because we have had limited weather or emergency issues, the full break that was scheduled will be honored!
Students do not have school on Thursday, April 13; Friday, April 14; or Monday, April 17. Members of the teaching staff have a professional development day on Thursday with a focus on academic programming. Good Friday is traditionally a day without school for all staff. Monday is a non-school day across the district.
We have entered the heart of the state testing season as the calendar changed to April. Across the district, students are scheduled to take part in the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs).
Students are tested in Reading and Math to determine if they are making adequate progress toward the expected standards. Student performance is measured by “Does Not Meet,” “Partially Meets,” “Meets,” or “Exceeds” the standards.
Reading and Math assessments are given to students in grades 3 through 8. In Math, students in grade 11 are also tested. In Reading, students in grade 10 are tested.
The test process is also intended to offer feedback to schools (both at the district level and individual building levels) to indicate the effectiveness of the educational program. The testing results are part of the multiple measurement ratings (MMR) of schools across the state.
Each of our buildings and grade levels should have shared more detailed information about testing schedules and processes with students and parents. The specific days that any grade level is tested—and the tests being taken—should have been shared through building newsletters and other communications within the buildings.
We have, in the district office, received a number of inquiries about the ROCORI District status related to open enrollment—students choosing to come to ROCORI from another district or ROCORI students leaving to attend another district. The rumor, according to the contacts, is that the ROCORI District is seeking to close or limit open enrollment.
There has been no action on the part of the district to place any limitations on the open enrollment process—and no action is expected. We are, and expect to remain, a school district with active processes of open enrollment.
Open enrollment is governed by Minnesota statute. All districts are expected to participate in open enrollment—unless they meet very limited criteria. A district, by school board resolution, could act to limit enrollment but the state generally expects that to do so, the district would be “at capacity” without room to include additional students.
All school districts which are part of an integration district, which we are in relation to St. Cloud, are required to maintain open enrollment.
The one thing, in relation to open enrollment, which applies to all schools is that students may choose to open enroll out of the district. Whether a district accepts enrollment in can be a choice; a district cannot stop a student from enrolling out of the resident district into another school district.
A little known provision, even if a district does choose to close the enrollment into its system, in Minnesota statute requires the district to accept as many students into the district as there are leaving the district. As such, no school district can completely close the process unless no students ever leave for another school!
The bottom-line, for ROCORI, is that we have always been a district participating in the open enrollment program—and we fully expect to continue that status!
In the middle of March, most of our spring activities started their official seasons and practices. As we turned the calendar to April, the activities are well underway. Most of the activities are experiencing their first games or contests.
Spring athletic activities include baseball, softball, track and field events, golf, and lacrosse. Golf, track and field, and lacrosse offer competition with boys and girls teams. Baseball is recognized as a boys activity and softball is a girls activity.
The Senior High Band and Choirs are scheduled to be on a music trip to Chicago.
The all school spring musical is also underway with rehearsals and preparation for performance in May. The musical presentation is The Little Mermaid.
Academically, we have entered the final trimester of the school year. The trimester consists of the fifth and sixth six-week “terms” of the school year. It is hard to believe, but term five concludes on April 21 and we will then enter the final stretch of the 2016-17 school year.
Administratively and at the board level, planning for the 2017-18 school year occupies a lot of our time and attention. The board and administrative team have been working of budget development and adjustments from one year to the next. We have been monitoring the work of the legislature as their actions related to school funding are critically important to our plans.