Policy #616 School District System Accountability

Adopted:    6-11-98                                                                                 MSBA/MASA Model Policy 616

Orig. 1997

Revised: 7-21-21                                                                                                                  Rev. 2019


[Note:  Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 requires school districts to adopt a comprehensive long-term strategic plan that addresses the review of curriculum, instruction, student achievement, and assessment.  MSBA/MASA Model Policies 601, 603, and 616 address these statutory requirements.  In addition, MSBA/MASA Model Policies 613-615 and 617-620 provide procedures to further implement the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 120B.11.]

I.         PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to focus public education strategies on a process which promotes higher academic achievement for all students and ensures broad-based community participation in decisions regarding the implementation of the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law.


Implementation of the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law will require a new level of accountability for the school district.  The school district will establish a system to transition to the graduation requirements of the Minnesota Academic Standards.  The school district also will establish a system to review and improve instruction, curriculum, and assessment which will include substantial input by students, parents or guardians, and local community members.  The school district will be accountable to the public and the state through annual reporting.


A.         “Credit” means a student’s successful completion of an academic year of study or a student’s mastery of the applicable subject matter, as determined by the school district.

B.         “Graduation Standards” means the credit requirements and locally adopted content standards or Minnesota Academic Standards that school districts must offer and certify that students complete to be eligible for a high school diploma.

C.         “World’s best workforce” means striving to:  meet school readiness goals; have all third grade students achieve grade-level literacy; close the academic achievement gap among all racial and ethnic groups of students and between students living in poverty and students not living in poverty; have all students attain career and college readiness before graduating from high school; and have all students graduate from high school.


A.         School District Goals

1.         The school board has established school district-wide goals which provide broad direction for the school district.  Incorporated in these goals are the graduation and education standards contained in the Minnesota Academic Standards and federal law.  The broad goals shall be reviewed annually and approved by the school board.  The school board shall adopt annual goals based on the recommendations of the school district’s Advisory Committee.

2.         The Advisory Committee will be established by the school board to ensure active community participation in all phases of planning and improving the instruction and curriculum affecting state and district academic standards.

3.         The school district-wide improvement goals should address recommendations identified through the Advisory Committee process.  The school district’s goal setting process will include consideration of individual site goals.  School district goals may also be developed through an education effectiveness program, an evaluation of student progress committee, or through some other locally determined process.

B.         System for Reviewing All Instruction and Curriculum.  Incorporated in the process will be analysis of the school district’s progress toward implementation of the Minnesota Academic Standards.  Instruction and curriculum shall be reviewed and evaluated by taking into account strategies and best practices, student outcomes, principal evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 123B.147, Subd. 3, and teacher evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8, or 122A.41, Subd. 5.

[Insert Local Cycle in this space]

C.         Implementation of Graduation Requirements

1.         The Advisory Committee shall also advise the school board on implementation of the state and local graduation requirements, including K-12 curriculum, assessment, student learning opportunities, and other related issues.  Recommendations of the Advisory Committee shall be published annually to the community.  The school board shall receive public input and comment and shall adopt or update this policy at least annually.

2.         The school board shall annually review and determine if student achievement levels at each school site meet federal expectations.  If the school board determines that student achievement levels at a school site do not meet federal expectations and the site has not made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive school years, the Advisory Committee shall work with the school site to adopt a plan to raise student achievement levels to meet federal expectations. The Advisory Committee may seek assistance from the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) (Commissioner) in developing a plan which must include parental involvement components.

3.         The educational assessment system component utilized by the school board to measure individual students’ educational progress must be based, to the extent annual tests are administered, on indicators of achievement growth that show an individual student’s prior achievement.  Indicators of achievement and prior achievement must be based on highly reliable statewide or districtwide assessments.  The school board will utilize models developed by the Commissioner for measuring individual student progress.  The school board must coordinate with MDE in evaluating school sites and continuous improvement plans, consistent with best practices.

D.         Comprehensive Continuous Improvement of Student Achievement

1.         By [     date      ] of each year, the Advisory Committee will meet to advise and assist the school district in the implementation of the school district system accountability and comprehensive continuous improvement process.

2.         The Advisory Committee, working in cooperation with other committees of the school district [such as the Technology, Educational Effectiveness, Grade Level, Site Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment Committees, etc.], will provide active community participation in:

a.         Reviewing the school district instructional and curriculum plan, with emphasis on implementing the Minnesota Academic Standards;

b.         Identifying annual instruction and curriculum improvement goals for recommendation to the school board;

c.         Making recommendations regarding the evaluation process that will be used to measure school district progress toward its goals;

d.         Advising the school board about development of the annual budget.

3.         The Advisory Committee shall meet the following criteria:

a.         The Advisory Committee shall ensure active community participation in all planning for instruction and curriculum affecting Graduation Standards.

b.         The Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the school board on school district-wide standards, assessments, and program evaluation.

c.         Building teams may be established as subcommittees to develop and implement an education effectiveness plan and to carry out methods to improve instruction, curriculum, and assessments as well as methods to use technology in meeting the school district improvement plan.

d.         A local plan to evaluate student progress, using a local process, shall be used for developing a plan for assessment of student progress toward the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for use by the Advisory Committee in the instruction and curriculum review process.  This plan shall annually be approved by the school board.

4.         The Advisory Committee shall, when possible, be comprised of at least two-thirds community representatives and shall reflect the diversity of the community.  To the extent possible, the Advisory Committee shall reflect the diversity of the school district and its school sites and include teachers, parents, support staff, students, and other community residents.  Included in its membership should be:

a.         The Director of Curriculum (or similar educational leader)

b.         Principal

c.         School Board Member

d.         Student Representative

e.         One teacher from each building or instructional level

f.          Two parents from each building or instructional level

g.         Two residents without school-aged children, non-representative of local business or industry

h.         Two residents representative of local business or industry

i.          District Assessment Coordinator (if different from “a.” above)

[Note:  This Advisory Committee composition is a model only.]

5.         Translation services should be provided to the extent appropriate and practicable.

6.         The Advisory Committee shall meet the following timeline each year:

Month:       Organizational meeting of the Committee to review the authorizing legislation and the roles and responsibilities of the Committee as determined by the school board.

Month(s):   Agree on the process to be used.  Become familiar with the instruction and curriculum of the cycle content area.

Month(s):   Review evaluation results and prepare recommendations.

Month:       Present recommendations to the school board for its input and approval.

E.         Evaluation of Student Progress Committee.  A committee of professional staff shall develop a plan for assessment of student progress toward Literacy by Grade 3, the Graduation Standards, as well as program evaluation data for use by the Advisory Committee to review instruction and curriculum, cultural competencies, including cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication, and student achievement at the school site.  This plan shall annually be approved by the school board.

F.         Reporting

            1.         Consistent with Minn. Stat. § 120B.36, Subd. 1, the school board shall publish a report in the local newspaper with the largest circulation in the district, by mail, or by electronic means on the school district website.  The school board shall hold an annual public meeting to review and revise, where appropriate, student achievement goals, local assessment outcomes, plans, strategies, and practices for improving curriculum and instruction and cultural competency and efforts to equitably distribute diverse, effective, experienced, and in-field teachers, and to review school district success in realizing the previously adopted student achievement goals and related benchmarks and the improvement plans leading to the world’s best workforce.  The school board must transmit an electronic summary of its report to the Commissioner in the form and manner the Commissioner determines.  The school district shall periodically survey affected constituencies in their native languages, where appropriate and practicable, about their connection to and level of satisfaction with school.  The school district shall include the results of this evaluation in its published reports and in its summary report to the Commissioner.

                        2.         The school performance report for a school site and a school district must include performance reporting information and calculate proficiency rates as required by the most recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Legal References:      Minn. Stat. § 120B.018 (Definitions)

Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota’s Students)

Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process)

Minn. Stat. § 120B.35 (Student Achievement Levels)

Minn. Stat. § 120B.36 (School Accountability; Appeals Process)

Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8 (Employment; Contracts; Termination)

Minn. Stat. § 122A.41, Subd. 5 (Teacher Tenure Act; Cities of the First Class; Definitions)

Minn. Stat. § 123B.04 (Site Decision Making Agreement)

Minn. Stat. § 123B.147, Subd. 3 (Principals)

Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0640-3501.0655 (Academic Standards for Language Arts)

Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0700-3501.0745 (Academic Standards for Mathematics)

Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0800-3501.0815 (Academic Standards for the Arts)

Minn. Rules Parts 3501.0900-3501.0955 (Academic Standards in Science)

Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1300-3501.1345 (Academic Standards for Social Studies)

Minn. Rules Parts 3501.1400-3501.1410 (Academic Standards for Physical Education)

20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. (Every Student Succeeds Act)

Cross References:      MSBA/MASA Model Policy 104 (School District Mission Statement)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 601 (School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 613 (Graduation Requirements)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 614 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plans, and LEP Students)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 617 (School District Ensurance of Preparatory and High School Standards)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 618 (Assessment of Student Achievement)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 619 (Staff Development for Standards)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 620 (Credit for Learning)