Area schools are facing an increasing challenge, how to best educate incoming students from other nations and crossing the language barrier. Students in these circumstances often feel isolated and alone because they are not keeping pace with the other students. For the teachers and administration, trying to overcome the achievement gap between English Language Learners and the general student population requires work on both sides of the gap.
Recently, 300 Iowa schools were listed as needing comprehensive improvement. Essentially, this meant test scores were low and there wasn’t enough positive growth. Schools in the Eagle Grove District were named including the Robert Blue School and Eagle Grove High School. Another schools like Charles City Middle and Charles City High School were also named.
Another local school was the Jacobsen Elementary in the Belmond-Klemme Community School District. Superintendent Dan Frazier explains.
While the district now is faced with this challenge from the Iowa Department of Education, there remains another challenge. What will the department do to assist the district?
Many might see this situation as a negative, but for the school district as a whole, it is exactly the opposite.
It should be noted that some schools cannot be measured because of how they test. Testing begins at the 4th grade level. Growth is then calculated between the 4th and 5th grades in each building.
But if the building has no 5th grade, that measurement cannot be taken. Locally the Eagle Grove Elementary and both Hampton-Dumont elementary schools do not have a fifth grade in the same building as the fourth grade and so they cannot be measured.
The Belmond-Klemme Community School District has already begun taking steps to meet the challenge put forward by the state education department.