Literacy Plan


Perpich Arts High School opened its doors in 1989 and graduated its first class in 1991. It is a tuition-free, public, residential-optional high school for students in 11th and 12th grades. The school is part of Perpich Center for Arts Education, a state agency created in 1985 and funded through the Minnesota state legislature to promote access to and opportunities for arts education for all Minnesota students, teachers, and schools.

Students who wish to attend Perpich Arts High School must go through a competitive admissions process. Those accepted have demonstrated artistic promise and a strong commitment to study in the arts and academics. The school stresses arts and academics equally and emphasizes creative and analytical thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

The school may enroll no more than 310 students and they must be residents of Minnesota. They come from all parts of the state and from diverse backgrounds. Average class size is 14 students. The school’s residence hall can accommodate approximately 140 students.


The school follows a block schedule system in which full-credit academic courses are taught in 90-minute periods so that a full year’s credit is earned in one semester. Half-credit academic and arts electives are offered during 50-minute blocks. Art courses are three hours per day, two credits per semester. The school day is 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The school is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).


The school provides a college preparatory curriculum with core courses. The arts programs are dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theater (with a musical theater track), and visual arts. Art courses are also college preparatory in addition to technical work in each art area. Advanced Placement classes offered include AP Art History, AP Calculus AB, AP Literature and Composition, and AP Studio Art. Perpich has offered College in the Schools courses through the University of Minnesota-Twins Cities. Perpich uses the Postsecondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) as a means to supplement, not replace, in-school academics. Students must be available for all art classes.

Minnesota READ Act Goal

“Reading well by third grade is one of many developmental milestones in a child’s educational experience. Literacy development starts at an early age and is the basis for all academic success. Reading well by grade three ensures that a student has a solid foundation of literacy skills to continue to expand their understanding of what they read, make meaning, and transfer that learning across all subject areas. Instruction that provides the basis for all students to read well by third grade and beyond will help close the achievement gap and ensure that all students are ready for the demands of college and the workplace. From cradle to career, a sustained effort to create quality literacy environments in all of our schools and programs from birth through grade 12 promotes academic success.”
-Minnesota Department of Education

The goal of the READ Act is to have every Minnesota child reading at or above grade level every year, beginning in kindergarten, and to support multilingual learners and students receiving special education services in achieving their individualized reading goals Minn. Stat. 120B.12 (2023). The literacy plan must include a process to assess students’ level of reading proficiency, notify and involve parents, intervene with students who are not reading at or above grade level, and identify and meet staff development needs.

Perpich School Literacy Goals

This literacy plan provides an overview of how Perpich Arts High School plans to work to improve the literacy achievement of all students by identifying needs, implementing research-based interventions, engaging in on-going study and self-reflection to improve the shared practice of teaching, and involving parents in a joint partnership to actively respond to the needs of our children.

Statement of Goals

The Perpich strategic plan is a call to review, develop, and implement continuous improvement plans for literacy, readiness, inclusiveness, and rigor for all. This plan ensures all students are College, Career, and Civic ready.

All students deserve equitable access to rigorous core content through the use of the Minnesota State Standards, comprehensive and viable curriculum, and evidence-based literacy instruction. Literacy is a priority for all educators at every level, shown by committed to:

Academic Excellence

Standards and Curriculum – Rigorous core content begins with standards as common expectations to guide instruction, assessment, and outcomes. The Minnesota Reading and ELA Standards outline clear goals for reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and exchanging ideas. Curriculum review is an ongoing process to ensure high quality, research and evidence-based resources that:

  • support effective instruction, alignment, and application of the standards.
  • provide strategies for differentiated instruction based on students’ needs.
  • are culturally and linguistically relevant and responsive; and build background knowledge and understanding of key learning concepts.
  • use timely and appropriate assessments, analyzing curriculum to ensure that all students are, at minimum, meeting proficiency and developmental growth expectations.
Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

Perpich supports leadership capacity, professional growth, and an ongoing process of continuous learning within a culture of collaboration and collective inquiry, in order to promote and maximize student success and achievement. High quality professional development is critical in providing effective instruction, intervention, and acceleration for all children.

Professional development involves systematic, sustainable, and positive changes in the practices of teachers and leaders. Teachers, administrators, and leaders are committed to developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to consistently foster opportunities to collaborate with students in meeting and exceeding literacy proficiency and goals.

Within the Professional Learning Community (PLC) Framework, Professional excellence considers:

  • students’ critical learning and knowledge development;
  • how educators observe and collect data about student learning; and
  • how educators respond to the information gathered about student learning.
The Professional Development Plan

Professional development is seated in current research and evidence-based practices with ongoing opportunities for teachers and leaders to have collaborative conversations about student literacy needs, equity, and access for all students within the construct of continuous improvement.

Perpich has identified a reading lead who will be trained in reading strategies as outlined in the READ Act and will support the ongoing changes and development in any ELA curriculum. They are an active part of the professional learning community at Perpich. In this role, they will support reading intervention strategies in the classroom and the development of those strategies for students with reading issues such as dyslexia. This person is registered for the CAREIALL: Advancing Language and Literacy – Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI University of Minnesota). All special education reading licensed teachers will be trained in the 2024-25 school year.

As all incoming students are 11th and 12th graders, data will be collected during the admission process regarding incoming students with identified reading issues. Progress in the ELA curriculum will be monitored throughout the year by the Student Concerns Team who meets weekly. The aggregated data will be used to ascertain what additional training for teachers and staff may be needed.

Collaborative Leadership

Collaboration among teachers, staff, and school leaders:

  • fosters a positive culture of high expectations, system support, unity, and collective ownership;
  • ensures critical teacher input into the decision making and implementation process;
  • creates agreed upon systems that support timely and effective decision making;
  • maintains the mission, vision, and core values;
  • strategically meets goals;
  • addresses challenges as a single, cohesive team; and
  • collectively incorporates changes into a sustaining culture.
Purposeful Assessment and Data Systems

Assessment and data help teachers and students understand where they are, where they have been, and where they need to go in their learning. Reading, writing, and communicating are developmental and, therefore, complex areas to assess. No single assessment can include all aspects of these diverse processes. Every literacy assessment offers multiple purposes, yet no single assessment can serve all purposes. A literacy assessment system needs to reflect the multiple dimensions of reading and writing, the various purposes for assessment, and the diversity of the students being assessed.

The Role of Literacy Assessment is to:

  • determine where students are in their learning progression;
  • guide instructional planning and decision-making regarding student needs (e.g., identifying strengths, learning gaps, and opportunities; allocating resources);

Literacy Plan includes partnering with families about their child(ren)’s learning:

  • monitor students’ progress towards mastering academic and learning standards, including social emotional learning;
  • share timely data to provide actionable feedback FOR learning

Universal Screening

We are currently waiting for State guidance on relevant screeners for 11th and 12th graders having fulfilled graduation requirements through 10th grade.

Core ELA Instruction and Curricula Grades 6-12

All 11th and 12th grade ELA standards are embedded in the curriculum. The curriculum is developed with an Arts emphasis as it aligns with the Perpich strategic plan. ELA classes are block classes.

Data-Based Decision Making for Literacy Interventions

Districts are strongly encouraged to adopt the Minnesota Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MnMTSS) framework. This framework should include a process for monitoring student progress, evaluating program fidelity, and analyzing student outcomes and needs in order to design and implement ongoing evidenced-based instruction and interventions Minn. Stat.120B.12, subd. 4a (2023). Component 5.1 of the MnMTSS framework provides indicators and criteria for effective data-based decision making. Component 1.6 and the MnMTSS Team Guidebook provide information on establishing effective linked teams for data-based decision making.

Multi-Tiered System of Services (MTSS)

MTSS is a systematic, continuous improvement, decision-making framework that supports educators in providing academic and behavioral strategies for students with various needs. This framework utilizes data-based problem solving and decision-making across all levels of the educational system. The MTSS framework provides consistency of implementation across SEL, PLCs, and the PreK-12 Comprehensive Literacy Plan (CLP).

Perpich’s Comprehensive Literacy Plan embraces and integrates an equity mindset and a culturally sustaining approach that honors the diverse community of learners in our schools. A unified commitment to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support aligns and supports literacy growth and achievement across all learning levels. MTSS is a multi-tiered framework developed to ensure that all students have access to the instruction, intervention and support, and talent development opportunities needed to meet and exceed grade level literacy learning goals every year.

The MTSS process has been modified to fit Perpich’s unique setting.

  • Tier 1: All students entering Perpich (11th and 12th grade) are admitted through an admission process. Transcripts and other relevant academic records are reviewed. It is a requirement of admission that students are current with their academic credit requirements. Additionally all 504 plans and IEPs are fulfilled as required. (Entrance Criteria) Student progress is monitored in all areas by the student’s teachers using ongoing assessments, daily work samples, and student interaction. Class sizes are small and teachers have collaborative interactions with their students. Additionally, overall student progress is monitored at least bi-quarterly by the Student Concerns Team including Administration, Special Education Director, Learning Center Teacher, Counselor, Nurse, and Dorm Director. If students are not progressing in classes, action is taken by the team to evaluate the situation and develop a plan to address the lack of progress. (See Tier 3). All students with IEPs and 504 plans are supported through those plans. If the plan is not allowing for academic progress, a meeting is held as required to create a plan that supports the student’s continued growth. This is outside the Tier One plan.
  • Tier 2: Because of the school size, enrollment, and Arts emphasis, there are not enough students/time to warrant a Tier 2 intervention system. Therefore any student who is struggling to make progress in the general education curriculum follows a Tier 3 process.
  • Tier 3: Our Students Concerns Team is the vehicle for communication and collaboration in supporting students. Students requiring additional support are brought up at the weekly team meeting by teachers, counselors, staff, or parents (or by the bi-quarterly review of academic progress). Based on a review of records and input from teachers, parents, counselor, and the student, an individual plan is made based on a hypothesis of the cause of the lack of progress. This plan contains the actions for implementation, person(s) responsible for the plan, and the date for reviewing the plan. (Exit plan)

Perpich Action Plan

The Student Concern Team will collect specific data on student progress within the ELA classes as well as any relevant data regarding student progress within its literacy standards. This data will be used to determine the effectiveness of literacy instruction for students at Perpich as well as point to the necessary next steps in our goal of continuous improvement.

In 2024, the district team will complete the SEMI DLT and use this, as well as the data from the Student Concerns Team, to create essential next steps to write a MTSS plan, (creating a MTSS manual) that fits the needs of all Perpich students.

Professional development will be created and implemented to ensure all Perpich staff understand the Perpich MTSS plan and their role within the plan.  

The PreK-12 Comprehensive Literacy Plan will create action steps to ensure that educators have a well-designed assessment system that includes formal assessments for universal screening, progress monitoring, and diagnosis of specific needs, as well as formative common assessments, observation data, and student work products. Educators will have consistent and timely access to data, as well as time to reflect on these data and engage in collaborative data conversations, supported by common data decision-making processes and protocols to guide instructional decision making.

Parent/Guardian notification

Teachers are expected to connect with parents with any concerns they have of a student’s progress. In-person Teacher/Parent meetings are offered quarterly. Because half of the students live outside the metro area, all meetings have the capability of being provided virtually.

All students with IEPs and 504 plans are communicated with consistently and regularly as required by the rules and regulations of Special Education and Disability Law.

When a student is struggling in classes by evidence of poor assignment test scores, assignment completion, or lack of expected skill development, students are brought to the Student Concerns Team meeting. All action plans include parents and student communication and input. Parents are a valuable and intrinsic part of this planning process.

The PreK-12 Comprehensive Literacy Plan will create action steps to ensure that educators have a well-designed assessment system that includes formal assessments for universal screening, progress monitoring, and diagnosis of specific needs, as well as formative common assessments, observation data, and student work products. Educators will have consistent and timely access to data, as well as time to reflect on these data and engage in collaborative data conversations, supported by common data decision-making processes and protocols to guide instructional decision making.

Educators who have met the Minnesota READ Act professional development requirements through previous training, those who are currently in training, and those who still need training.
Phase 1:
Educator Role
Total Number
in District or Charter Organization
who have completed Training
with Training
in Progress
Educators who need Training
K-12 Reading Interventionists 1     1
K-12 Special Education Educators responsible for reading instruction 1     1

Action Planning for Continuous Improvement

Year 2024-25 – District team will complete the SEMI DLT evaluation and create essential next steps to write a MTSS plan that fits the needs of all Perpich students. 

This will include:

  • Creation of a MTSS manual
  • Plan for regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the plan
  • Professional development to ensure all Perpich staff understand the Perpich MTSS plan and their role within it. 

 As directed by MDE, staff will be trained in reading instruction.

“Perpich is the best school for me because it provides a diverse student population, artistic environment, and academic opportunities that can't be found anywhere else in the state.”

Literary Arts Student from Plymouth

“My teachers encourage me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to always strive to better my art, never settling for good enough.”

Theater Student from Sartell

"For 17 years I’d carried the bulk of my children’s education myself. Sending the two oldest away to Perpich was a huge step of faith and I have not been disappointed. The teachers, in particular, have been fabulous!"

Perpich Arts High School Parent

"[Perpich] was a hugely formative experience for me and I think gave me many of the tools to get to this point of doing meaningful work that I love."

Andrew Edman (Visual Arts 2005)

“From the moment I came to Perpich, it was like a college campus, with an emphasis on independence and finding your own self, with training in academics and becoming an artist.”

Trent Ramert (Theater 2020)

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