The Detroit Lakes School Board certified its preliminary 2020 property tax levy Monday night.

The board opted to set it at the maximum allowed -- $8,797,867 -- which reflects an $82,365 increase (.94%).

The final levy will be set in December, following a Truth in Taxation hearing on the district's 2020 budget and property tax levy. That hearing is 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Detroit Lakes City Council chambers, 1025 Roosevelt Ave.

While the final levy can be set at less than the preliminary figure certified by the board on Monday, it cannot exceed that amount according to state law.

State comprehensive test results

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Also at Monday's meeting, the board heard a report from the district's Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, Renee Kerzman, on the results of last year's Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests for the district.

Overall, Detroit Lakes students are performing above the state average in reading, math and science, she reported. While the tests aren't the only standard used, she noted that they are an important tool for assessing whether there are any deficiencies, or gaps, in their curriculum and instruction methods.

"It's not to measure teachers and it's not necessarily to measure students," she explained. "Student performance (on the tests) measures if we are teaching the standards as we should be."

She pointed out Detroit Lakes' district-wide results appeared to be above state average in reading, math, and most significantly, in science.

Kerzman added that she would be including more in-depth analysis of the district's MCA testing results as part of her World's Best Workforce presentation later this fall. Those who would like to take a look at how Detroit Lakes did in comparison to other districts in the area can do so by visiting the Minnesota Report Card website, rc.education.state.mn.us.

In other business

The board approved just over $17,600 in construction change orders for Rossman Elementary School, and gave a first reading to several district policy revisions pertaining to organization of the school calendar; student activity accounts; open and closed meetings; disability nondiscrimination; employee-student relationships; and K-12 discipline and violence prevention.