District Profile

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    About St. Louis Park Public Schools
    St. Louis Park Public Schools is a nationally recognized suburban public school district, serving approximately 5,000 students.

    The District includes four elementary schools (Gr. K-5), one middle school (Gr. 6-8) and one high school (Gr. 9-12). The District educates children ages 0-5 and their families through Early Learning programs and services provided by Community Education. School age childcare and adult programs are also offered through Community Education. An award-winning senior program provides activities and engagement for seniors.

    The St. Louis Park Public Schools and the City of St. Louis Park boundaries are nearly identical and both public entities work closely and collaboratively to support residents of all ages. The City of St. Louis Park is a first-tier Minneapolis suburb of approximately 48,171 residents. Both the schools and the city are growing. Over the past ten years, the student population has grown from approximately 4,200 students to nearly 4,600 students, with similar growth projected to continue.

    Mission
    As a caring, diverse community with a tradition of putting its children first, we will ensure all students attain their highest level of achievement; prepare all students to contribute to society; offer high quality opportunities for lifelong learning; provide multiple pathways to excellence; challenge all learners to meet high standards; and provide a safe and nurturing environment that energizes and enhances the spirit.

    The 2015-2020 Strategic Plan guides the work of the school district. It includes four key strategies – each with multiple results to be achieved – all of which are measured to ensure that the mission is achieved.

    Brand – History Informs Our Future
    St. Louis Park Public Schools is steeped in a strong tradition of excellence and community support. Our brand is based on five key components:
    • Very Academic
    • Innovative
    • Welcome Diversity
    • Historical Community Support
    • Perfect Size for Participation & Relationships
    The school district has a long and treasured history. The District recently celebrated its 125th anniversary and is proud of its long list of accomplished and distinguished alumni. “Park Pride” is strong in St. Louis Park and around the globe as our graduates make their mark academically and in their professional and personal lives.

    Diversity
    Our student body is diverse and ever changing. Our students and community members hail from all parts of the world. The school district welcomes and celebrates diversity of all kinds. Students have the opportunity to learn with classmates from all racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. All students benefit from this experience and are given the opportunity to experience the world outside of St. Louis Park and its varied cultures.

    St. Louis Park Public Schools is the perfect size – not too big and not too small. This gives students an excellent opportunity to participate in a full-range of course offerings, sports and activities.

    Ethnicity Breakdown (As of February 2017):
    American Indian/Alaskan Native 1.4%
    Asian 5.3%
    Hispanic 11.5%
    Black, no Hispanic 24.2%
    White, not Hispanic 57.6%

    Teaching & Learning Philosophy
    As a District, we focus on racial equity in all we do. We engage in dialogue that isolates race and makes intentional connections to what is personal, local, and immediate for us and for
our learners in our classrooms and programs every day. Most importantly, we use what we know about ourselves to inform our work with learners.

    Bundling our examination of race and instructional practices, often referred to as adaptive and technical skills, is what makes a difference in our classrooms and programs each and every day.

    At the end of the day, we want all of our students, especially our Black, Brown and Indigenous students, to have a personal and academic identity that prepares them for a future of possibilities. We do this by offering multiple pathways to college and career readiness. Our International Baccalaureate, Immersion, Advanced Placement, Academy Classes, and offer a large variety of learning experiences grounded in rigor and relevance.

    Our goal is to close the racial achievement gap and become the least demographically predicable public school district in Minnesota guides our work in Teaching and Learning. We created an elementary redesign model that systematically and systemically changes outcomes for learners beginning in Kindergarten. Each year, we examine practices and outcomes and collaboratively develop a plan of action. We have seen impressive academic results in the grade levels that have gone through this redesign process. As part of this work we have also developed a district-wide approach to reading and math intervention, added instructional and equity coaches, and make a commitment to investing in increasing the capacity of all of our educators and leaders.

    In our secondary schools, we examine teaching practices and student outcomes in math, science, and language arts on an ongoing basis. Again this is done through systematic and systemic changes aligned with academic outcomes and best practices to ensure student success. We include opportunities for research, exploration, and inquiry across content areas to make learning real and relevant.

    In support of the District mission, we continually evaluate student outcomes and align instruction, curriculum, and assessment in a culturally relevant manner. We strive to create learning environments that are nurturing, safe, and inviting each and every day.

    Student Enrollment
    Some facts about our students:
    • Residents of St. Louis Park make up 83% of the District’s student population, while the other 17% are open-enrolled students.
    • English Language Learners make up 11% of the student population.
    • St. Louis Park students speak 49 different home languages.
    • 36.1 percent of the student population qualifies for free and reduced meal prices.
    • 11.2 percent of the student population qualifies for Special Education services.
    • 10.1 percent of the student population participates in the District’s Gifted and Talented Programs.
    Student Achievement
    St. Louis Park Public Schools are closing the racial achievement gap and are laser focused on ensuring that all students reach their full college and career potential. The District is committed to becoming the most demographically unpredictable school district in Minnesota.

    St. Louis Park High School boasts a 93% four-year graduation rate for all students; including a 91% graduation rate for Black students and a 95% graduation rate for Hispanic students.

    In order to effectively monitor student achievement, St. Louis Park Schools uses a variety of measurement tools. A few examples include:
    • National Association of Educational Progress (NAEP) – Results are reported for the state and not available by individual school district. Results are used by the state to assess its performance against other states nationwide.
    • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) – Like other Minnesota schools, St. Louis Park students take the MCA exams. The MCA exams identify if students have met grade level requirements outlined in the academic areas of math, reading, and science.
    • NWEA Measures of Academic Progress – The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessment indicates instructional level and measures academic growth from year to year in mathematics, reading and science for individual students.
    • WIDA for English Language Learners (EL) – World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) is a federally mandated test to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English language proficiency.
    • St. Louis Park Public Schools also does a variety of reading and math proficiency assessments in grades K-5, offer the ACT to all students, and administer a variety of IB, and AP exams in the high school.
    • St. Louis Park High School students consistently post ACT scores higher than the Minnesota state average. 2016 mean scores: English (21.3), Math (21.2), Reading (22.4), Science (21.7), and Composite (21.8).
    • National Merit: Three St. Louis Park High School students were named semifinalists for the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.
    Budget
    The St. Louis Park Public Schools’ financial position remains financially sound. The District’s unreserved fund balance is approximately 13% of unreserved expenses. The student enrollment has grown over the last few years and is projected to grow slightly to help to maintain the district’s financial condition. The District is very fortunate to have a history of strong community support.

    Awards & Honors
    The nationally recognized and federally funded Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) program got its start in St. Louis Park High School. The BARR program is a student-centered school model aimed at ensuring 9th grade students are on a beneficial pathway to graduation. BARR recently received a $20 million grant to expand the model to at least 116 schools across the country over the next five years.

    St. Louis Park Public Schools is also a pioneer in developing an Elementary Counseling Program and bringing Science to the elementary schools through an initial grant funded by Cargill to introduce the Engineering is Elementary program.

    Historically, several St. Louis Park Public Schools have been designated as U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools.

    This past year, The Washington Post ranked St. Louis Park High School as the 4th highest rated high school in Minnesota.

    Community Partnerships
    St. Louis Park Public Schools has strong community ties and is valued and trusted partner in numerous initiatives. Unique partnerships exist with:

    Children First: A philosophy that started in St. Louis Park in 1992 that focuses on positive character-building traits; targets all St. Louis Park youth, birth through 18 years old; and calls everyone to support our young people.

    Park Nicollet Foundation – Central Clinic: Located at the Central Community Center, the Central Clinic offers healthcare to children from infancy through high school at no-charge. The clinic also offers no-charge and low-cost dental and mental health care. Park Nicollet Foundation funds this clinic.