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Forest City aerial shot

This aerial drone photo, taken by student Jordan Spooner, shows the new facility, and the athletic fields and more that have been made possible by the community working together.

As I reflect upon 2018, it was a year filled with many accomplishments that students, families, staff and community members can be proud of.

Our district’s strategic plan sets six priority goals that guide our improvement efforts: curriculum, engaged learners, quality staff, parent and community involvement, infrastructure support and fiscal responsibility.

I will share a few highlights in each of these areas.

Our staff has worked very hard to align curriculum and teach to Iowa Core Standards established by the State of Iowa.

A new state assessment, which aligns to these standards, will be administered to students in the spring of 2019. Our staff will continue to make any necessary instructional adjustments to ensure students receive the quality education they deserve.

At the high school level, it’s more important than ever to ensure students have the foundation needed for whichever career or technical path they choose.

Our trimester system provides more class choices (21 options per year) and flexibility to fit in required and optional courses.

In the 2017-18 school year, the “Senior Plus” career and technical class options with partners Waldorf University and NIACC allowed our students to earn 1,440 college credits.

We place a lot of emphasis on “beyond the classroom” learning activities and our activity participation rates continue to be excellent.

In the middle school, 92 percent of students participate in at least one activity and that rate is 82 percent in our high school.

A few other highlights are that the Class of 2018 had an ACT Composite Score of 23.6, the highest composite score on record; and the Class of 2020 has a student with a perfect ACT score of 36. Congratulations to all in these areas.

I can’t say enough about the fantastic partnerships in our community.

In October, the Boman Fine Arts was dedicated. 

Volunteers—parents, local businesses, community members, Waldorf students are abundant.

Our district is so fortunate to have the support of the Forest City Education Foundation, Fine Arts Patrons and Sports Boosters organizations.

Another strong partnership between the City of Forest City, Y, and the Forest City CSD is to address the area of lack of daycare. The Y runs a four-year-old daycare at the elementary in conjunction with our preschool program and by the 2019-2020 school year will be adding the three-year-old daycare to the building. This partnership will provide support for our families and businesses in our community.

The successful Voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy also shows the strong community support for our district.

This vote was key in allowing us to focus on energy efficiencies, maintain our current facilities and transportation fleet, and address safety areas within our district.

Overall, the district is in good financial standing and we continue to forecast our enrollment/state supplemental aid to ensure strong fiscal responsibility.

These accomplishments reflect the dedication, perseverance, and collaboration of many throughout the district. Bring on 2019.

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