About #879

Why are Delano Public Schools a District of Choice?

Delano Public Schools, established in the 1800s, covers a 66-square-mile geographic area that extends to the communities of Corcoran, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnestrista, Montrose, Watertown, parts of Franklin, Rockford and Woodland townships, and the city of Delano.

Our school district has a student population of approximately 2,470 students and employs more than 370 staff members. 71% of our faculty hold a master’s degree or higher. In addition, a teacher mentorship program and peer coaching program supports new staff at each school.

5-Year Strategic Plan

Delano Public Schools facilitated a strategic planning process beginning in April of 2013 that included feedback from our employees, parents and greater Delano Public School communities. The process was completed in June of 2013, and the Delano Board of Education acted on this plan in July. The strategic plan focuses on a clearly articulated vision: "Systematic academic growth to promote educational excellence and continuous improvement for every learner in a digital society.”

As part of this vision, we have established four major benchmarks: Technology, Curriculum, Professional Development and Facilities. Each of these benchmarks contains specific short-term work plans that provide a vision, annual short-term goals, and specific action steps to meet those goals. This plan is an ongoing process to ensure that our school district continues to improve on its tradition of educational excellence. Find additional information about the 5-Year Strategic Plan at http://www.delano.k12.mn.us/district/superintendents-office/5-year-strategic-plan.


In the fall of 2015 voters in the Delano school district approved a $65-million bond referendum, which allowed the district to respond to the Facilities Committee recommendation that was approved by the Delano School Board in June of 2015. This recommendation included the redesign of the high school from a 9-12 building into a 7-12 secondary school, the construction of a new intermediate school for grades 4-6, accessibility and safety upgrades to the Community Education building, the construction of a new performing arts center, improvements to the athletic fields on campus, as well as additions to the Tiger Activity Center and other safety and security upgrades.

Delano Public Schools’ goal is to provide 21st century facilities for all students, staff and community members to meet the needs of educational, co-curricular and community-based programs while remaining on one campus. For more information on facilities and building projects, go to http://www.delano.k12.mn.us/district/bond-referendum-2015.

Awards and Recognitions

Delano Elementary School

  • Designated a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School for educational excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. DES was one of only six Minnesota schools to receive this award.
  • In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 DES was designated a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education.
  • Received Minnesota Excellence Foundation School Spotlight Award in 2009 for demonstrating academic excellence and significant gains in achievement.
  • Received Minnesota School of Excellence Award in 2008 from the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association.


Delano Middle School

  • In 2012 DMS received national Recognition for its Gateway to Technology (GTT) Program. This is the middle school program of Project Lead the Way, the nation's leading provider of STEM education.
  • Designated a 2003 National Blue Ribbon School for educational excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.


Delano High School

  • Annual AP District Honor Roll Recipient in 2015 and 2016.
  • In 2007 and again in 2010, Delano High School was designated a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education.
  • Designated a 2009 National Blue Ribbon School for educational excellence. DHS was one of only six schools in Minnesota to receive this award.
  • In 2006, DHS received the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation School Spotlight Award.
  • For several years, DHS has also been recognized as one of America's Best High Schools by U.S. World News and Report and Newseek magazines.



  • Delano Public Schools has received the Minnesota Department of Education's School Finance Award for being a financially responsible school district over multiple years.

Test Scores

ACT: Delano students who graduated in 2017 posted an average composite score of 23.5 in the ACT, widening the district's traditional lead on the state average, which was 21.5. That performance makes Delano one of the top academic schools in the nation, as Minnesota ranked No. 1 for test scores among the 17 states that give the ACT to all students. Students nationwide posted an average composite score of 21.

MCA: Delano students substantially exceeded the state averages in math, science and reading scores in the 2017 MCA III exams. In math, 82.2 percent of Delano students met or exceeded standards, while the statewide rate was 59 percent. In science, 68.2 percent of Delano’s students were proficient compared to 54 percent statewide. And in reading, 78.7 percent of Delano students met or exceeded the standards compared to 60 percent statewide.

Community Education

Delano's Community Education program provides a wide range of educational opportunities for all ages that encourage life-long learning. District 879 offers Adult Basic Education, college and vocational classes, enrichment classes for all ages, year-round indoor and outdoor recreation, senior citizen programs, youth development and service programs, open school facilities for community use, Active Advisory Council, Early Childhood Family Education and preschool, and year-round child care at Tiger Kids Club. Additional information about individual classes and opportunities is available here.