Although the district is always looking to improve, Sauk Rapids-Rice School District in Minnesota has seen impressive positive results throughout its 25-year history of partnering with Skyward. The district passed a voter-approved operating referendum after countless failures and inadequate funding, which demonstrated newfound community support and involvement. According to state exams, student achievement at Sauk Rapids-Rice has increased in certain subsets by more than 50%, and as of 2013, has been exceeding the state averages in every grade level and category. Student and community engagement have also increased by more than 25%, according to the district’s surveys and event attendance. In addition, every high school student now has a laptop, while students in grades 5-8 have an iPad to access programming.
 
The district’s Board of Education passed a three-phase initiative aimed at providing every child with an increase in access and opportunities through technology. The middle and high schools were recently recognized by the state Department of Education for innovation and for closing the achievement gap. Sauk Rapids-Rice was also recognized by the state for its financial practices in the last four consecutive years. The high school principal was recently selected as Minnesota’s Principal of the Year and the district’s superintendent was also selected as Minnesota’s Superintendent of the Year.
 
“Skyward has increased and enhanced communication between and amongst students, staff, and families,” said Dr. Daniel Bittman, superintendent of schools. “Without Skyward, we would not be able to share information and partner to the degree we have. Communication remains a district priority, and Skyward makes that possible!”
 
“Skyward has helped us implement a comprehensive, easy-to-use system that has been cost effective, saving staff time and frustration,” Bittman added. “It has also helped us communicate effectively and efficiently with each other and our stakeholders. This system has made our lives remarkably easy, while encouraging us to take chances and remain innovative.”


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