Delano Public Schools

Submitted by Delano Public Schools

Why are Delano Public Schools a District of Choice?

The Delano School District was established in the 1800’s and covers a 66-square-mile geographic area that extends to the communities of Corcoran, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnetrista, Montrose, Watertown, parts of Franklin, Rockford and Woodland townships, and the city of Delano.

Delano Public Schools are recognized for the quality of their academic programs. The excitement of learning throughout the district is delivered by teachers whose personal commitment and professional training provides means for high achievement. Our school district has a student population of approximately 2470 students, employs more than 370 staff members and 71 percent of our faculty hold a master’s degree or higher.  In addition, a teacher mentorship program and peer coaching program supports new staff at each school. Delano High School test scores consistently rank among the highest in the state. The average ACT composite score of 22.7 tops Minnesota’s state average of 21.1.  Delano students also performed at the top of surrounding school districts on the MCA Math and Reading tests.   

Google Education was implemented districtwide during the 2014-15 school year. The exploration and use of Google tools and applications by our teaching staff continue to grow the use of digital technology in the classroom. Google Education enriches the digital learning environment by encouraging enhanced collaboration between teachers and students. This educational platform also encourages remote learning.

Delano Public Schools, which operates according to its vision, embarked on improving our mission and values by implementing the district’s current 5-Year Strategic Plan.

5-Year Strategic Plan

Delano Public Schools facilitated a Strategic Planning process beginning in April of 2013 that included feedback from our employees, parents and greater Delano Public Schools communities. The process was completed in June of 2013, and the Delano Board of Education acted on this plan in July. Our purpose in developing a strategic plan is to focus on a clearly articulated vision, “Systemic academic growth to promote educational excellence and continuous improvement for every learner in a digital society.” Along with this vision, we have established four major benchmarks which include: Technology, Curriculum, Professional Development, and Facilities. Each of these benchmarks contains specific short-term work plans that provide a vision, annual short-term goals, and specific action steps to meet those goals. This plan is an ongoing process that will ensure that our school district remains and continues to improve upon the tradition of educational excellence.


In the fall of 2015, Delano Public Schools passed a $65 million bond referendum, which will allow the district to respond to the Facilities Committee recommendation that was approved by the Delano School Board in June of 2015. This recommendation includes the redesign of the high school from a 9-12 school building into a 7-12 secondary school, the construction of a new intermediate school, which will house grades 4-6, upgrades to the Community Education building making it accessible for all, the addition of safety and security improvements, the construction of a new performing arts center and improvements to the fields on our campus, along with additions to the Tiger Activity Center and other campus upgrades. Delano Public Schools’ goal is to provide 21st-century facilities for all our students, staff and community members to meet the needs of educational, co-curricular and community-based programs while remaining on one campus.

Just west of the campus, our early childhood programs are housed in the Delano Community Education building. Delano Community Education coordinates the use of school facilities by community organizations, individuals, and businesses.  Please call 763.972.3365, ext. 2110, if you are interested in additional information on reserving facility space.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

The goals of Delano Early Childhood programs are to strengthen families and support parents in providing the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children, ages birth to kindergarten. We offer parent-child classes, school readiness programs, Wee Tiger Preschool, and Early Childhood Health and Developmental Screening.  Recognizing that the home is the first learning environment, these programs teach parents how to educate and interact with their children. ECFE gives children a head start, identifies current or potential learning problems, and helps build strong families. All of this is vital to children’s learning during their early and future school years. For more information on Early Childhood Programs call 763.972.6210, press 4, or visit for a list of current classes and events available to you and your family.

Delano Elementary School (DES)

Delano Elementary School is a K-4 school with a student enrollment of 920 students.  DES’s mission is to educate individuals to be lifelong learners, possessing the skills, knowledge, creativity, sense of self-worth, and citizenship necessary to function and flourish in a rapidly changing society. The curriculum and special programs at DES reflect a commitment to providing educational experiences that prepare learners for the world beyond school doors. Emphasis on advancing education through technology with the use of SMARTboards, Sound Field Systems, iPads, Kindles, Chromebooks, Nooks and other devices enhance the student learning experience.  In addition, DES offers gifted and talented programs for high potential students as well as Title I and Special Education programming.  The following list includes awards and recognitions earned by DES:

• Designated a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School for educational excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.  DES was one of only six Minnesota schools to receive this award, and one of 286 in the nation.

• In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 DES was designated a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education for performing in the top 15 percent of elementary schools in Minnesota.

• Received Minnesota Excellence Foundation School Spotlight Award in 2009 for demonstrating academic excellence and significant gains in achievement.

• Received a Minnesota School of Excellence Award in 2008 from the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association.

Parents play an important role in the success of our school.  We are fortunate to have dedicated parent volunteers who spend countless hours in our school assisting with student learning.  Our staff encourages parents to be active participants in the educational process.  For more information on Delano Elementary School, go to and click on elementary.

Delano Middle School (DMS)

Delano Middle School is a 5-8 school with a student enrollment of 773 students. DMS was designated a National Blue Ribbon School in 2003, and was the only middle school in Minnesota and one of 115 schools nationwide to receive this prestigious award. In 2012, DMS received National Recognition for its Gateway to Technology (GTT) Program.

The middle school years are a time of great physical, intellectual, emotional and social change. Delano Middle School’s mission is to work in partnership with the community and families to create a climate of success for all learners with a focus on nurturing students’ social and emotional development in addition to continuous academic growth.  Programs are offered in the four core disciplines of science, math, social studies, and language arts. In addition, students are offered exploratory opportunities in physical education, health, art, computer applications, music, and engineering (Project Lead the Way). Our programs provide a well-rounded educational experience during this time of transition for students.

A middle school transition program, Where Everybody Belongs (WEB), welcomes fifth graders and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience. Leaders of this program are WEB-trained eighth graders. WEB is built on the belief that students want to and can help other students succeed.

DMS’s administration and staff believe in educating individuals to be life-long learners who possess the skills, knowledge, creativity, sense of self-worth, and citizenship necessary to function and flourish in a global society. Students are recognized and rewarded for their academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular achievements and attendance. It is our philosophy to acknowledge as many students as possible for their successes and strides in school.  For more information on Delano Middle School, go to and click on middle school.

Delano High School (DHS)

Delano High School is a comprehensive 9-12 school with a student enrollment of 776 students. DHS is a caring community committed to achieving academic excellence, responsible leadership, and consistent integrity, along with supporting the “Delano Way” which expects students to Show Up, Show Up on Time, Work Hard, and Failure is Not an Option.  The DHS administration and staff believe that success is not an accident; it takes hard work and preparation as well as an intense focus to achieve success.  The following list includes awards and recognitions achieved by DHS:

• In 2007 and again in 2010, DHS was designated a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education.  DHS was the first Minnesota high school to be chosen a model school.

• Designated a 2009 National Blue Ribbon School for educational excellence. DHS was one of only six schools in Minnesota to receive this award, and one of 321 in the nation.

• In 2006, DHS received the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation School Spotlight Award.

• For several years, DHS has been recognized as one of America’s Best High Schools from U.S. World News and Report and Newsweek magazines.

Annual AP District Honor Roll Recipient in 2015 and 2016.

The high school transition program, Link Crew, is an innovative program that utilizes upper-class leadership to help freshman make a successful transition from middle to high school. In addition, DHS offers an advisory program, which assists students in planning their high school career and post-secondary educational, technical and/or career plans. In addition to advisory, College in the Schools (CIS), Advanced Placement (AP), Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and advanced classes are offered and post high school credit opportunities are available through online learning and Wright Technical Center. For at-risk students, DHS offers School Within a School (SWAS), a voluntary program for students in 11th and 12th grade. SWAS was designed to help students recover credits lost in prior years and increase their chance of graduation. This program emphasizes academic learning along with personal and social skill development.

Talent Development Program

The Talent Development Program caters to gifted and talented students whose learning characteristics and educational needs require qualitatively differentiated education experiences and/or services. Gifted and talented students include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas, singularly or in combination:

• General intellectual ability

• Specific academic aptitude

• Creative or productive thinking

• Visual and performing arts

A multiple measures approach is used to identify students for the Talent Development program including Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a cognitive abilities test (Cognat), MCA test results and other pertinent anecdotal information.  Delano schools provide academic enrichment and acceleration programs that are tailored to meet the needs of the students. For more information, please contact Gwen Briesemeister, Talent Development Coordinator at

Community Education

Delano Community Education provides comprehensive life-long learning opportunities for area residents of all ages. An array of enrichment classes and recreational opportunities are offered year-round. There are opportunities in art, music, drama, science, the popular “Discovery Zone” summer program, an outstanding Destination ImagiNation program, Driver’s Education classroom instruction, youth service programs, and athletic activities, including American Red Cross swimming lessons.

Adults can meet their life-long learning needs by participating in enrichment classes that span an array of topics. If you can’t fit a class into your busy schedule, try online learning courses and learn at times that are convenient for you! Community Education is also pleased to partner with the City of Delano in providing financial support for the Delano Senior Center.

Working parents love the high quality, affordable childcare offered by Tiger Kids Club (TKC), which is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., throughout the year, including summer and a number of non-school days during the school year.  TKC serves children from kindergarten through grade 6. TKC offers homework help, enrichment classes, field trips, games and more!

The Tiger Kids Club pre-k program provides a full-day, pre-kindergarten experience for children ages three through the start of kindergarten. Young learners will experience Minnesota Reading Corps, Houghton-Mifflin curriculum, pre-math, science and art exploration, large and fine motor activities, and more. Children must be age 3 and toilet-trained to enroll.  For information about TKC, please call 763.972.6210, press 3.

Delano Partners in Education (DPIE)

Delano Public Schools Partners in Education is a volunteer organization of parents, staff and community members committed to raising funds to enhance education opportunities for present and future students. DPIE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and the goal of this foundation is the building of an endowment. The foundation is dedicated to developing supportive relationships between the community and schools that enrich the education of children.  The goal is to build a $1M endowment in 10 years to help self-fund important needs such as technology.  Established in 2001 by a group of community leaders and educators, the foundation believes that every child deserves the best education. For more information about Delano Partners in Education or to donate, go to

Location and administration

Delano Public Schools are located at 700 Elm Avenue E., Delano, MN  55328. The district phone number is (763) 972-3365, ext. 2111; fax number is (763) 972-7634; website: District administration can be reached by calling (763) 972-3365 and dialing the following extensions or via email:

Matthew Schoen, Superintendent ext. 2115

Traci Lawman, Supt. Asst./Comm. Coordinator ext. 2111

Mary Reeder, Business Manager ext. 2118

Laura Stevens, Accountant ext. 2112

Jennifer Lorentz, Human Resources Specialist ext. 2113

Samantha Trible, District Nurse ext. 2128

Steve Heil, HS Principal ext. 2220

Barry Voight, MS Principal ext. 2330

Darren Schuler, ES Principal ext. 2122

Mike Lindquist, Activities Administrator ext. 2003

Shane Hegarty, School Resource Officer ext. 2107

Diane Johnson, Community Education Director (763) 972-6210 press 6

Delano Board of Education

Amy Johnson, Chair Term: 1/2017 thru 12/2020

Mark Larson, Vice Chair Term: 1/2015 thru 12/2018

Lisa Seguin, Treasurer Term: 1/2015 thru 12/2018

Carolyn Milano, Clerk Term: 1/2015 thru 12/2018

Corey Black, Director Term: 1/2015 thru 12/2018

Al Briesemeister, Director Term: 1/2017 thru 12/2020

Rachel Depa, Director  Term: 1/2017 thru 12/2020

Danielle Stevens and Alexander Moe – Student Representatives

2017 School Board meetings are set for the fourth Monday of the month beginning at 5:45 p.m. at Delano City Hall, except in March and December, when it will be held on the third Monday in the Delano High School Media Center.