Beth Randklev, the principal of Ben Franklin Elementary School in Grand Forks, believes that the essence of good leadership is the ability to impart leadership qualities to others. In her former position as principal of Belmont Elementary School, she spearheaded the transformation of that school from" the lowest performing school in the district to a National Blue Ribbon School." At her current school, Dr. Randklev is still helping others develop their leadership abilities and express their talent. She has also instituted a breakfast program, a multi-age primary program, a two-year homeroom system, a program of home visits and a Backpack Reading Program. The central objective of these measures is to provide children with a nurturing, stable and challenging environment. For this to occur, parents must also be involved through programs that strengthen the bond of partnership between school and home.
In 2007, Randklev's teachers implemented a "Leveled Learning" Program in Reading Instruction. Learning Blocks were established for reading instruction and students were assessed and then attended intense targeted reading instruction at their level for 60 to 90 minutes depending on the grade level. Special Education teachers and the Title I Reading Specialist joined the classroom teachers during this time. Students who read above grade level were taught in larger groups. Students who performed below grade level were taught in smaller groups -- with more teachers providing instruction. The results were quickly noted. Within 2 years, 95% of the students in each grade level met their reading benchmark. The school was named North Dakota's Nationally Distinguished Title I School and attended the national recognition ceremony in San Diego. The school developed a math learning block as well, and students math achievement also improved. Not only did the lower performing students perform at their age level, but top students performance also soared. These students made the gains that were typically seen only in "Gifted" programs. As part of Leveled Learning, Ben Franklin School fully developed the Multi-Tier Systems of Support (MTSS) model of meeting student needs. In 2012, Randklev was approached by the faculty from the University of North Dakota and the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction to become the "Demonstration School" for the State of North Dakota in the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (of which leveled reading and math instruction were a part.) A partnership with the University of North Dakota resulted in placements of over 20 undergraduate students, 12 student teachers, and 2 graduate students each year. University students were treated like "residents" and placed within the grade level teams to learn alongside the Ben Franklin faculty. The two graduate positions were full time teaching residents for the full school year, during which time students completed evening coursework toward a graduate degree in either special education or in reading instruction. In addition, Ben Franklin was a site for school districts from across North Dakota to come and observe the teaching and learning that was taking place. The Ben Franklin team developed a day-long visitation program for elementary principals and teaching teams to come to Ben Franklin to learn the components of the "Ben Franklin Way", to observe in the various leveled learning classrooms, to visit with teachers and ask questions, to have a question and answer lunch with Dr. Randklev and faculty, and then to have time to make action plans to take back to their schools/districts. The Demonstration School Partnership was for the period of 2012 - 2017. Dr. Randklev retired in June 2017.
“Milken Educators continue to feel an additional sense of responsibility to make the most of their careers in education. It was apparent..." (read more)
1975 Moorhead State University, B.S.