Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park Celebrates State Test Score Gains
On the second day of the new school year, leaders at Monroe Elementary School for Mathematics, Science and Children’s Engineering are already thinking how they can improve over last year’s dramatic rebound in state standardized test scores.
“We are seeing staff thinking back to last year when they’re planning: ‘Okay, that worked, let’s do that again. That didn’t work, let’s not do that again,'” said Amy Oliver, the longtime principal of the Brooklyn Park magnet school, part of Anoka-Hennepin Schools.
On the 2023 assessments, Monroe students moved back over 50 percent for those meeting state standards in math, science and reading. For math and science, Monroe is over 60 percent. In 2022, Monroe was below 50 percent proficiency for all three subjects.
“It’s the first time in a couple of years they’ve seen growth,” said Oliver. “We’re seeing the results on the state test as well as things we’re seeing in the classroom.”
The improvements are a springboard into the new year.
“We have so much work left to do,” said Oliver. “The teachers are excited about that. They enjoy being creative and innovative.”
School leaders also credit Monroe’s higher-than-average attendance rate. Oliver said 93 percent of the school’s students are there every day. In some other schools, it could be fewer than 70 percent of students.
“That helps,” she said.
Oliver also credits recruiting efforts to have as many minority teachers in her classrooms as possible, with 70 percent of Monroe students being persons of color.