From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Steve Brandt, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Paul Levy and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

State gives nod to 48 'Celebration' schools

Posted by: Anthony Lonetree Updated: December 16, 2013 - 3:48 PM

The state Department of Education on Monday designated 48 schools as "Celebration" schools - the cream of a second tier of schools that receive federal poverty aid and posted student achievement gains in 2013.

Twenty-seven of the schools are in the seven-county metro area, and include nine in the St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts.

Charter schools also made a strong showing on the list.

About a quarter of the state's 2,200 public schools receive federal poverty funds, and for the past two years they have been ranked in five categories: Reward, Celebration, Continuous Improvement, Focus and Priority. The ranking system is the product of the state's waiver from No Child Left Behind, the federal law that many educators criticized as overly punitive.

Reward schools are in the top 15 percent of Title I schools, and "Celebration eligible" schools represent the next 25 percent. This year, 166 Celebration eligible schools accepted the state's invitation to apply for Celebration status by documenting efforts they've used to boost student achievement.

"Schools for many years have felt penalized," Josh Collins, a state Department of Education spokesman, said Monday. "They're happy to be recognized on the positive side. That's been fun."

In a statement, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said: "Minnesotans should be proud of the work going on in our schools. I look forward to continue learning about their successful efforts to ensure all students succeed and share that work with other schools across the state."

The metro area schools include:

Adelante College Prep, a Minneapolis charter school.

Anthony Middle School in the Minneapolis school district.

Aurora Middle School, a Minneapolis charter school.

Forest Hills Elementary in the Eden Prairie school district.

Garden Hills Elementary in the Osseo school district.

Garlough Environmental Magnet in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan school district.

Global Academy, a Columbia Heights charter school.

Harding High in the St. Paul school district.

Hiawatha Leadership Academy, a Minneapolis charter school.

Kenny Elementary in the Minneapolis school district.

KIPP Minnesota, a Minneapolis charter school.

Lincoln International High School, a Minneapolis charter school.

Lincoln Elementary in the Forest Lake school district.

Linwood Monroe Arts Plus - Upper in the St. Paul school district.

Marcy Open Elementary in the Minneapolis school district.

New Millenium Academy, a Minneapolis charter school.

Northrop Elementary in the Minneapolis school district.

Oak Grove Elementary in the Bloomington school district.

Oak Hills Elementary in the Lakeville school district.

Oak Point Intermediate Elementary in the Eden Prairie school district.

Park Brook Elementary in the Osseo school district.

Partnership Academy, a Richfield charter school.

Pratt Elementary in the Minneapolis school district.

Raven Stream Elementary in the New Prague school district.

Twin Cities International Elementary, a Minneapolis charter school.

Waite Park Elementary in the Minneapolis school district.

Washington Technology Magnet in the St. Paul school district.

The full list is available at: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Welcome/News/PressRel/053637

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