While recognizing there is room to improve, staff at Vinton-Shellsburg are proud of the results the Iowa Department of Education released earlier today. As a result of legislative action, the Department of Education developed Attendance Center Rankings for all the school buildings across the state. Vinton-Shellsburg’s Middle School received an “Exceptional” ranking which is the highest ranking and one that only 3% of middle schools across the state received! Tilford Elementary was ranked as “High Performing,” the High School as “Commendable” and Shellsburg Elementary was given a ranking of “Acceptable.” No buildings fell within the “Needs Improvement” or “Priority” status.
The district will be reviewing how to improve in the subcategories that generated the overall rankings. In particular staff will continue to consider how to close the achievement gap so all students (including those receiving special education services or those who qualify for free and reduced meals) are highly proficient in reading and math.
Superintendent Mary Jo Hainstock attributes the buildings’ high rankings to the work that has been done across the district in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Specifically, she highlighted how teachers have been implementing professional learning communities where they work in small teams and focus their work on students’ work as well as the instructional practices each teacher can implement to improve student achievement. She also attributes the success to the fact that the work has been done across the district preK-12 with similar protocols and strategies used throughout. She added the importance of how the teachers and administrators have focused on the right work of improving students at all levels in literacy and numeracy.
Superintendent Hainstock cautions parents and other stakeholders to be cautious in not making overwhelming judgements based on the rankings. “While our buildings were ranked highly, the rankings are only one set of measures and are not totally reflective of the teaching and learning that occur each day within our classrooms.” The Iowa Department of Education is still working on finalizing how this data will be used in supporting districts across the state.
To learn more about the state report card read below or to access the website follow this link:
Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise explains the new rankings at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgXCaASHTlk