WDMCS Releases Annual Student Achievement Report

The West Des Moines Community Schools recently released its annual student achievement report, which shows more students proficient in reading even as the number of students learning the English language for the first time increases.

The number of English learners attending the West Des Moines School District has increased by approximately 100 students each year. There are currently 884 students attending the district who are learning the English language, while there were only 414 in 2010.

Last year, 80.6 percent of students in grades 3-5 were proficient in reading, according to the Iowa Assessments taken this fall in the district. Of those same students, now in grades 4-6, 81 percent are proficient. Growth was seen at other grade levels, except in grades 7-11, which dipped slightly.

“We are spending more time focusing on reading and the reading data,” said Associate Superintendent Dr. Laurene Lanich during a presentation to the school board on Monday, Feb. 22. “We are honing in on what students need to know and be able to do.”

However, she cautioned that the Iowa Assessments do not provide a complete picture of what our students learn, because it is not fully aligned with the Iowa Core. A new state assessment for Iowa students is being proposed this legislative session. The district uses other tests to garner a broader, more accurate picture of student achievement. For example, the ELDA test shows the percentage of English learners in the district exceeds the state target. The FAST assessment shows students outperform the state in all grade levels on both CBMreading and aReading.

The full student achievement report is available at www.wdmcs.org/academics/reports.