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Hillsboro School District meets strategic goal

HILLSBORO, N.D. — The Hillsboro Public School District is sitting at the head of the class this week after it recently achieved Level 2 certification in the Marzano High Reliability Schools program.

Superintendent Paula Suda said the district adopted the research-based education program up to six years ago as part of its mission statement.

"It's more of an educational strategic plan is how we look at it," Suda said. "It just helps guide us and keeps a focus on the education."

The program helps schools take proactive steps to ensure student success by teaching educators how to use leading and lagging indicators to assess and monitor how well they are preparing students for future success in college or careers.

"They say some schools may never get certified. It's a lot of hard work," Suda said. "We're very proud of our teachers, and I think it just shows how hard they have been working to meet these goals and different levels."

The schools took 3½ years to achieve Level 1 certification in "Safe and Collaborative Culture." The second level focuses on "Effective Teaching in Every Classroom" and involves teachers working together to observe each other and give feedback on good teaching techniques while also gauging student performance.

"We have these indicators you have to try to meet. You have to show all your documents, your videos, your evaluations, your teacher growth goals. ... There are five levels, and it takes years to reach," Suda said.

Schools also continue to work on previous levels even as they work toward the next one. A news release said the program is backed by 50 years of educational research with continuous action research in all major areas of education. The Marzano Research Co. provides K-12 educators with solutions for instruction, reflective teaching, curriculum development, leadership, student engagement and competency-based education.

Suda said four educators will travel to Austin, Texas, this summer for a Marzano Summit, and teachers this fall will get additional training for the next level, "Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum."

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