Award Year: 2014

ACGC Elementary School

302 South 2nd Street
Atwater, MN, 56209-1045

(320) 974-8841

Kodi Goracke, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

ACGC School District

School Website

School Blog


Provide a positive, safe environment promoting high levels of student achievement through standard based curriculum, data analysis, hands on learning, collaboration and inspiring lifelong learning.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 92%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • Native American: 1%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Small group instruction with a clear learning goal.

Small group instruction with a clear learning goal.

At ACGC, everything is about student achievement. Students and faculty rise to the challenge by reflecting on this goal daily. In 2011, ACGC was named a priority school by the Minnesota Department of Education, with an underperformance score of 5.44%. This challenge was met head-on by developing site leadership meetings, establishing professional learning communities, generating a school mission, developing school wide goals and strategies, collecting usable data, incorporating co-teaching, and creating a professional development calendar to support a system change. In 2013, ACGC Elementary’s hard work was rewarded by being named a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education with a score of 94.97%.

Key to this success was establishing two key strategies. First, having clearly stated learning goals posted, discussed, and used in classrooms along with scales or rubrics to monitor students’ understanding of the learning goal. Success was seen instantly as faculty monitored students’ growth and understanding in order to ensure they achieved mastery. Second, developing a classroom in which students were grouped (based on data) for leveled reading time in order to ensure that students were reading and comprehending at their level, with students charting their own success.

Having a mission followed by common goals and strategies and a positive school climate increases student achievement and is what has made ACGC energized and innovative.