Celebrations, challenges for CL schools
Just like its students, the Clear Lake School District got a report card, of sorts, from the State of Iowa. And its worthy of being hung on the refrigerator.
“We’re celebrating some terrific results from our Iowa Assessments,” commented Tracy Thomsen, curriculum director for the Clear Lake Schools. “I remember the year, about 20 some years ago now, when only 49 percent of our fourth grade students were proficient in reading on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and that didn’t
include students with special needs. Now, overall, 80-90 percent of our students in grades two to 11 are proficient in not only reading, but math and science, as well. This includes all but 1 percent of our students.
There’s even more good news within those test results.
“Not only are we excited about our proficiency levels, but we are thrilled with the percentage of students performing at the ‘Advanced’ level,” continued Thomsen. “Now it is common for us to have 20 to 40 percent of our students at a grade level perform at that ‘Advanced’ level and again, it can be in reading or math or science.”
The Clear Lake Schools have been training staff in Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW) during their weekly early dismissals and Thomsen credits that concept of redesigning lessons for getting students to those Advanced levels.
“The more teachers have applied the higher levels of thinking, greater student conversation through collaboration, and the more students have done tasks that have value beyond school, the better I believe our students are able to perform not only on tests but in other ways as well,” said Thomsen. “We’ve also done a much better job of monitoring data around the Iowa Core Curriculum and of giving students support who are struggling along the way. Those things happen because we have the time to analyze data together, redesign lessons together and together create new ways of helping students achieve.” - Read More Via e-Edition