Area Schools Become Targeted for Performance

The Iowa Department of Education went public with their school improvement designations on Tuesday, December 18. A large number of schools received designation as schools needing improvement.

In all, 34 Iowa schools were listed as needing “comprehensive” improvement, meaning their test scores were persistently low throughout the building and lacked sufficient positive growth. Some area schools on the Comprehensive list include East Sac County Elementary and Emmetsburg West Elementary.

The Jacobson Elementary in the Belmond-Klemme Community School District was named as a “targeted” school for low performance among certain sub-groups. Jacobson had a large achievement gap between our English Language Learner (ELL) students and the general student population. A second large achievement gap has been cited between special education students and the general student body.

According to Dan Frazier, Superintendent for the Belmond-Klemme Community Schools, “We take our designation as a targeted school seriously and look at it as a positive opportunity for growth and improvement.”

Over 300 schools were labeled “targeted” across the state of Iowa. All three Clarion-Goldfield-Dows buildings are “targeted.” In Eagle Grove, Robert Blue School and Eagle Grove High made the list. Other area schools include Hampton-Dumont Middle, West Fork Middle, Aplington / Parkersburg Middle School, Charles City Middle, Charles City High, and Clear Lake Middle.

Some schools are surprisingly on the “targeting” list, such as Ames Middle School and Ames High School. Five Ankeny buildings made the list: Northview Middle, Southeast Elementary, Southview Middle, Prairie Trail, and Ankeny High School. Four Cedar Falls schools made the list, including Lincoln Elementary, North Cedar Elementary, Holmes Junior High, and Cedar Falls High School. Johnston Middle School and Johnston Senior High are included. Even College Community had three buildings: Prairie Creek, Prairie Point, Prairie High School.

Some schools will never be on the list. For example the Eagle Grove Elementary and the two Hampton-Dumont Elementary schools. Testing begins at grade 4; growth is calculated between 4th and 5thgrades in each building. If a school has no 5th grade, it cannot show 5th grade growth.