Achievement and Integration

  • The purpose of the achievement and integration collaborative is to pursue racial and economic integration and to increase academic achievement, create equitable educational opportunities and reduce academic disparities based on students' diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. 

    Read the 2023-2026 Achievement & Integration District Plan

    Minnesota Department of Education's Achievement and Integration Program Information

    Local Strategies

    Strategy One and Three:  Instructional Coaches

    Type of Strategy:  Career/college readiness and rigorous coursework for underserved students, including students enrolled in ALC.  Equitable access to effective and more diverse teachers.

    Description:  Willmar Public Schools is implementing an evidence-based, comprehensive Standards-Based Learning Approach (SBL) and Focused Teacher Evaluation Growth Model (FTEM) to accelerate student achievement.  A SBL approach centers on proficiency scales that include a progression of learning for the MN academic standards.  The proficiency scales bring clarity to students and teachers about what it is students should know and be able to do and where they are at in the learning progression.  The proficiency scale is the hub of student learning and connected to classroom planning, instruction, assessment and feedback.  The FTEM focuses on 23 essential elements that lead to effective teaching.  The model provides staff an instructional framework with instructional techniques and strategies for facilitating, deepening, and evaluating student learning.  Both approaches focus on building teacher expertise and take a student-outcome perspective.  Instructional coaches will provide instructional support for teachers and students within these models that will decrease racial and economic achievement disparities in the content areas.  This will include modeling of evidence-based strategies with students that will affect student achievement.  Instructional coaches will also compile and sort data reports from various sources (secure reports, Viewpoint, Pearson, etc.) to share with staff members to monitor achievement disparities.

    Instructional coaches will provide long-term sustained job-embedded professional learning and coaching for teachers in order to increase student engagement and learning, especially for students from traditionally underserved groups.  Professional development will focus on the Willmar Public Schools (WPS) Instructional Framework and the components of Standards-Based learning, which includes strategies for exceptional learners and equity and access to the content.  Each element/strategy in the WPS Instructional Framework includes teacher instructional techniques for equity and access that support the desired effect for teachers and students.  Coaches will provide large group training focused on these effective teaching practices as well as work with staff through PLCs and coaching cycles.  During coaching cycles, teachers will work alongside a coach to self-rate, set goals, select elements/strategies from the instructional model to implement, receive feedback on the implementation, and reflect on the process.  This cycle allows for teachers to self-select effective teaching practices that they would like to grow in to increase student outcomes.  Instructional coaches will support teachers with being diverse in their skill sets and coach effective instructional practices.

    Strategy Two:  Cultural Liaisons

    Type of Strategy:  Family Engagement initiatives to increase student achievement

    Description: The liaisons will build positive relationships between staff and families by facilitating communication between school staff and families from a range of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The intent is to empower families from all racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds to work with schools to improve achievement for their students. Liaisons will engage in the Check-and-Connect program, an intervention used with K-12 students who show warning signs of disengagement (attendance, behavior, course completion). Liaisons will build a trusting and caring relationship with students and provide mentorship to them. Liaisons will regularly check in with students to celebrate successes, problem-solve areas for improvement, connect students to resources within the school, and engage with families about school progress.

    Collaborative Strategies

    Willmar Public Schools is part of the West Central Achievement and Integration Collaborative, which includes Atwater - Cosmos - Grove City Public Schools, BOLD Public Schools, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Public Schools, MACCRAY Public Schools, Montevideo Public Schools, and the New London-Spicer School District.

    As a member of the West Central Achievement and Integration Collaborative, Willmar participates in a number of collaborative activities.

    Strategy Four: Summer GAMMA Course

    Type of Strategy: Innovative and integrated pre-K-12 learning environments. 

    Description: GAMMA is a collaborative math course between our district, a racially isolated district, and all of our partnering districts. Teachers and students going into grades 6-8 from all of the districts will come together for a five-day learning experience focused on math with overarching themes of self-identity, community, equity, and integration. This is for students of all ability levels in order to avoid segregating students by ability. Students will engage in activities designed to be different from their academic year mathematical learning experiences. They will use hands-on problem-solving activities with an emphasis on multiple and varied representations of concepts that encourage elaboration, questioning and explanation. On the fifth day, students will participate in a field experience that relates to the themes taught during the week. A primary objective is to establish positive relationships between students of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds while developing their math skills.

    Strategy Five: Summer STEM/Robotics Course

    Type of Strategy: Innovative and integrated pre-K-12 learning environments. 

    Description: The STEM/Robotics course is a collaborative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experience between our district, a racially isolated district, and all of our partnering districts. Teachers and students entering grades 6-8 from all of the districts will come together for a ten-day learning experience focused on the areas within STEM along with overarching themes of self-identity, community, equity, and integration. This is for students of all ability levels in order to avoid segregating students by ability. Students will explore STEM concepts through interactive large and small group learning that will use hands-on problem-solving activities, inquiry, explanation, elaboration and questioning around the project they are working on. Teachers will facilitate team-building activities, roles and responsibilities of working in a team, ways to come to a consensus, goal setting, creating a timeline, and presenting the finished product in a collaborative way. A primary objective is to establish positive relationships between students of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds while developing their STEM skills.

    Strategy Six: Summer College Courses

    Type of Strategy: Innovative and integrated pre-K-12 learning environments. 

    West Central Collaborative students in 10th and 11th grade will have the opportunity to enroll in college credit courses in June.  We will collaborate with the local community college to provide instructors and identify which courses to offer.  Students will come together in a single location/campus a couple days a week and meet virtually the other days in order to participate in rigorous coursework, earn college credits, and build cross-cultural relationships.  Each district will work with their students to provide support and mitigate potential barriers to allow them to participate in the program.  Through the four-week program, a primary objective is to establish positive relationships between students of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds while providing an opportunity for students to engage in a collegiate experience.  This program will include member districts of the West Central Collaborative, including Wilmar, a racially isolated district.