MFL MarMac sets annual improvement goals


At the Oct. 14 school board meeting, bus driver Julius Dettmann, along with his late wife, Joyce, who was also a driver, were recognized with plaques that honored their service and commitment to the school district. Julius was a driver for 30 years, while Joyce drove for 19. Here, Julius is pictured with school board president Patty Burkle. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

MFL MarMac high school teacher and data coordinator Jennifer Wilwert presented the school board with the district’s annual progress report and improvement goals at the board’s Oct. 14 meeting.

 

Wilwert said the district has set two goals each for reading and math, as well as one for science. The first reading goal is for all students in grades 4, 5, 7 and 9 to demonstrate growth on the reading subtest of the Iowa Assessment using the scaled score to compare results from the previous school year. The other reading goal will be for all independent education plan (IEP) students in grades 3-8 and 11 to demonstrate growth.

 

The first annual math goal hopes to see all students in grades 3-5, 7 and 9 demonstrate growth in the math subtest. The second looks for IEP students in grades 3-8 and 11 to demonstrate growth.

 

Finally, the science goal will be for a higher percentage of 9th grade students to be proficient on the science subtest of the Iowa Assessment than the previous year’s 8th grade students.

 

“People are really looking closely at how kids are making progress,” said Elementary Principal Kathy Koether.

 

During her report, Koether said the nine-member Students in Need of Assistance (SINA) team has almost completed an action plan for the entire district. Although the district only needed to make reading improvements at grades 4 and 5 and both reading and math improvements in grades 6 through 8, the district decided it would be more helpful to institute a plan for all students. Koether said representatives from the Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA) have been helpful in constructing the plan because they have experience creating similar plans.

 

“It’s not like we’re reinventing the wheel,” Koether explained. “They help us customize a plan and get us all on board.”

 

Koether said professional learning committees have also done a lot of work to bring the district in line with the state’s core curriculum. Some teachers have participated in a Math Investigation workshop, which is put on by Keystone AEA math consultants. In these workshops, teachers meet in grade level teams with other area teachers and look at the Iowa core math curriculum, determining how they can get in line with it, while also learning about what other schools do.

 

District Administrator Dale Crozier said the district’s professional development is at the highest level he has seen in awhile.

 

“They’ve got their jive back and are doing the right stuff,” he said. “Everyone’s excited and I like that.”

 

In his report, Crozier said the school’s new auditorium is ready to go. Musical practice will begin this week, as well as sound system training. Crozier said there will be a ribbon cutting prior to the school musical, but that an official date and time have yet to be set.

 

He also mentioned that the high school will also be getting an LCD entrance sign, thanks, in part, to a donation from the class of 2012. The sign can be programmed with thousands of different things and will be helpful in posting game times, scores and highlights.

 

At the meeting, long-time bus driver Julius Dettmann, along with his late wife, Joyce, who was also a driver, were recognized with plaques that honored their service and commitment to the school district. Julius was a driver for 30 years, while Joyce drove for 19.

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