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SPPS Achieves: Laying the Groundwork for Transformational Change

Superintendent Joe Gothard

Dear Colleagues,

This week I want to provide an update on the progress being made on our strategic plan, SPPS Achieves.

As you know, over the last eight months SPPS staff have invested in laying the groundwork for transformational change. The impact of this work is already being felt in schools and classrooms, with increasing momentum as the school year progresses.

I am pleased to report significant progress is being made implementing our strategic plan. We have met the target for 31 out of 39 milestones that were due in August. We are working on a total of 12 initiatives, each of which has produced a number of outcomes.

A complete progress report, and milestones from each initiative are available on our website by clicking here

An important question we must always keep asking is, “How will we know if we are being successful?”

We are using 37 measurements of student success to monitor the impact of this work. These include measures such as:

  • The percentage of students not proficient in the prior school year who are now meeting math proficiency in the current school year
  • The percentage of Pre-K students meeting the target in language and literacy
  • The percentage of SPPS graduates enrolling in postsecondary programs

Our community has made it clear, they want to see our long term student outcomes improve for all students.

I want to make it clear to you, we are required by the State of Minnesota to measure student performance via the administration of standardized tests. Therefore, those tests are part of our measurements of success. They are not the only way we are measuring growth and proficiency, they may not even be the most important. However, it’s important we continue to measure our work and use the results to make “mid-course corrections” to our work.

The work reflected in our strategic plan is focused on improving long-term outcomes. Over the course of the next several years we will see varying degrees of progress and success.

I am behind each one of you, championing with every opportunity the commitment to teach and exceed our goals for healthy, strong and successful students.

Thank you for all you do for our students, families and our community.

In partnership,

Joe Gothard

Joe Gothard