Posted at: 10/02/2013 5:41 PM
By: Dan Conradt

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Albert Lea Schools Earn High Marks

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- They're celebrating tonight in the Albert Lea school district.

The state has recognized two of the district’s elementary schools for improved student performance.

And if you’re looking for proof that hard work pays off, you don’t have to look any further than Sibley and Lakeview.

“I guess it wouldn't necessarily say it's just been a year, but probably two or three," said Sibley principal Ross Williams.

The two schools have been listed among the top 15 percent of schools in the state that receive Title One funds, which target schools with a set percentage of students from low income families.

When Minnesota schools were granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind program, the state set up a set of standards to evaluate school performance in areas like student proficiency and reducing the achievement gap.

"We're about all the kids of a particular grade level, not just who's in my room," Sibley’s Ross Williams told us.

And that’s why Albert Lea schools use grade-level teams to evaluate student performance.

"What do we want students to learn, how do we know they've learned them and what do we do when they don't know it and what do we do when they do," Ross Williams said.

And because nothing stands still in education:

"It's a weekly review for people of how that progress is being made," principal Ross Williams explained.

Albert Lea was the only school district in the Big 9 conference to place two schools in the top 15 percent.