Some goals met despite COVID-19

By Barbie Porter


The Frazee-Vergas School Board recently looked at the district’s plan to provide educational success to students.

The “World’s Best Workforce Plan 2020-2021” was reviewed during the monthly school board meeting held on Monday, Nov. 8. 

Integration/Intervention Specialist Rebecca Matejka presented on the integration/student success program offered to students in grades K-6, with a primary focus on K-12. The students are those who need tailored instruction to increase reading and math aptitude.

Matejka said there were 41 identified as needing assistance in reading. Of those 41, 27 were part of a subgroup that feel into receiving meal assistance or being a minority. 

Of the 41 students identified, 100 percent met their goals. In the subgroup, the same achievement was the end result.

For math, Matejka reported there were 38 students identified for additional assistance. Of those, 25 belonged in the subgroup of meal assistance or minority. In both groups, 100 percent achieved goals set for math.

Matejka said her second goal was to close racial and economic achievement gaps between students. The route to success was to create a mentorship program with the Pelican Rapids School District. Students in grades 1-3 were partnered with a high school student in Viking country. 

Matejka said there was 100 percent participation for collaborative activities and it was deemed successful.

Matejka noted there is also a college readiness goal where sixth grade students were able to consider colleges, visit with M State officials and listen to different presentations. She said the information they fill out in sixth grade is given back to them when they enter their career class in ninth grade.

The Native American program focused on bringing students with native heritage in line with non-native backgrounds. Heather Perrine, the Native American program coordinator, spoke about the goals to the board.

She said the first goal was to increase scores on the MCA’s math and reading to bring them in-line with non-native students. She said the goal was partially met as the gap was reduced to 4.5 percent in math, but in reading the gap increased to 13 percent.

The  second goal Perrine set was to increase integration of Native American content into curriculum in K-12. Perrine said the goal was met. While no outside presenters were invited due to COVID-19 protocols, Perrine was able to present lessons to students and collaborate with teachers for culturally relevant projects.

Her third goal was to increase knowledge of cultural identity and awareness in Native American students and non-native students with activities.

Another goal was to have native students in third grade demonstrate a .5 grade level equivalency growth from fall to spring on their STAR reading assessments.

The goal was not met as 20 percent of the third grade native students fell short of the improvement set.

Perrine also wanted all juniors with Native American heritage to take the ACT test and have a composite score of 18.

When it came to taking the ACT test, one of three Native American students who were juniors took it. The student scored below the goal composite score.

Frazee Elementary Principal Travis Nagel spoke to the board about the literacy readiness goals, which aim for all students entering third grade to be at that reading level at the conclusion of third grade.

Each grade had markers and if a student fell below those the parents were notified. 

Nagel said the goal was not met.

The second goal Nagel addressed was for 100 percent of kindergarten through third grade students to be reading at, or above grade level, at the end of their respective grade.

The goal was not met. Nagel reported in kindergarten and first grade 76 percent met the mark, while at the end of second grade, 70 percent did and at the end of third grade it fell to 64 percent.

Nagel and High School Principal Anna Potvin reviewed the MCA scores and goals. The goal was to have all grades meet or exceed the state proficiency average in math, reading and science.

In three grade, students fell 1 percent short of the state average where 57 percent passed. In reading, third graders saw 32 percent pass, while the state average was 48 percent.

Fourth graders had only 29 percent meet math expectations (the state was at 54 percent). In reading, fourth graders had 39 percent pass, whereas the state saw 49 percent succeed.

In fifth grade Frazee students met the state average of 41 percent passing the math exam. In reading, the students were 1 percent below the state average of 59 percent passing. This grade also took the science test and surpassed the state average with 56 percent passing. The state average saw 48 percent pass.

In sixth grade, students excelled in math with 70 percent passing. The state average was 37 percent. In reading, the same results were seen with 67 percent passing, whereas the state average saw 55 percent pass.

In seventh grade, which is at the high school in Frazee, 17 percent passed the math test. The state average was 37 percent. As for reading, 41 percent passed. The state average saw 48 percent make the grade. 

In eighth grade, Frazee had 25 percent pass the math test, whereas the state had an average of 39 percent pass. In reading, Frazee had 40 percent pass. The state had 49 percent pass. This class also took a science exam. In Frazee 22 percent passed. The state had an average passing rate of 33 percent.

Sophomores were given the reading and science test. In reading, 54 percent passed, which was 4 percent below the state average. In science, Frazee had 48 percent pass, which was on par with marks posted as the state average.

Juniors took the math test. Frazee saw 29 percent pass. The state had 41 percent of students pass.

Potvin also reported the district goal of having at least 95 percent of seniors graduate was not achieved. She reported in 2020 the graduation rate was 83 percent. The state average graduation rate was 84 percent.

As for students taking the ACT exam, the district set a goal to see average scores at state average or above. The 2020 graduates taking the ACT posted the following scores (state average in parenthesis): English 17.46 (20.15); math 18.89 (21.51); reading 20.09 (21.87); science 20.37 (21.70); composite score 19.28 (21.32).

Activities Director Nick Courneya reported his goals included having 75 percent of students in grades 7-12 participate in at least one extra-curricular activity. Due to COVID-19, participation in band, choir and robotics were not included, nor were home school students and those enrolled online. From what was tracked, 63 percent were in one activity.

The second goal was to have 50 percent of students in grades 7-12 in multiple activities. Again, the lack of certain activities due to COVID-19 may have decreased the results, which came in at 37 percent.

The school board then reviewed the goals for the current year, which were similar to the previous year.