School Extra by Bob Zimmerman

My smart phone tells me to say “Ok Google” when I want to search the internet and I recently did a little surfing to answer a few questions. What is the mission of Maple Lake Public Schools? How well do the schools fulfill their mission? What makes Maple Lake Public Schools exceptional? I enjoyed following the various links trying to find answers to my questions. The main web resource Google directed me to was the district’s web page, www.maplelake. k12.mn.us, but Facebook, Twitter and other sites contributed information as well.

According to the school website “The mission of Maple Lake Public Schools is to create an exceptional place to learn and work, emphasizing educational opportunities that promote academic achievement, life-long learning, and productive citizenship in our society.” Finding the mission statement was easy but answering the “how well is the mission being met” question required more searching to find supporting data for each part of the statement.

Our schools certainly seem to be an “exceptional place to learn and work”. The site www.niche.com ranks schools as part of its information aimed at helping families learn about resources in communities they might want to move to. The site ranked Maple Lake at number 80 of 335 in the Best School District in Minnesota category and at number 12 in the Safest District category. On the district’s website, I learned that our elementary school was a Reward school in 2012, ‘13, ‘14, and ‘16 which means that MLES students scored in the top 15% of all Title 1 schools on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. In 2014, MLES was one of 12 elementary schools in Minnesota named a School of Excellence, which is a seven year distinction.

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