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 2021-2023 Achievement and Integration District plan.

    Minnesota Department of Education's Achievement and Integration Program Information

    Local Strategies

    Strategy One:  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 the school to improve achievement for their students. Liaisons will be trained in Check-and-Connect, 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 and provide support to address specific issues.

    Strategy Two:  Instructional Coaches

    Type of Strategy:  Career/college readiness and rigorous coursework for underserved students, including students enrolled in ALC.

    Description: The instructional coaches will provide instructional support for students and teachers that will decrease racial and economic achievement disparities in the content areas. This will include modeling of cultural competency and literacy strategies with students that will affect student achievement. Coaches will also type up 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 and sustained intercultural professional learning and coaching for teachers and staff in order to increase student engagement and learning, especially for students from traditionally underserved groups. In year one, instructional coaches will participate in a year-long professional learning experience designed to increase their understanding of their own culture and the impact it has on their work and interaction in school. They will explore general culture information and use culturally inclusive strategies. They will become familiar with research supporting this pedagogy. In years two through three, they will provide professional learning opportunities for teachers. Our district’s cultural competency committee will support the instructional coaches to use culturally inclusive strategies in staff meetings and coaching sessions in order to encourage other teachers to adopt these strategies. . They will also support teachers with professional development and coaching of effective instructional practices.

    Strategy Three:  AVID Tutors at the Area Learning Center (ALC)

    Type of Strategy:  Career/college readiness and rigorous coursework for underserved students, including students enrolled in ALC. 

    Description: Avid Tutors will be hired at the ALC to reinforce students using the AVID strategies. Using these strategies will help students with credit recovery, raise the achievement levels, and decrease racial and economic achievement levels in the content areas.

    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

    Plan Components: 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.

    Activity Five: Summer STEM/Robotics Course

    Plan Components: 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.