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Educational excellence is a tradition in Delano. In recent years Forbes Magazine and Zip Realty have named Delano Public Schools No. 1 in the Nation for Top Performing Schools located in a community with affordable housing.
Why are Delano Public Schools a District of Choice?
Educational excellence is a tradition in Delano. In recent years Forbes Magazine and Zip Realty have named Delano Public Schools No. 1 in the Nation for Top Performing Schools located in a community with affordable housing. About 370 staff members serve approximately 2,500 students on the Delano campus. Faculty members are experts in their respective fields, with 71 percent holding a master’s degree or higher. In addition, teacher mentorship and peer coaching programs support new staff members at each school.
Evidence of excellence
Delano students who graduated in 2019 posted an average composite score of 23.6 in the ACT, widening the district’s customary lead on the state average, which was 21.4. The nationwide average was 21. Delano students also substantially exceeded the state averages in math, science and reading in the 2019 MCA III exams. In math, 78.3 percent of Delano students met or exceeded standards, while the statewide rate was 54.9 percent. In science, 66.6 percent of Delano’s students were proficient compared to 50.7 percent statewide. And in reading, 79.2 percent of Delano students met or exceeded the standards compared to 59.1 percent statewide.
Students in advanced classes also stand out among their statewide peers on a regular basis. In 2019 Delano was the only Minnesota school district named to the AP Honor Roll, along with just 250 schools across the United States and Canada. It was the fourth time in the past five years that Delano qualified for the honor, with Delano students far exceeding their peers in subjects like biology, human geography, government and politics, and history on AP tests.
In addition to its place on the AP Honor Roll, Delano Public Schools collected a number of other honors recently.
• Delano High School is regularly on the list of America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
• SchoolDigger.com ranked Delano Public Schools No. 9 in Minnesota out of more than 500 districts in 2017 and 2018.
• A 2018 study by the National Council for Home Safety and Security placed Delano in the top 3 percent of school districts in the United States. That study ranked Delano No. 13 in Minnesota, and No. 345 overall out of over 9,500 schools.
• Elementary Principal Darren Schuler was one of three statewide finalists for 2018 National Distinguished Principal honors.
• Delano Elementary was one of four schools in Minnesota to receive a 2017 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award.
Building for the future
A $65-million building project that concluded in 2018 enhanced nearly all aspects of the Delano Public Schools campus. Growth was accommodated with construction of a new intermediate school for grades 4-6, key additions were made to the K-3 elementary school, and the 7-12 high school was extensively redesigned with a new office and entrance area, performing arts center, diving well, media center and classrooms. Additional improvements to the indoor and outdoor facilities on campus, including turf fields, a new track, tennis courts, and Tiger Activity Center upgrades, enhanced opportunities for various co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. A number of improvements were also made to the Community Education building. Each of those projects helped Delano Public Schools to achieve its goal of providing 21st century facilities and programs for all students, staff and community members.
The vision of Delano Public Schools provides direction for all that has made Delano a standout place for education: “Systemic growth toward educational excellence for every learner.” This vision was developed as part of a strategic planning update that began in 2019. Facilities, Technology, Curriculum, and Professional Development are the four benchmarks in the plan. Goals and action steps have been developed to ensure that Delano Public Schools remains among Minnesota’s best districts.
The vision of Independent School District #879 is to to provide systemic academic growth to promote educational excellence and continuous improvement for every learner in a digital society.
Technology: A mobile, digital learning environment that enhances curriculum, learning, instruction, assessment and professional development.
Curriculum: Vertial and horizontal alignment of pre-kindergarten-12 curriculum that prepares all learners for college and career readiness.
Professional Development: Staff development focused on the following areas: aligned curriculum design, technology, and data-driven information in staff and peer observations and professional learning communities.
Facilities: Comprehensive facility plan for our district campus that maximizes our pre-Kindergarten-adult learning environment and support co-curricular opportunities.