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March Madness provides positive results

Last spring, the Blackduck School District implemented a unique program during the month of March. Students in grades 3-11 embarked in a rigorous Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment preparation program entitled MCA March Madness.

This program held the theme of "Beat the State."

During the entire month, students spent time reviewing, practicing and preparing for this high stakes assessment. Parallel to the academic component were numerous incentive activities both in the high school and the elementary.

From a Problem of the Day contest to a Dodgeball tournament with the championship game played with students taking on the staff in the high school. A beanbag toss, basketball shootout and golf ball relay were the tournaments held in the elementary school. Students earned spots on their classroom teams each week by maintaining or improving on their baseline pre-tournament scores.

The results are in -- Blackduck Schools received the top MCA scores in the area for another year! Blackduck outscored Bagley, Bemidji, Cass Lake, Clearbrook-Gonvik, Kelliher, Laporte, South Koochiching and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

Even with the increased rigor of the math MCA III resulting in lower math scores statewide, Blackduck's students scored 63 percent proficient over the State's 57 percent. As the MCA reading assessment continues, Blackduck again scored 82 percent in contrast to the state's 75 percent proficient score.

The ninth grade students also scored higher than the state average with 95.6 percent over the state's 89 percent on the writing assessment. It is apparent that Blackduck did indeed, "Beat the State" as well as our neighboring schools.

It is with great pride that we recognize the success of our Blackduck students and staff!

"We continue to set the bar high for Minnesota students with tougher new standards and to improve the ways in which we help children master them," stated the state Minnesota Education Commissioner Sept. 15.

Blackduck Public Schools has taken on this challenge and will continue to promote and support student success as we "Beat the State" in the future.