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Burlington Addressing Struggling Schools

Burlington School Superintendent Jane Evans says Iowa's latest State Report Card shows there is still a lot of work to do within the district to improve student achievement.

The district found itself on the Districts in Need of Assistance List when the Iowa Department of Education released the information several weeks ago.

At the same time, Burlington High School, Aldo Leopold Middle School and Edward Stone Middle School are on the Schools in Need of Assistance List.

That list contains schools with a student body or a subgroup of at least 30 students that fails to meet proficiency standards in reading and/or math for two years in a row.

Burlington’s five elementary schools are not on the list, which Evans sees as a positive.

"However, we know that some of them are close to that," says Evans, "so we are going to continue our full-court press to improve reading skills throughout the district."

Evans says those efforts include developing a reading recovery program, encouraging more reading outside of the classroom and a reading summit she held over the summer.

She says the faculty and staff are ready to work to improve student achievement.

Evans says parents should meet with teachers or principals if they have questions about the education their children are receiving.

She expects more schools to be on the list of schools in need of assistance when the proficiency standard reaches 100% of students next year.

Evans says Burlington faces no financial penalties for appearing on the lists this year.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.