Academic Plan
In This Section

Academic Plan

Academic Plan

Background

The Academic Plan for 2019-2020 takes into consideration of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) definition of a Well Rounded Education, World’s Best Workforce, MPS 4 Priorities (MTSS, Balanced Literacy, Social Emotional Learning and Equity) and Board of Education values in the Comprehensive District Design

The Academic Plan is focused on supporting current work but also critically evaluating how we move forward to improve students’ academic success in Minneapolis Public Schools. The Academic Plan should be seen through lens of equity, meaning, focus includes asking critical questions about access and opportunity to academic success through lens of underrepresented populations.

Focus Areas

The Academic Plan is focused on three specific areas for 2019-2020. The last section, Equitable Education Design, focuses on our work moving forward after this year. It is important to remember that all parts of the Academic Plan are grounded in Social Emotional Learning. In other words, for students to do well academically, we must continue to include Social Emotional Skills such as Self-Awareness in all of our practices.

Early Literacy and Math

The first focus in the Academic Plan is on Early Literacy and Math. There are two parts to this section: Early Childhood and a focus on K-5 Literacy and Math. 

The Early Childhood plan involves continued implementation of Teaching Strategies Gold which focuses on diagnosing student’s specific needs in order to target with intervention so students are ready for Kindergarten.

On K-5 litearcy, we will continue to implement Balanced Literacy and Benchmark Advanced. We also have Adelante for our Spanish immersion sites to use for literacy. This year, we have implemented a specific focus on Kindergarten literacy and Math. The expectation is at least 80% of all kindergarteners will score proficient or 1st grade ready by the end of the school year. We have started a math adoption, with K-2 math adoption being first.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

The second part of the 2019-2020 Academic Plan includes MPS implementation of Multi-Tiered System of Support or MTSS.

There are three components under MTSS.

  • The first level ensures ALL students receive strong, core differentiated instruction. Differentiation means that all students are able to access the learning in a way that makes sense to them. Differentiation can refer to how a teacher manages multiple content skill levels as well as cultural differences in the classroom.
  • The second level ensures that students who need more support, past Tier 1, are able to get more focused support. Teachers use data to determine which students need more support and plan how to best serve the student. A school’s MTSS team will be responsible for monitoring whether students are responding positively to the focused support. Parents will be invited to be a part of this process.
  • The third level ensures that students who need more intentional support past Tier 1 and Tier 2 receive targeted support. This Tier 3 support is very focused on specific student need and may involve targeted academic support in a small group or one-on-one setting. A school’s MTSS team will be responsible for monitoring whether students are responding positively to the focused support. Parents will be invited to be a part of this process.

MTSS Definition: Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a comprehensive, evidence-based prevention framework. Within MTSS, multiple levels of supports are provided to support the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral development of all students. Through it, all students are given access to inclusive and equitable educational practices that minimize opportunity gaps.

Data is used to differentiate core instruction and select appropriate interventions for students who need supplementary support. The progress of all students is monitored to determine the effectiveness of the supports provided and to change course when necessary.

MTSS also supports the development of staff and school systems through professional development and collaboration among cross-departmental teams of school staff and leadership.

The Special Education and Multilingual Departments are utilizing Collaboration Protocols to ensure teachers (Special Education, English Learner and Mainstream) are collaborating to ensure students with special needs and/or students who are learning English still have access to core, classroom instruction. Instead of students being pulled out of the mainstream classroom, teachers are meeting to create opportunities within the mainstream classroom for all students to have access to core instruction.

College and Career

The third area of the 2019-2020 Academic Plan includes a focus on college and career. According to MDE, college and career readiness includes employability skills, mindset and social awareness, transitional knowledge and career development. MPS is working on ensuring all students are receiving this information in their PreK-12 College and Career Pathway.