Education graphic

The Council Bluffs Community School District inched toward the goals in its three-year academic plan last year but fell short of targets set for the first year.

Reading scores on the FAST test for kindergarten through third-grade students increased from 56 percent proficient in 2016-17 to 57 percent proficient in 2017-18, according to a report presented by Corey Vorthmann, chief academic officer, during the district board of education meeting Tuesday.

That’s a positive step, but a much smaller one than the target of 63 percent for 2017-18 set forth in the district’s three-year academic plan. That, in turn, will make it much harder to reach next year’s target of 67 percent. The goal for 2019-20, the end of the three-year period, is 71 percent proficiency.

Meanwhile, eighth-grade math proficiency, as measured by the Iowa Assessment, crept up from 64 percent to 65 percent proficient from 2016-17 to 2017-18, the report showed, falling short of the target of 68 percent proficient. The target for 2018-19 is 72 percent proficient, and the goal for 2019-20 is 76 percent proficient.

“We’re growing consistently — just not very much,” Vorthmann said.

Yearly improvement of 1 percent by these measurements has been typical for the past 10 years, he said.

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The district made substantial progress on its goal of expanding early childhood learning opportunities. Preschool enrollment by 4-year-olds increased from 350 to 407 pupils, a chart showed. That’s most of the way toward its 2017-2018 target of 420. Remaining targets in the three-year plan are 490 for 2018-19 and 560 for 2019-20.

However, the district currently is not able to accept that many students, Vorthmann said.

“This kind of has to be put on hold until we increase capacity,” he said.

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