September 14, 2022
Dear Sanford Middle families,
We are so excited to kick off another great year with you at Sanford. We have an amazing staff here dedicated to providing a high-quality education for all that connects learning in school with students’ experiences at home. This letter is to help you understand more about our school’s designation under the State of Minnesota’s North Star Excellence and Equity System. This system is designed to help schools ensure that all schools are working well for all students.
The letter below & attached contains more information about what our North Star designation means for our school. We want to partner with you – our families -- to make sure your voice is heard and that your family is getting what you need to help your student have a great year at Sanford.
Together, we can ensure that every one of our students achieves their full potential. I look forward to your joining all of us at Sanford in this effort this school year. Keep an eye out for additional information on upcoming opportunities to partner with us in this work.
Thank you for your support and partnership. We appreciate you!
Sanford Middle School
Understanding our School’s Designation under the North Star Accountability System
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in 2015. ESSA requires states to develop a data-driven system for holding schools and districts accountable for providing a fair, equitable, and high-quality education to all students. The Minnesota state plan established the North Star Excellence and Equity System to ensure that all schools are working well for all students. Schools were identified for support and improvement by the North Star system in August 2022. More information on ESSA and North Star is available at education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/account/.
Our School’s Designation – Comprehensive Support & Improvement
Under the North Star system, Sanford has been identified for Comprehensive Support & Improvement. We have been identified for this level of support and improvement for the following primary reason: The same group(s) of students at our school had test scores and attendance rates below levels set by the Minnesota Department of Education in both 2018 and in 2022.
This designation means that our school will get additional support to help us meet the needs of every member of our school community, including:
? A School Improvement Specialist, who will be working with our school staff and leadership teams
? An Academic Content Specialist, who will be working with our school staff and leadership teams
? Individualized support from other central office teams
Support and Improvement Next Steps
As part of our designation, we will be working in partnership with you to design and carry out a plan to make our school even better. This year, we will be focusing on:
? Completing a targeted needs assessment looking at the reasons why the school was identified
? Developing an improvement plan addressing the root causes behind the reasons why the school was identified, which must include at least one strategy backed by rigorous research showing its effectiveness
? Implementing and monitoring the improvement plan once it goes into effect
Family & Community Partnership
We want our staff, families, and community members to all have a voice in our needs assessment and improvement process. We invite you to partner with us as we engage in these efforts to ensure that all students’ needs are being met at our school.
We are looking for parents/caregivers to:
? Share your thoughts on what’s going well at school and how we can improve
? Provide feedback on our school’s progress throughout the year
If you’d like to get involved, please reach out to us by calling 612-668- 4900 or emailing Ahmed.Amin@mpls.k12.mn.us