Vinton-Shellsburg’s two elementary schools were named to the top 50 elementary schools in Iowa by U.S. News and World Report. Shellsburg’s five grades, Pre-Kindergarten through 4th grade, ranked 50th among Iowa’s 614 elementary schools. Tilford, with grades Kindergarten through 4th grade, ranked #23.

The U.S. News and World Report rankings focused on scores for reading and math and shared other important data points.

Math proficiency was 87% for students at both schools, and the two elementary attendance centers tied for 39th place among Iowa elementary schools. In reading, Tilford was slightly higher than Shellsburg with a reading proficiency score just 5% better than Shellsburg’s.

Kyle Koeppen, Vinton-Shellsburg school superintendent, was highly pleased with the results of the rankings. “The outstanding performance of our elementary schools bodes well for the future of students in every grade. Elementary students performing at a very high level create a foundation that will propel them to achieve high levels of accomplishment in their middle school and high school years.”

Koeppen credits the U.S. News and World Report rankings to outstanding teamwork. “We have student-teacher ratios that are appropriate for the early grades, and that comes from decisions by the senior administration, the school board, and the support of the community. Our teachers are experienced and dedicated to their students, reflecting their professionalism and caring contribution. But the most important contribution of all comes from the parents and the students themselves. Young students won’t be in school and ready to learn if parents don’t believe in the importance of education for their kids, and it’s obvious that because we’re working as a team, their children are attending class and paying attention.”

In addition to the outstanding performance of the elementary schools, Vinton-Shellsburg’s middle school is also ranked 18th of 367 Iowa middle schools by U.S. News and World Report.

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