Mora Elementary has been validated as a Minnesota School of Excellence by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association. This prestigious honor was awarded to Mora Elementary for its commitment to modern teaching and learning.
“Through the Minnesota School of Excellence program, grounded in national research on high-performing schools, MESPA has created the premier opportunity in the state for validating excellence and a commitment to continual growth in a school community,” said Jon Millerhagen, MESPA Executive Director. “This school improvement program examines the entire school community through six national standards, ensuring there is a holistic approach to creating a plan for future achievement and celebrating the unique accomplishments of each School of Excellence.”
Mora Elementary is part of Mora Public Schools and serves 948 students in grades preK-6. Randy Qual and Brenda Spartz are co-principals of Mora Elementary. Mora Public Schools’ mission statement is: “Preparing self-directed and resourceful learners able to thrive in a changing global community.”
A major strength of Mora Elementary identified by the SOE process is that the school has talented individuals willing and able to step into leadership roles. Both certified and non-certified staff take on responsibilities such as managing programming, chairing committees, planning events, facilitating Professional Learning Communities and leading professional development. Harnessing collective expertise is critically important to the success of Mora Elementary.
Other strengths of Mora Elementary identified by the SOE process include: community partnerships with organizations such as Lighthouse and Love the Journey to bring mental health services into the school; a sizable investment in digital access for students through shared mobile carts and dedicated classroom devices for daily use integrated with daily learning; and the collaborative nature of the district as a whole.
The elementary and high school operate as two distinct, but vertically aligned programs under one strategic plan with a shared vision and mission. The administrative teams, instructional leadership teams, and various committees work collaboratively from both sites in delivering aligned messages with a common language and understanding.
In the spirit of excellence being a continuous improvement process, Mora Elementary plans to expand meaningful parent engagement opportunities by offering a free parent education series this fall.
“Parenting the Love & Logic Way” sessions will be offered to K-2 families, which will include a family meal and childcare. The course will help parents learn how to build and improve their relationship with their children. Families having a more positive home environment will lead to having more regulated, happier and healthier students at school.
Eight schools achieved recognition as 2019-2020 Minnesota Schools of Excellence:
Battle Lake Elementary School , Battle Lake Public School District, Principal/Superintendent Darren Kern
Breckenridge Elementary School , Breckenridge School District, Principal Corinna Erickson
Hermantown Elementary School , Hermantown Community School District, Principal Debra Reynolds
Mora Elementary School , Mora School District, Principals Randy Qual and Brenda Spartz
Shannon Park Elementary School , Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools, Principal Erik Davis
Viking Elementary School , Pelican Rapids Public Schools, Principal Derrick Nelson
Washington Elementary School , Cloquet Public Schools, Principal Robbi Mondati
Winfair Elementary School , Windom Public Schools, Principal Jamie Frank