Clear Lake Schools bring home a strong report card from state

Like a proud parent, Clear Lake Schools Superintendent Doug Gee is smiling at report card time.

Gee, and the rest of the state, recently received the latest results of the Iowa School Report Card, a web-based school rating system compiled by the Iowa Department of Education.  The Report Card, which was launched in 2015 as part of a state legislative requirement, rates public schools on some measures of achievement. They include student proficiency rates in math and reading, student academic growth, narrowing achievement gaps among students, college and career readiness, student attendance, graduation rates, and staff retention. Based on each school’s performance over a two-year period, the report card assigns one of six ratings: Exceptional, High-Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority.

All three Clear Lake Schools, Clear Creek Elementary, Clear Lake Middle School and High School, earned “Commendable” ratings, knocking on the door of “High-Performing.”

Statewide, 20.5 percent of Iowa public schools received a higher overall rating than last year, while the rest stayed the same (50.9 percent) or received a lower rating (28.6 percent).

Gee acknowledged that last year Clear Creek earned a high performing mark; this year a slight drop of 1.9 points moved the elementary school to commendable.  However, he said he considers “percent proficient” to be a key area to measure success.  Proficiency is defined as the percentage of students scoring proficient or better on reading and mathematics assessments.

Clear Creek’s mark in proficiency was 86.6 percent, while the state average was 78.4 percent.

“Our attendance is very strong at 98.4 percent, which we all know is key to learning.  If they are not in school, they are not learning,” added Gee.

Clear Lake Middle School showed improvement from its previous rating, moving up from 65.7 to 66.1 points.  Students in grade six through eight were 85.9 percent proficient; the state average for middle school proficiency was 78.4 percent.

Clear Lake Middle School attendance was also great at 96.8 percent.

Clear Lake High School showed the biggest rating improvement, going from 66.9 to 67.4 percent.  High schoolers were 85.9 percent proficient, 7.5 percentage points higher than the state average of 78.4 percent.

“We had 98.3 percent attendance at the high school, which is excellent, with a graduation rate of 97.3 percent, which is also fantastic,” said Gee.

“These (state) results reinforce the need to continue moving forward with the bold education initiatives Iowa has put in place to strengthen instruction and prepare students for success in high school and beyond,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “It’s encouraging that we’ve made significant progress statewide in improving the reading skills of children in kindergarten through third grade, as shown on early literacy screening assessments given three times a year. I’m also proud that Iowa continues to lead

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