For the fourth year in a row, VCCS has been named a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), a designation given the top performing 15 percent of Title 1 schools. This year, 131 schools were selected as a Reward School and VCCS is one of only 20 schools across the state to have earned the recognition four times. Title 1 schools are schools that receive supplemental Federal funding based on the percentage of students qualifying for the free or reduced price lunch program.
“More than anything, being named a Reward School shows that Valley Crossing has a strong culture for learning,” says Lela Olson, Valley Crossing principal. “Teachers are enthusiastic about the content they teach and have high expectations for student learning. Students get excited about their learning and feel supported and challenged by staff members to reach their next level. Families, too, play a huge role in our success.”
The Reward School status is based off of Multiple Measurements Rating (MMR), which is part of MDE’s accountability system that focuses on closing the achievement gap and promoting high growth for all students. A MMR is given to all schools on an annual basis to measure school performance in the areas of proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates. This year, MDE added a second rating, called the Focus Rating, to specifically measure a school’s success in reducing achievement gaps between students of color, special education students, students in poverty and English learners.
VCCS received some of the highest ratings among Reward Schools, earning 88.7 percent in the MMR category and 92.5 percent in the Focus Rating.
“As a school community, we are very proud of this recognition. We hope to maintain this success by ensuring that every Valley Crossing student meets his/her learning growth targets each year,” says Olson.
“We are excited not only to celebrate Valley Crossing’s accomplishments, but to celebrate our district’s focus on equity and ensuring that all students are successful,” adds Jean Jordan, director of educational services. “This also reaffirms one of our new strategic directions - to provide the next steps for students based on individual needs.”