Academy classes helping students improve at HFHS

January 3, 2018


At Hinckley-Finlayson’s (H-F) regular December school board meeting, Amy Grice presented a summary on The World’s Best Workforce (WBWF).

WBWF is legislation that was passed in 2013 to make sure that all districts work toward all students performing and succeeding in school.

With WBWF, each school district needs to develop a plan that addresses five main goals:

1) All children are ready for school 

2) All third graders can read at grade level 

3) All racial and economic achievement gaps between students are closed 

4) All students are ready for career and college 

5) All students graduate from high school


She told the board the most exciting thing this report showed was, when looking at student growth, H-F surpasses the state’s trend in both reading and math. According to a handout given at the meeting, growth rates for the state in reading increased by 0.8 percent, while H-F’s growth increased by 4.3 percent. In math, the state decreased in growth by 0.9 percent, yet H-F increased their growth by 9.5 percent.


Grice explained that three of the district’s five goals were met and one was partially met. (See graphic)



Superintendent Rob Prater presented a resolution regarding the dissolution of The St. Croix River Education District’s (SCRED) current form. The organization will dissolve and reorganize as of July 1, 2018. Prater explained that one of the biggest changes includes SCRED becoming its own fiscal host, instead of being hosted by the Rush City School District.

Prater told the board the Superintendent’s Operating Council will remain the same and the district won’t lose any control. In the end it will mean more help for the students. The motion was made and passed to sign the dissolution paperwork.


Academy classes

HFHS principal Brian Masterson reported this year’s Ninth-Grade Academy students are doing very well. Of the 13 students in the class, two are on the B honor roll, one is on the A honor roll and all 13 are passing all of their classes. Masterson said, looking at these same students last year, they had 13 class failures. “We are very proud of our Ninth-Grade Academy program,” said Masterson. In the Seventh-Grade Academy program, 81 percent of the 13 students passed all of their classes. 


Homeless students

Hinckley-Finlayson counselor Sandy Korf presented to the board regarding homeless students. As of December 11, H-F district had 17 students, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, that are coded as homeless. 


The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence." Examples of this include:

  • Children sharing housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing

  • Children living in "motels, hotels, trailer parks or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations"

  • Children living in "emergency or transitional shelters"

  • Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)

  • Children living in "cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations"


Most of the students coded as homeless at H-F are coded that way because they are “doubled up.” For instance, the family lives with grandparents or another relative due to an economic hardship, such as foreclosure or divorce.


According to Korf, approximately five of these students fall into the unaccompanied youth category. What this could mean, said Korf, is they were kicked out of their house and are staying with friends “couch hopping,” meaning they are not living with a legal parent or guardian. 

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