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Local

ISPP: L-S schools rated ‘high performing’

Elementary, middle school and high school rated highly on their report cards

Lynnville-Sully High School, along with the abutting middle school and elementary school, were rated as high performing by the Iowa School Performance Profiles. Based on the ISPP results, the rural Iowa campus is considered one of the highest rated in the state.
Lynnville-Sully High School, along with the abutting middle school and elementary school, were rated as high performing by the Iowa School Performance Profiles. Based on the ISPP results, the rural Iowa campus is considered one of the highest rated in the state.

All three Lynnville-Sully schools were rated as “high performing” based on 2019 results from the Iowa School Performance Profiles.

ISPP ratings, from highest to lowest, identify schools as exceptional, high performing, commendable, acceptable, needs improvement and priority. These classifications serve as a “report card” for public school districts, showing how they performed on federal- and state-required measures.

Lynnville-Sully campuses are among the 15 percent of schools in the state rated as high performing, which is quite the achievement. Especially when less then 2 percent of Iowa public schools are identified as exceptional, based on the most recent ISPP results.

The high school received a score of 64.05 this year, making it the seventh highest rating of all high schools in the state. The middle school scored 63.51, the ninth highest rating of all Iowa middle schools. The elementary school received a rating of 62.38.

Shane Ehresman, superintendent of the Lynnville-Sully Community School District, said the ratings from the elementary and high school increased by one stage from the previous year — from commendable to high performing — while the middle school maintained the same rating.

Outcomes of the ISPP were released by the Iowa Department of Education toward the end of January. Every public school in the state — about 1,300 — was required to undergo ISPP’s accountability measures, which are based upon several factors.

Participation in state assessments, academic achievement, student growth, graduation rate, progress in English language proficiency and conditions for learning are all weighted in to a school’s overall score or ranking. Additional metrics like attendance and staff retention, among others, are also factored in.

According to the Iowa Department of Education, the ISPP scores are used to assign the aforementioned ratings and identify schools in need of support and improvement. ISPP divides schools that need improvement into two categories: comprehensive and targeted.

Comprehensive schools generally need assistance based on the performance of the entire student population. A targeted school identifies by student subgroups — free and reduced-price meals, English learners, students with disabilities, students by racial/ethnic minority group — underperforming.

After examining the data reported from the prior testing year, Ehresman said the school district identified its weaknesses — such as reading — and developed strategies to improve those areas. Several kids were proficient in reading skills, but the growth was not enough.

“As we looked at our data and started looking at individual students, we not only helped support their reading in the elementary school in the classroom, but also students that needed extra help and received one-on-one or small group instruction,” Ehresman said.

Plus, it is more difficult to show more growth — which is heavily weighted on ISPP — when students are already displaying strong proficiency. When people of Lynnville and Sully see the results, Ehresman wants them to recognize the school’s “outstanding student body” and “strong, committed staff.”

“We also have a very supportive community who have high expectations in the classroom and out of the classroom for student achievement,” he said.

These recent ISPP achievements mean a lot for the small school, Ehresman said. Lynnville-Sully Community School District has limited resources but is still producing “high results.”

“And I think that’s important for people to know,” he said. “You come to a small school and still get a great academic program. And on the flip side you get a more personalized learning environment being in a smaller school.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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