This is the final installment of the monthly West Burlington Independent School District newsletter for the 2014-2015 school year. We are in the final phases of a most successful school year. It is safe to say that Falcon Pride abounds. West Burlington ISD strives to provide a balanced education and a host of educational experiences for ALL of our students. I believe we are achieving that.

The Department of Education recently concluded our site visit. The written report will be available in two months but the initial/preliminary report was borderline stellar. The consultants who spent three days reviewing our documentation, interviewing stakeholders, and walking through our buildings were very impressed with all of the good things going on in our district. The team was especially impressed with our professional development program, our literacy instruction, and the efforts WBISD makes to assist all students in achieving at high levels. The site team found our school district’s learning environment to be very positive and our students to be respectful and pleasant. The site team pointed out that our stakeholders have all rallied behind our district vision and mission. I must admit I was pleased to hear this account of our school district, but certainly not surprised. Falcon Pride abounds!

West Burlington ISD’s achievement scores continue to trend upward. We recently received the 2013-2014 Iowa core summary report from the University of Iowa Testing Program. WBISD is doing great. We had nine grades take the Iowa Assessment test in the 2013-2014 school year. Of those nine grades, eight exceeded proficiency levels of students in our AEA as well as scored higher than students in the same grade across the state. See graph number 1 on page 3 of this newsletter. The results from 2013-2014 in the area of math were equally impressive. Of the nine grades taking the Iowa Assessment test, eight of the grades had a higher percentage of proficiency than the area schools and schools across the state. See graph number 2 on page 4 of this newsletter. Our “late winter-normed” Iowa Assessment results for 2014-2015 are in our hands. The comparative data is not yet available, but I will share the preliminary results in local terms. The flattened out average proficiency level for grades 3-5 for the 2014-2015 school year is 84% in reading and 80% in math. Flattened out junior high scores are 75.9% proficient or above in reading and 72.2% proficient or above in math. We continue to see a growth trend in our JH Iowa Assessment results. This year’s junior class scored an impressive 85.7% proficient or above in reading and 85.7% meeting or exceeding proficiency in math. Our achievement scores are impressive. ACT scores from 2010- 2014 indicate our WBISD students scored above the state average in four of the five years. The excellent test score averages verify our professional development program is effective and teaching and learning is a top priority at WB. Falcon Pride abounds!

I’m sure you have heard about the WBND track team’s stellar performance at the Drake Relays. We qualified 10 events, winning four events, placing second in two, and performing well in the others. The Relays involve all athletes around the State, there are no classes. Our performance arts programs continue to get excellent ratings at competitions and provide quality performances for our parents and community. Our visual arts program wins many awards at our conference competition and we continue making strides in our vocational programs, preparing our students for community college, technical school, or the work force. Our athletic teams continue to grow, excel, and become more competitive. My point on all of this is simple. WBISD is offering a well-rounded education. Falcon Pride abounds!

Perhaps the best news in all of this is the fact that the WBISD Board of Education has provided the resources to excel, Falcon pride, but has significantly reduced the overall property tax levy in the meantime. WBISD has reduced the overall property tax levy each of the past six years.

FY 11 Overall levy $22.23
FY 12 Overall levy $21.59
FY 13 Overall levy $21.51
FY 14 Overall levy $20.81
FY 15 Overall levy $18.83
FY 16 Certified levy $16.25 *estimated

I know all of our stakeholders are quite proud of what we have accomplished and where we are as a school district. We have a caring and dedicated staff. Please allow me to provide my heartfelt assurance that West Burlington Independent School District will continue getting better and continue striving for excellence in all of our programs. Falcon Pride abounds! Kids First!