Iowa’s high school graduation rate reaches new high of 91.3%

Iowa Department of Education LogoIowa’s high school graduation rate has increased for the fifth year in a row while dropout rates edged up for the first time since the 2009-10 school year, according to figures released today by the Iowa Department of Education.

State data show 91.3 percent of students in Iowa’s Class of 2016 graduated within four years, up from 90.8 percent for the Class of 2015. Iowa’s annual dropout rate was 2.8 percent in the 2015-16 school year, up from 2.5 percent in the 2014-15 school year. The state’s 2015-16 dropout rate represents 4,154 students in grades 9-12.

Graduation rates and dropout rates can increase simultaneously because they measure different groups of students. The four-year graduation rate follows one class of students over time – for example, students in the Class of 2016 starting with their enrollment as first-time freshmen during the 2012-13 school year – while annual dropout rates represent the number of students who dropped out of grades 9-12 during one school year.

“Graduation is a critical milestone in every student’s path to success,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “While we’re proud that Iowa continues to lead nationally in high school graduation rates, we have work to do. We must ensure all Iowa high school students not only graduate, but do so with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education and training.”

For more information on Iowa’s graduation rates and dropout rates, including rates by school district and by student subgroup, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

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New ordering system for Creative Services effective April 14

AEA 267 Creative Services will be changing to a new ordering system effective Friday, April 14th, 2017. For those customers who have used the “Digital Storefront” ordering system, it will be discontinued at the close of the day on April 13 and orders will need to be submitted using a simple form found on the Creative Services section of the website.

Additionally, the cfprintshop and clprintshop addresses will also be discontinued for receiving orders. Van mail and walk-in orders will still be happily accepted, although the new order form is the preferred method for placing orders. This change will help ensure orders are processed more quickly and will streamline the work and billing for Creative Services staff.

Here are a few tips to make your experience with the new order form a success:

•    Before placing an order using the form, please have all the information regarding how you would like the order completed, including paper color, quantity, and finishing details (like stapling, hole punch, etc.)

•    If you have an attachment that goes with your order, please note that you will receive an email (after you submit your order) that provides you with a link to upload your attachment. Don’t be alarmed if this takes a minute or two.

Please allow at least a 48-hour turnaround time for printing jobs (larger jobs that require bindery or assembly may take up to one week or longer depending on the size). If the job truly requires a shorter turnaround time, please contact Dave Johnson at 319-273-8283 to make arrangements. 

The Creative Services staff of Area Education Agency 267 (soon to be Central Rivers AEA) greatly appreciates the partnership with the local schools over the years to provide printing services. 

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Inspirational leadership series unveiled for 2017-18

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 1.59.03 PMJoin your peers in learning from cutting edge experts in the field of education including George Couros, Kevin Honeycutt, Diane Sweeney, Dylan William, and others as part of the inspirational leadership series presented by AEA 267 (soon to be Central Rivers AEA). Participants may engage in the presentation days for insight and have the added option for extended learning and support.

Want to learn more? Orientation Zoom sessions have been scheduled for the following dates explaining not only the inspirational leadership series but also teacher leadership and tiered instructional support.

April 11, 12, 26, 27  and May 2, 3  from 7:30 to 8:30 am                               

April 12  at 3:30 to 4:30 pm

Access the Zoom meetings at: https://zoom.us/j/981188823

(A recording of a ZOOM orientation will be available upon request to Amy Moine at amoine@aea267.k12.ia.us

 

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Why is it important for educators to be continuous learners?

The pace of change we live in is staggering. Twenty years ago the main source of information for students were teachers. Today, students can find information on anything, anytime, anywhere through Google, Twitter, and cell phones. The demands of the 21st century learner cause us to rethink how we educate our youth. Now, students need teachers to help them develop skills in adapting to change while validating, leveraging, and using the information they have limitless access to in efficient and creative ways to solve complex world problems. The skills of teachers are more crucial than ever.

Twenty years ago, we believed it was enough to send teachers to a workshop or buy them a book to share with students. New research proves the “old way” of professionally developing teachers was ineffective because it didn’t support teachers in the context of implementing new strategies with students. Today, we know teachers need to understand what skills students need for their future and prepare them for it. With this monumental responsibility, how should educators gain these skills?

According to the Center for Public Education’s website, when professional learning only focuses on reading or listening to someone talk about a new skill, just 10 percent can convey the skill to their practice; however, when teachers have ongoing coaching, 95 percent can transfer the new skill set into their classroom.

In order to see real changes in student achievement, effective professional learning programs must provide not only instruction, but also ongoing learning and coaching for every educator. Ask yourself, when it comes to health care, which physician would you entrust with your care? A doctor who graduated in 1950 but hasn’t learned anything new about medical treatments or medications since then, or the doctor that takes time to learn new approaches in medicine to treat pain, save money, and shorten recovery time?

Now ask yourself, which teacher would you entrust with your child? A teacher that has been teaching for many years, but hasn’t learned anything new about teaching a 21st century student, or an educator that is constantly reshaping the learning environment so students learn to be problem solvers, analytical thinkers, and strong communicators?

With the staggering pace of change, educators have great influence on our children. Let’s support ongoing learning for our teachers to create a better life for students in the 21st century and beyond!

Amy Moine, Director of Professional Learning

Amy Moine, Director of Professional Learning

Amy Moine is the director of professional learning with Area Education Agency 267, which serves over 62,000 students in school districts representing 18 counties in north central and eastern Iowa. She can be reached at amoine@aea267.k12.ia.us

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March is National Social Work Month

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 9.12.21 AMEach year, March is dedicated to recognizing the important role social workers play and the AEA 267 Team Rep Appreciation Committee would like to recognize the agency’s school social workers’ part in supporting students, families, and schools. AEA 267 school social workers have expertise in the areas of mental health, community resources, behavior, and advocacy to support academic achievement.

Please take a moment to extend a “thank you” to all school social workers to help show appreciation for the many actions they do each day to support students.

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