Students and staff at Clarke Schools are past the doldrums that come with the end of summer and are settling into a familiar routine. As a sense of normalcy descends, faculty and kids alike are back to being excited about what they’re doing and are looking forward to a great 2021 school year.

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One of the first steps is to determine proficiencies through the Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) in grades K-6, while the upper grades will be evaluated through I-Ready standardized assessments. The results will show any educational gaps and will allow educators to develop the most effective curriculum path to take into the future. The I-Ready data can be broken down and examined on an individual, class, grade level, and building basis, showing any discrepancies between where students were and where they are now, giving detailed data so teachers can focus on specifics instead of just reteaching a general subject. While all the information isn’t in yet, the most recent round of Elementary testing shows some score improvement.

“We are seeing some very positive signs of improvement and progress,” said Dr. Al Dykens, Superintendent of Clarke Schools. “That doesn’t mean proficiency, just that we’re seeing some of those kids continuing to move in a positive direction.”

COVID is still on the minds of many in the community, and the school is continuing to monitor the health and safety of all students and staff. Following CDC guidelines and direction from Governor Kim Reynolds, the Clarke School Board recommends and allows all students and faculty to wear masks, but they are not mandated at this time. Flu season is starting and each school is taking precautionary measures, knowing that circumstances can change in a matter of days. They will continue monitoring and the School Board will make adjustments as needed.

The school is diving into an exciting and busy season. Both the football and volleyball teams are winning games, the marching band is performing at a high level, ‘Matilda’ play practices are well under way, and it’s Homecoming week.

“The kids are thrilled about all these activities and things are really coming back to life,” said Dykens. “We’re right on the cusp of being able to take that next leap and when things fall into place here, Clarke Schools will be bright and shining.”

Be sure to follow all the exciting things going on at Clarke Schools through the district website! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Dr. Dykens by calling the Administrative offices at 641-342-4969, or sending him an email at alan.dykens@clarke.k12.ia.us.

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