School board approves annual progress report, goals

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Sharon Greener, Tonya Meyer and Collin Stubbs were sworn on to the MFL MarMac School Board Sept. 14. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac School Board approved the district’s annual progress report and goals for the next year at its monthly meeting Sept. 14.

Teacher Jen Wilwert gave the presentation, breaking down student proficiency, by grade level, in reading, science and math on the Iowa Assessment.

In reading, all grade levels showed students at least 69.2 percent proficient, with the highest level in last year’s ninth and 11th graders, at over 90 percent. That put MFL MarMac above the AEA and state in two-thirds of grades three through 11.

Last year’s sixth grade showed the least proficiency, at 69.2 percent. As a result, Wilwert said this year’s goal is for all sixth and seventh grade students to show growth on the reading comprehension subtest on the Iowa Assessment. 

Wilwert also showed the three-year trend in reading proficiency, noting nice growth in the 2014-2015 seventh- and ninth-grade classes. Over three years, proficiency went from 76 percent to 76.1 and then 80 for students in last year’s seventh grade class, while ninth grade went from 77.6 percent proficient to 86 and then 90.9 in that time.

“This is the one I like to look at the most,” Wilwert said, “because it compares apples to apples.”

In math, all grades were at least 66.1 percent proficient, with the lowest number coming in fifth grade. Seventh, ninth and 11th grades all reached into the 90s and showed greater proficiency than the AEA and state.

The annual math goal, Wilwert said, is for all seventh graders to show growth on the math subtest of the Iowa Assessment.

In science, Wilwert said grades showed high proficiency across the board, with most classes falling between 76.9 and 92.5 percent proficiency. This year’s goal is for students currently in third grade to have a greater percentage of students proficient on the science subtest than when the same students were in second grade, in 2014-2015. 

Wilwert noted that social studies data does not have to be submitted to the state.

Within the past 15 years, superintendent Dale Crozier said the district has shown positive growth to reach state levels of proficiency.

“Kids are not a number or a test score,” he said, “and we’ve never deliberately taught to the test, but we’ve tried to align more with the [Iowa] Core. We’ve seen some positive systemic change and we can say we’re competitive.”

School board changes

At the meeting, Collin Stubbs was sworn in as a new member of the school board, while incumbents Sharon Greener and Tonya Meyer were also sworn in again, after winning the three open seats in the Sept. 8 election.

With the departure of board president Patty Burkle from the school board, vice president Gina Roys was tapped to fill her spot. Greener was selected as vice president.


Teacher librarian Melissa Haberichter and technology specialist Ryan Martindale, who have helped develop the district’s new website, updated the board on the site’s progress, noting that it is nearly ready to launch.

“We’re working on some glitches and training,” Haberichter said, “but we think it’s almost ready.”

On the website homepage, which will feature a welcome, photo slideshow and other information, is a menu that will take visitors to different pages. One will include district information like the mission statement, school board and SIAC goals. A schools tab will take people to each school building’s page, which will include news and events, daily bulletins and quick links and resources for students. A community section will feature information about parent clubs and groups, as well as the Smith and Bulldog Childcare Centers. Another page, for parents, will help them access grades, calendars, lunch payment info, menus and forms. An “about us” section will list staff information, job postings, maps and directions and contact details.

“It’s simpler and easier to navigate,” Haberichter said. 

“It’s easier to manage and we can more easily add pages or edit content,” Martindale added.

Haberichter noted that the website will also be responsive to size and device, meaning the info will not be distorted no matter how visitors access the page, whether via computer, tablet or smartphone.

Crozier said it’s important the district does not launch the website until it’s ready.

“We want it to be the best it can be,” he said. “We’d rather take our time and get everything we want.”

The school has worked with Global Reach, of Ames, to develop the website.

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