“Achievement & Integration” DEFINED


The Districts Pathway to Equity

“Achievement and Integration”

THE CULTURAL FOUNDATION OF EXCELLENCE TODAY inside South Washington County School District 833




The Districts Pathway to Equity






FORCE against Family






Unquenchable THIRST

( coming soon )


An Introduction

The Transparency Series

PEOPLE – LANGUAGE – VISION of 833 South Washington County Schools What does it mean to be transparent? I use the illustration of A GARDEN GREENHOUSE. For the purposes of this series, the greenhouse represents a school district’s function in its community, the policy and procedure it establishes to achieve that function, and its ability to communicate that process transparently out to the community.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your readership. I would like to take a moment to explain my process. JAiME for SCHOOLS is about listening and learning and, as the sole author, I am not here to preach expertise over any subject matter. I view every article like this : It is the deconstruction of socially accepted norms and the reconstruction of inspired understanding. It is an anatomical STUDY in the making. By this I mean simply that writing is how I explore. It is how I question. It is how I solve, and it is how I learn.

There is something psychological that happens after publicly sharing an idea. Words, that were once my own, suddenly become … shared. Public-writing solidifies an idea in a way that solitary journal-writing cannot, and so I find that only after publishing my thoughts can I most accurately dissect them.

Writing, for me, is the BEGINNING. It is the journey. It is never the END.

I give myself a 24 hour window of time to fine tune the message after publishing. Thank you for your gracious understanding of that process. The article will be considered complete after that (or as complete as complete can be for the best of my knowledge at the time).


author and designer of JAiME for SCHOOLS


The Garden Greenhouse

In the Transparency Series An Introduction, I explained how I will use the GREENHOUSE as an illustration to simplify the confusion and anxiety that is thrown at people every day by the cultural tides of the “BIG” (big media, big education, big government, big pharma, big everything). The greenhouse will represent a school district’s function in its community, the policy and procedure it establishes to achieve that function, and its ability to communicate that process transparently out to the community.

In the life of a plant, the root below the ground is just as important to its survival as the plant above. The nutrient rich soil holds water and feeds the root which feeds the plant. Above ground the sun’s rays shine down on the little seedling with warmth and oxygen vital to its survival.

It is a cyclical process, and it is relatable to the human condition. The soul feeds the body and the body feeds the soul.

Everything BELOW the ground is within the person -The heart, the soul, the child and its family.

The SEED is the heart.

The seed is at the CENTER where life begins. Roots below and leaves above complete a circle, and the seed is at the circle’s CORE. The way of the seed is to produce life.

The SEEDLING is the student.

The seedling that sprouts up and breaks out of the soil is determined to survive. It establishes space for itself in this world. The world is harsh though, and a seedling is vulnerable to it. This is why a seedling needs to be protected. It needs nutrient-rich soil, calm air, just the right amount of sun, steady temperatures, and gentle mists of water. It establishes a strong root system in this way.

The ROOT is the soul.

It is the vein of the living plant. The root grows downwards out of the seed and into the safety of the ground. Simultaneously the plant grows upwards out of the seed, in perfect balance with the root. The stronger the root system below ground, the stronger the plant canopy above ground. In this way it is able to thrive and spread out into its world.

Leonardo da Vinci painted the “striking resemblance between the flow of a river’s watercourses and the flow of blood in the body’s veins.” Capra writes, “- an exquisitely beautiful and moving testimony of how Leonardo saw water as the veins of the living Earth.”

The Science of Leonardo by Fritjof Capra. Figures4-1 and 4-2 are Leonardo’s washes painted in 1504 and 1508.

The SOIL is the family.

The job of the soil is to feed and nurture the root and body of the seed. The job of a human family is to provide stability, security, basic needs, safety, and love in order to nurture all parts of the growing child. Only in the safety of its native soil is a root system able to stretch its arms out wide, its feet down long, and its head up high. For the child this means testing boundaries at home … sharing spaces … giving freely. In this way, the home is the safest place for a child to grow up.

“Healthy soil is the foundation of thriving gardens, lawns and landscapes.”

-University of Minnesota Extension, Living Soil, Healthy Garden (Link to article HERE).

Everything ABOVE the ground is outside the person -The Teacher, The District, Policy.

The WATER is the teacher.

In the same way as the seedling cannot handle the full force of a watering hose, the student cannot handle the full weight of mature knowledge. The teacher is careful not to overwhelm the child with too much information or with the heavy burden of knowledge that adults carry. A teacher is intentional about the content of material and prepares the student for the big world in small doses. They need a calm environment and the ability to establish healthy boundaries in the classroom.

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What is Achievement and Integration?

Dictionary Definitions

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary

ACHIEVEMENT : The performance of an action. A great or heroic deed; something accomplished by valor, or boldness … granted for the performance of a great or honorable action.

The ACHIEVER is one who accomplishes a purpose, or obtains an object by his exertions.”

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary

INTEGRATE : To Renew ; to restore ; to perfect ; to make a thing entire.

INTEGRATION : The act of making entire.

In the School Districts Words

The words, defined as they are above from the dictionary sound positively wonderful! Who wouldn’t want their child to ACHIEVE great things and to be made WHOLE? But those definitions are not what the district appears to mean through their A&I program.

By the districts definition, they are more interested in integrating the whole of the student body into one cohesive functioning force.

In the Greenhouse analogy, District 833’s A&I program is like telling a cactus to be less prickly and plucking off its spines when it fails to be smooth.

This is like telling a fern not to grow bushier than a succulent and giving it a haircut when it fails to be tidy. This is like telling a maple tree not to grow taller than a crabapple tree and chopping it off at the trunk when it fails to be small. This is like planting a rose bush in full shade and clipping fake flowers to its branches when it fails to bloom.

A&I is an area I wish the school district would be more forthcoming with information about. The data you see here has been gathered through countless hours of online research, data requests and email correspondence with the district. As I said in THE TRANSPARENCY SERIES introduction, I plan to present my research, explain to the best of my ability what that means to the people involved, and end each article with a request to the School Board and Superintendent for better transparency.

I REQUEST at this time for the District to please consider providing HISTORICAL CONTEXT around controversial policies like DEI and the A&I program.

The Districts Pathway to Equity

Under Superintendent Dan Hoke

The South Washington County School District 833 has funded an A&I program since 1999.


“Expenses and Revenues in Achievement and Integration first show up in the 1999-2000 school year.” Confirmed Dec. 2022 by Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, James Magee

Supt. Dan Hoke


A&I appears to have been skating right along without any major changes between 1999 and 2015. Five Superintendent positions later, National and State legislation began zeroing in on “Achievement and Integration”. For those of us (like me) not paying attention at that time, we felt the changes gradually. The past three years though have felt fast and furious by comparison, and radical policies have resulted in a mass exodus from the public school system by families like my own.

Supt. Keith Jacobus


Information in this section was obtained through district data requests.

World’s Best Workforce Update – November 30th 2017

Under Superintendent Keith Jacobus


“Minnesota law passed in 2013 requires school districts to have a World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) plan that demonstrates alignment between educational initiatives and goals, and shows progress toward intended achievement outcomes.” Explanation in reports from 2017 under Superintendent Keith Jacobus.


U.S. Dept of Education “The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed on December 10, 2015, now requires states to evaluate and publicly report whether low-income and minority students are disproportionately served by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers.”

MN Dept of Education “On June 1, 2015, MDE submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Education that required all states to address long term needs for improving equitable access of all students to excellent educators.”


MN Dept of Education “2017-18 was the first year MDE asked districts to submit ONE COMBINED REPORT TO ADDRESS TWO NEEDS: the Annual World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) Summary Report and the Annual Achievement and Integration (A&I) Progress Report.” (James Magee)

And so it began in 2017-18 that academic achievement in SoWashCo became bound to The Cultural Foundation of Excellence Today : Achievement and Integration.

Supt. Julie Nielsen


Information in this section was found on the district website in Policies and Annual Financial Reports.

Under Superintendent Julie Nielsen


I believe the DEI program began in 2020. DEI falls within A&I funding. A unanimous school board, under the leadership of Superintendent Julie Nielsen, voted in favor of the Racial Equity Resolution on Nov 19, 2020.


Tracy Brunnette (Chairperson), Kathleen Schwartz (Vice Chairperson), Patricia Driscoll (Treasurer), Sharon Van Leer (Clerk), Melinda Dols (Director), Louise Hinz (Director), Simi Patnaik (Director)


The Racial Equity Resolution lead to the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Policy, adopted by the same school board listed above August 26, 2021.

Dear Reader, Do you have an important piece of information you think I should consider adding to this article? Contact me at JkokaiselforSchools@pm.me

He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.

Ecclesiastes 11:4

What this bible passage means to me is to focus on growth and forgiveness and the light that is ahead. It is not productive or fulfilling to worry about death and to live in constant anger, vengeance or fear. The school districts A&I program has our children watching the wind and looking at the clouds when they should be sowing the seed and reaping their reward in the fruits of their labours.

Funding “Achievement & Integration”


Revenue Uses

(a) At least 80 percent of a district’s achievement and integration revenue received under this section must be used for innovative and integrated learning environments, school enrollment choices, family engagement activities, and other approved programs providing direct services to students.

(b) Up to 20 percent of the revenue may be used for professional development and staff development activities and placement services.

(c) No more than ten percent of the total amount of revenue may be spent on administrative services.


Budget Report was obtained through email request to Dan Pyan, Director of Finance and Operations.

Not all district s have an A&I program, therefore it is listed separately. This report however was not available online. I had to request it from Dan Pyan, Director of Finance and Operations. The information below was also not found in the Financial Report, which is the most logical place one might think to find details about the budget.

I REQUEST at this time for the District to please consider adding the A&I Budget to the Annual Financial Report.

  • The A & I budget in 2010 was $2,518,685. Back then we did not get the additional incentive revenue from MDE
  • The A & I budget in 2017-18 was $2,549,899. District 833 joined the state’s WBWF A&I program in this year which qualified them to receive the state’s incentive revenue (about $150,000 a year).
  • The A & I budget in 2021-2022 was $3,072,612, and if I am reading the budget correctly, $203,388 of that is incentive revenue from the state. That is quite an increase from previous years.

The 2021-2022 A&I budget is spread across three categories in the General Fund Expenditures pie chart.

District Support : $236,501

Regular Instruction : $2,761,723

Pupil Support : $119,426

For the sake of context, General fund expenditures in 2020-21 were $262,635,799 (Total fund expenditures were $340 million which includes General, School Nutrition, Community Education, Construction, Debt Service.)

More on the Budget in later articles.

I do have to wonder how much more money is being spent on Equity than is in the A&I budget. The reason I wonder is because of how woven Equity is into the fiber of public school culture.

For example, in 2018 the math curriculum changed, and I noticed because my daughter had a difficult time adjusting. Long division became impossible for us to talk through together at home. She was in 4th grade at that time, and the new curriculum flipped everything she thought she knew about math upside down and inside out.

Bridges Math

The Bridges Math curriculum was purchased by the District in Fiscal Year 2018-2019 for $813, 746. As I am now able to look back at the the districts A&I progression and timeline, it is clear to me why (and how) this drastic change was implemented. District 833 had joined the state’s WBWF A&I program one year prior, which set into motion five more required goals to implement and reach. Joining the A&I program qualified them to receive the state’s incentive revenue (about $150,000 a year).

In summary

A&I was initiated by district 833 in 1999. The Worlds Best Workforce was initiated by MDE in 2013, and submitted plans run on a three year cycle. The A&I program was merged with WBWF by MDE in 2017. At this time MDE identified some school districts as “Racially Isolated” (such as 196 Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan), and therefore they required them to submit a WBWF A&I plan. SoWashCo was not required to join. They chose to join.

Director of DEI, James Magee answered my question.

“The last A&I plan was submitted in Spring of 2020 and was scoped to run from the fall of 2020 (these are 3 year plans) through the spring of 2023. SoWashCo Schools is not identified as a racially isolated school district and was not required to submit a plan. SoWashCo Schools chose to join to build capacity and collaboration both internally and externally as an adjoining district.”

I will go into greater detail in PART 5 about the districts WBWF report. That was an interesting workshop to sit in. It was refreshing to hear the school board discuss what should be the most important subject of all in public school education : academic achievement.

This article is about PAST decisions that have lead up to this day. The next couple articles will concentrate on PRESENT decisions the district is making. What does A&I look like to the student, and what is the reality of their learning? How does the district define SPEECH, HATE SPEECH, and GOVT SPEECH?

To the District 833 School Board and Superintendent Nielsen,

I appreciate all the information you have added to the website over the past year. The new branding presents well and makes reading more enjoyable. There is a lot to read and sort through, and this sheer quantity of information may seem transparent to a District employee. But to a parent, the information needs to be more targeted toward answering the public’s frequently asked questions.

Sometimes, after watching a presentation or reading a Financial Report, I am left wondering, “Where is the rest?” We are given pieces of the information at different times and places, but not enough to see the entire picture. Money is normally tied to a headcount, so if you are presenting dollar amounts please include the headcount.

Clearly delineating categories and defining responsibility will help foster trust and understanding in the community you serve. I REQUEST at this time for the District to please consider this when organizing information. Please make an effort to meet the residents where we are at.

Thank you, Jaime Kokaisel

We see drastic changes happening inside our public schools. We see curriculum changing, books changing, homework changing. We see a school district openly embracing radical liberal left policies and highly controversial revolutionary social education. The emphasis is on SOCIAL learning. We can argue and fight and write letters all we want, but this is now written into the law books of our public school district. Any attempt to get back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic needs to happen under that understanding.

We have just recently watched as the MN Teacher Licensing Standards were radically changing into the new social dialect of our time. Honestly though, District 833 has already initiated that language. In the Racial Resolutions and DEI policy changes of 2020 and 2021 (documents shown above) the 833 school board has led the progressive reformation of the state! All, but one, current school board members are following in lock and step with the desires of institutional learning. This is no longer a local effort.

The topic of A&I is a very complex one, and it seems to be taking on a life of its own lately. I broke this topic into a FIVE PART SERIES because of the many components. There is MN legislation, MDE, USDE, teachers’ unions, teachers, parents and students. Minnesota Statute can be very dry, I know. The reason I include it here is so as not to paraphrase the law but to go straight to the source. The government school system is massive.

by JAiME for SCHOOLS, December 15th, 2022


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