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Mott-Regent High School recognized for student achievement

Mott-Regent school
Mott-Regent Public School.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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MOTT, N.D. — North Dakota’s School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said Thursday that Mott-Regent High School is being honored for outstanding improvements to academic achievement.

The high school will receive Distinguished Schools Awards from the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators, Baesler said. The nomination was prompted by an improvement in math proficiency.

“It’s a great school to be in. We have good staff. We have students who try and want to be here,” Mott-Regent 7th-12th grade Principal Bridget Greff said. “It’s a good place to work and a good place to have your kids attend school.”

When asked, Greff pointed to a multitude of factors that may have contributed to the exceptional scores. These included a relatively low student-teacher ratio, ACT preparatory coursework and a shift in their math curriculum that does a better job of providing K-8 students with the relevant arithmetic to do well in high school.

“I’d say our biggest class right now has 22 students,” she said. “Some class sizes are down to eight to 10, if it’s an elective class.”

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According to Greff, the school has a total of 106 students in grades 7-12. She explained that a lower ratio allows instructors adequate time to provide assistance where it's needed most.

“It’s just a lot harder for a teacher to help the kids who are at the top of the class and need more of a challenge; then also to help the kids who need to have the lesson retaught because they just didn’t get it the first time,” Greff said. “If we have a good number in the room then our teachers are really able to go the extra mile to help everybody.”

The national association is made up of state school officials who administer federal education aid programs. ESEA stands for Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the principal federal law that benefits K-12 education.

Each state education department nominates as many as two schools each year for consideration as distinguished schools. Qualifying schools have at least 35 percent of their students in low-income families and have demonstrated high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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