Monthly School Report (May 2017)

Superintendent Steve Hanson · Wednesday, May 24, 2017
West Liberty High School was ranked Fifth Best in Iowa for a second year in a row by U.S. News.  The methodology used by U.S. News to determine the awards is a four-step process:

1. Students perform better than expected in their state.

a) U.S. News looked at reading and math results for students on each state's proficiency tests and then factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students, who tend to score lower.

2. Disadvantaged students perform better than state average.

a) U.S. News compared each school's math and reading proficiency rates for disadvantaged students - black, Hispanic and low-income - with the statewide results for these student groups and then selected schools that were performing better than their state averages

3. Student graduation rates meet or exceed a national standard.

4. Students are prepared for college-level coursework.

a) U.S. News calculated a College Readiness Index, which is based on the school's AP participation rate and how well the students did on those tests.

Many thanks to all staff of the West Liberty Community School District for all they have done, and for all they do, to support our students and contribute to their success.

Congratulations to the students who work hard, and to their parents, without whom they could not achieve such success.  See the state rankings at the following link:  https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/search?state-urlname=iowa [Or search “best high schools iowa”]

On May 3, Tracy Peterson, Director of Diversity and K-12 outreach for the UI College of Engineering, brought six engineering students to the WLHS auditorium to present the documentary “Underwater Dreams” and conduct a panel discussion afterwards.

The six engineering students are members of the UI Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE); one of six was WLHS graduate Roberto Torres.  Thank you, UI College of Engineering for reaching out to our students, and thank you, Roberto, for serving as an excellent example of what students from West Liberty CSD can become.

Thanks also to the West Liberty Youth Dream Catchers who arranged this event.

West Liberty was recently featured in an article in Yes! Magazine.

The article quoted various local residents (adults and high school students) on how safe they feel in our community and schools.  The article can be found at this link:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/tiny-town-in-the-heartland-creates-homegrown-sanctuary-20170501/.  [Or search “yes magazine west liberty”]

At State Contest, earlier this month, the WLHS Concert Band earned a Division I rating.  All three judges scored the band a Division I; it is the first Division I earned by the Concert Band since 2008.

The choir earned a Division I rating at state large group.  All three judges gave them Division I ratings.

WLHS was the only choir to receive straight Division I ratings.  [Fun fact:  there were 240 points available from 6 judges scoring the band and choir.  WL ensembles earned 229 of those points.  The students represented WHLS in a fantastic way at the festival!]

West Liberty Elementary School students and parents enjoyed a Cinco de Mayo celebration, organized by Diana Porras.  Music, folkloric dance and food brought people together to celebrate Latino heritage.

Parents, grandparents, friends and relatives filled the cafeteria at WLHS earlier this month for the Promenade, celebrating with our juniors, seniors and their prom guests.

Family and friends of seniors came together again a few weeks later for the senior awards night, where a number of students were recognized for their hard work as scholarships were announced.  

This school year is rapidly winding down; the last day of classes will be May 30 (with a one-hour early dismissal).

The state track meet was held this past week; soccer playoff games are underway; Field Day at the elementary school is scheduled for May 25 (today).  The results for the Comets who participated in the state track meet are in the corrsponding graph.

Whenever we publish student achievement results, we disaggregate the data for various subgroups, including the group “ELL” (English Language Learners).

When we report the results for “ELL,” we include only those students who still hold that label -- who still belong to that category -- who have not yet exited the category.

But there are many students who once were ELLs, but have exited that category.  How are they doing?

Their performance is an important indicator of success.  Recently, AEA 9 published reading and math assessment results, disaggregating the results for the categories “Exited ELL” (students who once were ELLs but are no longer) and “Ever ELL” (the combined results of students no longer in the category and students who are still ELLs).
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