Delano Public Schools

Members of the Delano School Board are (front) Clerk Corey Black, Chair Mark Larson, Vice Chair Lisa Seguin, (back) Alan Briesemeister, Jennie Rosenow, Rachel Depa, and Treasurer Amy Johnson.

Submitted by Delano Public Schools

Information updated March 2019

Why are Delano Public Schools a District of Choice?

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

Delano’s schools have regularly been recognized for the quality of their academic programs. The 370-member teaching staff is committed to professional growth, as evidenced by the fact that about 71 percent of faculty members hold a master’s or other advanced degree. In addition, a teacher-mentorship program and peer coaching program support new staff members at each school.

The efforts of the faculty are reflected in the performance of the district’s 2,470 students. Over the past seven years, Delano students have posted an average composite ACT score of 23.59, while the state average during the same time period was 22.3.

In addition, the district scored well above the state average in the MCA tests, and 66 percent of students who took Advanced Placement courses were eligible for college credit by scoring 3 or above. Delano was one of just seven districts in Minnesota to earn a place on the national AP Honor Roll in 2017, and was also on the AP Honor Roll in 2016 and 2015.

Recognition has come from various other quarters as well. The website ranked Delano No. 9 out of 441 Minnesota districts analyzed in 2017 and 2018. In early 2018 the National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Delano among the top 3 percent nationwide on its Best School Districts in America list. In 2013 Forbes magazine named Delano No. 1 in the nation on its Best Schools For Your Housing Buck list.

5-Year Strategic Plan

Delano Public Schools facilitated a strategic planning process beginning in April of 2013 that included feedback from employees, parents and greater Delano Public Schools communities. The process was completed in June of 2013, and the Delano Board of Education approved the plan in July. That plan is being updated for another five years in 2019.

The 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.”

Four major benchmarks identified in the plan are Technology, Curriculum, Professional Development and Facilities. Each benchmark contains specific short-term work plans that provide a vision, annual short-term goals, and specific action steps to meet those goals. The plan exists to ensure that the district continues adding to its tradition of educational excellence.


In the fall of 2015 Delano Public Schools passed a $65-million bond referendum, which allowed the district to respond to the Facilities Committee recommendation approved by the Delano School Board in June of 2015. This recommendation called for 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 for grades 4-6, accessibility and security upgrades to the Community Education building, the construction of a new performing arts center, and improvements to athletic facilities and the Tiger Activity Center. Major construction was completed in December of 2018.

The district’s goal is to provide 21st Century facilities that meet the needs of educational, co-curricular and community-based programs while remaining on one campus.

Just west of the campus, the 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. Call 763.972.3365, ext. 1201, for information on reserving facility space.

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE)

The goals of Delano Early Childhood programs are to strengthen families and support parents, helping them provide the best possible environment for the healthy growth and development of their children from birth to kindergarten. ECFE offers parent-child classes, school readiness programs, 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. This foundation is vital to a child’s learning during their early years and future school careers.

For more information on ECFE programs call 763.972.6210 and press 4, or visit for a list of current classes and events.

Delano Elementary School (DES)

In the fall of 2018 Delano Elementary transitioned from a K-4 to a K-3 building due to the opening of Delano Intermediate School. The school’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.

There is an emphasis on advancing education through technology with the use of SMARTboards, Sound Field Systems, iPads, Kindles, Chromebooks, Nooks and other devices. In addition, DES offers gifted and talented programs for high-potential students, along with Title I and Special Education programming.

The following list includes awards and recognitions earned by DES:

• In 2018 DES earned honors in math progress, as determined by MCA testing, under the state’s new North Star accountability system. The distinction means that the school performed in the top 5 percent in the state.

• DES was among just four schools in Minnesota to receive a Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award for 2017.

• In 2013 DES was 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.

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

• In 2008 DES received a Minnesota School of Excellence Award from the Minnesota Elementary School Principals Association.

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

Delano Intermediate School (DIS)

Delano Intermediate School opened in the fall of 2018 and serves grades 4-6. Though the intermediate school is establishing its own culture in terms of grading, a unique schedule that includes Zero Hour opportunities and more, it builds on the solid foundation set by Delano Middle School, which served grades 5-8 in past years.

Delano Intermediate 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 along with 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, music, and engineering. Its programs provide a well-rounded educational experience.

The DIS administration and staff believe in educating individuals to be lifelong 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. The school makes a point to acknowledge as many students as possible for their successes and improvements. For more information about Delano Intermediate School, go to and click on “Intermediate.”

Delano High School (DHS)

Delano High School transitioned to a 7-12 secondary building in the fall of 2018. DHS is a caring community committed to achieving academic excellence, responsible leadership, and consistent integrity. Students are encouraged to follow “The Delano Way: 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 intense focus, to achieve success.

The following list includes awards and recognitions achieved by DHS:

• In 2018 DHS was named to the 2018 list of America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

• In 2018 DHS earned honors in multiple categories of four-year graduation rate under the state’s new North Star accountability system. The distinction means that the school performed in the top 5 percent in the state.

• In 2015, 2016 and 2017 DHS was named to the national AP District Honor Roll for excellent performance in AP exams.

• DHS was designated a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education in 2007 and again in 2010. DHS was the first Minnesota high school so honored.

• In 2009 DHS was designated a 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.

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 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 serves gifted and talented students whose abilities require heightened 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 students’ needs. For more information, contact Gwen Briesemeister, Talent Development Coordinator, at

Community Education

Delano Community Education provides comprehensive lifelong 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 that include American Red Cross swimming lessons.

Adults can enjoy 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 3 years of age through grade 6. TKC offers homework help, enrichment classes, field trips, games and more! Children must be 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 that aims to build an endowment. The foundation is dedicated to developing a supportive relationship between the community and schools that enrich the education of children. The goal is to build a $1 million 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. 1911; fax 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. 1901,

• Paul Downer, Communications Coordinator/Supt. Assistant, ext. 1911,

• Mary Reeder, Business Manager, ext. 1951,

• Laura Stevens, Accountant, ext. 1953,

• Jennifer Lorentz, Human Resources Specialist, ext. 1952,

• Samantha Trible, District Nurse, ext. 1920,

• Steve Heil, HS Principal, ext. 1701,

• Barry Voight, IS Principal, ext. 1501,

• Darren Schuler, ES Principal, ext. 1301,

• Ryan Tool, Activities Administrator, ext. 1904,

• Shane Hegarty, School Resource Officer, ext. 1905,

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

Delano Board of Education

• Mark Larson, Chair, Term: 1-2019 through 12-2022

• Lisa Seguin, Vice Chair, Term: 1-2019 through 12-2022

• Corey Black, Clerk, Term: 1-2019 through 12-2022

• Amy Johnson, Treasurer, Term: 1-2017 through 12-2020

• Al Briesemeister, Director, Term: 1-2017 through 12-2020

• Rachel Depa, Director, Term: 1-2017 through 12-2020

• Jennie Rosenow, Director, Term 1-2019 through 12-2022

• Lydia Ramstad and Spencer Poll – Student Representatives

2019 school board meetings are set for the fourth Monday of the month beginning at 5:45 p.m. at Delano City Hall, except in May and December, when meetings will be held on the third Monday. The December meeting will be in the Delano High School Media Center.

In addition, the board will hold three informal listening sessions during 2019 at 7 p.m. in the DHS media center. Dates are Mondays, March 18, May 13 and Oct. 21.