Why are Delano Public Schools a District of Choice?
Educational excellence is a tradition in Delano. In recent years Forbes Magazine and Zip Realty have named Delano Public Schools No. 1 in the Nation for Top Performing Schools located in a community with affordable housing. About 370 staff members serve approximately 2,500 students on the Delano campus. Faculty members are experts in their respective fields, with 71 percent holding a master’s degree or higher. In addition, teacher mentorship and peer coaching programs support new staff members at each school.
Evidence of excellence
Delano students who graduated in 2017 posted an average composite score of 23.5 in the ACT, widening the district’s customary lead on the state average, which was 21.5. The nationwide average was 21. Delano students also substantially exceeded the state averages in math, science and reading in the 2018 MCA III exams. In math, 79.5 percent of Delano students met or exceeded standards, while the statewide rate was 57 percent. In science, 66.5 percent of Delano’s students were proficient compared to 52.2 percent statewide. And in reading, 76.8 percent of Delano students met or exceeded the standards compared to 60.3 percent statewide.
Students in advanced classes also stand out among their statewide peers on a regular basis. In 2017 Delano was one of just seven Minnesota school districts named to the AP Honor Roll. It was the third straight year Delano qualified for the honor, with Delano students far exceeding their peers in subjects like biology, human geography, government and politics, and history on AP tests.
In addition to its place on the AP Honor Roll, Delano Public Schools collected a number of other honors in the past year alone.
• Delano High School was named to the 2018 list of America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
• SchoolDigger.com ranked Delano Public Schools No. 9 in Minnesota out of more than 500 districts in 2017 and 2018.
• A study by the National Council for Home Safety and Security placed Delano in the top 3 percent of school districts in the United States. That study ranked Delano No. 13 in Minnesota, and No. 345 overall out of over 9,500 schools.
• Elementary Principal Darren Schuler was one of three statewide finalists for National Distinguished Principal honors.
• Delano Elementary was one of four schools in Minnesota to receive a 2017 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award.
• Delano Public Schools has received the Minnesota Department of Education's School Finance Award for being a financially responsible school district over multiple years.
Building for the future
A $65-million building project concluding in 2018 has enhanced nearly all aspects of the Delano Public Schools campus. Growth has been accommodated with construction of a new intermediate school for grades 4-6, key additions have been made to the K-3 elementary school, and the 7-12 high school has been extensively redesigned with a new office and entrance area, performing arts center, diving well, media center and classrooms. Additional improvements to the indoor and outdoor facilities on campus, including turf fields, a new track, tennis courts, and Tiger Activity Center upgrades, have enhanced opportunities for various co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. A number of improvements were also made to the Community Education building. Each of those projects have helped Delano Public Schools to achieve its goal of providing 21st century facilities and programs for all students, staff and community members.
The vision of Delano Public Schools provides direction for all the efforts that have made Delano a standout place for education: “Systemic academic growth to promote educational excellence and continuous improvement for every learner in a digital society.” This vision was developed as part of a strategic planning process that began in 2013. Facilities, Technology, Curriculum, and Professional Development are the four benchmarks in the plan. Goals and specific action steps have been developed to meet those goals and ensure that Delano Public Schools remains among Minnesota’s best districts.