Lester Prairie Elementary and Secondary School showed great results and improvements on statewide assessments. The MMR scores are in and test results released to the public. Lester Prairie has some impressive strengths within both the elementary and secondary school. The District graduation rate exceeded the state target for the third year in a row. School Superintendent Mike McNulty stated, “Our entire staff and community has worked hard to teach and raise young people who are geared to excel, and our school staff will continue to put the complete education of our young people first.” Lester Prairie did not qualify for the graduation rate score in the previous two years due to graduating class student count size. Students scored nearly 10 points higher in math and 15 points higher in reading throughout the district compared to their target scores in LEP. District scores for special education were leaps and bounds above the state average with an index rate of 61 compared to a target of 33. In reading, the district scored 2 points higher than the targeted score for the 3rd consecutive year.
Lester Prairie Elementary students were above the targeted scores in both math and reading. Students in the free/reduced lunch category also scored well above the math and reading targets to meet the proficiency category on the 2014 AYP results; a 2014 rate of 58.33 compared with the target of 48.23. Lester Prairie Elementary obtained Celebration School status following the release of the 2012 testing results and was also recognized as a Reward School. In 2013 the elementary scored 43.06 points and the designation for 2014 was 48.72%. Each school was also given a focus rating with Lester Prairie receiving all 50 points in focused proficiency and an overall Focus Rating score of 67.08%. This particular score excludes all test scores but the ALL and WHITE categories.
Lester Prairie Principal Jeremy Schmidt stated, “We are very happy with where we are as a school. The areas we have improved on have been our areas of focus over the last couple of years. It is very difficult to compare scores as the MDE continues to change scoring and the statewide assessments, but Lester Prairie as a whole has always scored well. While the changes last year were minimal, this coming year may provide major changes, particularly in special education. We are prepared for this change as special education students in LP have taken the same MCA assessments as their peers in the regular education setting.”
While the Lester Prairie Elementary School exceeded targets for proficiency, the High School scored just below the target, narrowly missing by .47 points. However, Lester Prairie High School improved its MMR score by obtaining a 60.73, much higher than the 2013 MMR score of 30.17. The 2014 designation comes from the average of these two scores resulting in a 51.94%. The score would place Lester Prairie High School in the Celebration Eligible category, a placement restricted to schools that offer Title One services, which Lester Prairie High School does not. The high school received a Focus Rating of 43.15%.
Further information can be found on the Minnesota Department of Education website. “The high school has had a great jump in what has been good scores in previous years,” according to Schmidt. Adding, “we have had a slight dip in recent years in the middle level scores, this is a commonality throughout the state, but when students leave Lester Prairie School District, they are in a wonderful position to be prepared for whatever avenue they choose following graduation.”