The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 22, 2014

Test scores up at Van Buren schools

KEOSAUQUA — Scores on the Iowa Assessment tests soared this year for most of the classes taking them at Van Buren Community School District.

“We are very pleased,” said Mary Dawn Schuck, curriculum coordinator. “We’re kind of speechless.” The number of students proficient in reading jumped as high as 34 percent in one class, she stated.

“Normally, we can expect growth from one year to the next around 10 percent,” she said. “We had kids with 50-point growth. We’re thrilled.”

The school has been emphasizing better reading proficiency in their curriculum the past couple of years. Schuck said it is starting to pay dividends in improved achievement, citing the fifth grade.

“Of the 43 students who took the test, there are more (18) students who are regarded as advanced proficient than proficient (16). That’s wonderful.”

Scores in math and science proficiency also showed increases. “The kids really stepped up,” said secondary principal Chuck Banks. “We’re very happy with the effort of staff, parents and students.”

Schuck said the results had just been released this week and she hadn’t had time to “dig into the individual data too much and will do that in the coming days.”

In other action and discussion:

• Superintendent Dr. Pam Ewell updated the board on the new school calendar, which could be for 180 days or 1,080 hours. She will bring a proposal to the March meeting.

• Ewell suggested the board look at leasing buses instead of purchasing them.

Leasing involves a three-year term and then a balloon payment at the end and selling it back.

“It keeps our fleet newer and there are less repairs,” Ewell said. “Money for the lease comes out of the PPEL and money from the sale goes into the general fund. I haven’t analyzed every piece, but I think it’s worth looking at.” She said the company which leases the buses would pay Van Buren personnel to do maintenance.

Text Only
Local News
  • It feels good to help others OTTUMWA — Volunteering helps the community in multiple ways. But don't ignore the good things this new RSVP program will do for the volunteer. "There are health and social benefits," said Desiree Johnson, president and CEO of the United Way of Wapell

    August 1, 2014

  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook