Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
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By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | May 17, 2017

Fairfield Community School District curriculum director Marci Dunlap told school board members Monday that students who have Individual Education Plans improved by nearly 100 percentile points on this year’s round of Iowa Assessments.

“Special education [achievement] this year really transcended the norm by almost 100 percentile points,” Dunlap said, explaining that the numbers were derived from adding up the percentile increases by grade level.

Dunlap said interventions were working and likely the reason that the scores had increased.

Dunlap shared Iowa Assessment data with school board members, and she asked them to peruse the data by deciphering each subject area to assess whether or not students had made gains during the school year.

According to the data, the entire school population has seen some gains, but those with IEPs are leading the pack.

However, the scores of those students receiving free and reduced lunch are still lower than average.

“There is still a gap in reading proficiencies for students who receive free and reduced lunch,” Dunlap said, explaining that she’s been sharing the data since 2007, and there is still a poverty gap, but that it is no different when it comes to discrepancies in achievement in other areas of the country.

“We don’t need to do a poverty study,” Dunlap said, adding that the district needed to find instructional strategies that have a higher effect than poverty.

School board member Paul Miller asked Dunlap if the focus on students with IEPs had come at the expense of the rest of the class.

“I don’t think so,” she said. “I don’t feel like it’s at the cost of our non-sub group kids.”

School board member Joe Carr said he noticed gains at Pence Elementary.

Dunlap agreed and said there were gains all over, but not comprehensively. Although she was “happy” to bring the news to the board, she said she didn’t think it was a time to “rest on our laurels,” but to continue to move forward.

School board members will discuss the Iowa Assessment’s data further during its work session Monday.

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