Commissioner Brenda Cassellius of the Minnesota Department of Education was scheduled for a meeting with her boss, Gov. Mark Dayton, on Monday morning, but first she stopped by Gideon Pond Elementary School in Burnsville for an important event.
Staff members at the school were celebrating a significant state designation and Cassellius wanted to add her praise.
Gideon Pond, located in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, is among only 20 schools in the state that have been designated as Reward Schools for the third consecutive year, based on the state’s new measurement of school performance called the Multiple Measurements Rating. Reward Schools are those among the top 15 percent of Minnesota schools that qualify for federal Title I funding because of the number of students in poverty. Reward Schools serve as models for others in the state, according to Cassellius.
“Congratulations! I’m so proud of what you are able to accomplish for kids,” she told staff members. “These kinds of consistent success are commendable.”
Board Member Abigail Alt also congratulated staff. “I have the upmost respect for what you do every day,” she said. “Thanks for your hard work.”
Principal Kristine Black said that there is a shared commitment among all of the Gideon Pond staff members to provide students with the best they have to offer to maximize student learning and growth every day.
“We have established extended time for staff to collaborate and learn with and from each other and rely heavily on the expertise in our building and district,” Black said. “We have implemented a structure where students are getting differentiated support and are receiving targeted interventions in specific areas of need in math and reading.
“We are honored with this designation,” she added.