Fort Dodge Community School District: Striving, taking pride — a diverse student population

Sunday, January 27, 2019

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Chad Thompson

Serving a diverse student population is a constant challenge, but also a source of pride for the Fort Dodge Community School District, according to Superintendent Jesse Ulrich.

“We continue to strive and take pride in the fact that we are serving a very diverse population of students that is high in poverty and has many needs and that’s just another reason why we need more support and continued support from the community,” Ulrich, who is in his first year as superintendent, said.

About 60 percent of students in the district have a low socioeconomic status, according to the Iowa Department of Education. That is a higher percentage than each of the other schools in this nine-county region other than Eagle Grove Community School District. The percentage of special needs students served by the FDCSD is among the highest in the region at 14 percent.

The FDCSD serves the highest number of students in the region overall at more than 3,500.

Each of Fort Dodge’s schools were recently scored by the state using a new matrix, and according to Ulrich, the results were encouraging.

These performance scores are included in Iowa School Performance Profiles. They designed to show how public schools performed in a new accountability system that meets the Every Student Succeeds Act. Every Student Succeeds is a federal law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.

The profiles display a school’s score based on overall performance, as well as scores based on the performance of subgroups of students.

Subgroups include students who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, students receiving special education services and students from racial/ethnic minority groups.

The FDCSD has four schools with no designations and three that have been identified for Targeted Support and Improvement.

Butler Elementary School, Duncombe Elementary School, Feelhaver Elementary School, and Riverside Early Learning Center did not receive designations.

Full article.

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