Congratulations to MREA member districts Pillager and Redwood Area schools for their selection as overall award recipients of the 2017 Local Government Innovation Awards.

These districts are 2 of 25 local government projects in Minnesota being recognized December 7 by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota for demonstrating innovation and collaboration. The awards recognize projects in five different categories, and name one overall award winner in each: cities, counties, schools, townships and new this year, Native Nations.

School Category

Pillager Public Schools

Metier, pronounced “meteor,” is an experiential learning program that teaches students in grades 5-8 to build a life and a career around flow, the happiest state wherein you feel and perform your best. It achieves significant impact by bringing in community, colleges, organizations, and individuals to share education and career paths so students can sample 15 career fields over two years. Metier, supported by the National Joint Powers Alliance and 3M’s Bush Foundation, will meet with 15+ schools in November 2017 to encourage replication.

Native Nations Category

Redwood Area School District and Lower Sioux Indian Community

Creating Effective Culturally-Based Resources and Results for American Indian Students
Lower Sioux and the Redwood Area School District’s partnership creates cultural resources and improves educational outcomes for Native students. Native students at Redwood have higher proficiency in state math and reading assessments, and their graduation rate is above the state’s rate. This partnership led to the recent election of the first Lower Sioux tribal member to the Redwood Area School Board in over 20 years, and the district’s adoption of an unprecedented credit-bearing Dakota language class.

A panel of judges considered over 100 submissions for their creativity, sustainability, and collaboration. The overall winners of the five categories will receive a grant from the Bush Foundation to continue their work and a professionally produced video to use for marketing and awareness.