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.
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.