Valley View Elementary Recognized By Minnesota Business Leaders

Columbia Heights school wins the Minnesota Business Partnership’s Minnesota’s Future Award for outstanding academic achievement

Columbia Heights, MN – September 4, 2014

The Minnesota Business Partnership today presented Valley View Elementary School in Columbia Heights with the Minnesota’s Future Award and a check for $20,000. The Minnesota’s Future Award recognizes public elementary schools that serve concentrations of low-income and non-white students who perform at levels comparable to or exceeding statewide averages in reading and math.

Valley View’s student performance in math was extremely impressive in 2014, with their overall performance well above the state average.  Their Hispanic, English Language Learners (ELL), and low-income students all outperformed the state average, and their African-American students were within five points of the state average. While Valley View’s overall performance in reading was below the state average, their ELL students’ scores nearly doubled the performance of ELL students statewide, and the school’s African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students all did better than their peers statewide.

Valley View serves students who are 86% low-income, 78% students of color, and 39% English language learners (ELL).

Pat Ryan, CEO and President of Ryan Companies and chair of the Minnesota Business Partnership’s Education Policy Committee, presented the Minnesota’s Future Award at Valley View today. “A quality education is critical to every child’s future,” Ryan said, “and Valley View has proven that students from all backgrounds are capable of succeeding.”

“The staff and students of Valley View Elementary School are truly humbled, honored and most certainly appreciative of being recognized with the Minnesota’s Future Award,” Valley View Principal Willie Fort said.  “This significant recognition from the giants of the business world is a testament to the incredibly hard work that all of us, teachers, parents and most importantly students, have and will continue to do to close the achievement gap.”

Business Partnership executive director Charlie Weaver said, “Valley View’s remarkable team has created a culture of support and success. The students, teachers, support staff, and leadership are all aligned to the same goal. Failure is not an option.”

The Minnesota Business Partnership is comprised of chief executives of more than 100 of Minnesota’s largest employers. For the past nine years the Partnership has presented the Minnesota’s Future Award. Funding for this year’s award was provided by the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. with additional support coming from IBM.

Valley View Elementary will be honored before 900 business, civic, and political leaders at the Business Partnership’s Annual Dinner on October 7th in Minneapolis. Previous recipients of the Minnesota’s Future Award include:

  • 2013:  Hiawatha Academies, Minneapolis
  • 2012:  Harvest Prep and Best Academy, Minneapolis
  • 2011:  Longfellow 45-15 Choice Elementary, Rochester; Global Academy, Columbia Heights
  • 2010:  Sibley East-Gaylord Elementary, Gaylord; Concordia Creative Learning Academy, St. Paul
  • 2009:  King Elementary, Deer River; Dayton’s Bluff Elementary, St. Paul
  • 2008:  J.W. Smith Elementary, Bemidji; Ames Elementary, St. Paul
  • 2007:  Kelliher Elementary, Kelliher; Farnsworth Aerospace Elementary, St. Paul
  • 2006:  Nettleton Magnet School, Duluth; Sheridan Elementary, St. Paul