A small group gathered on Tuesday, Jan. 21 to hear the discussion being held by the West Bend-Mallard School Board regarding the closing of the Mallard building.
During the meeting, Superintendent Amanda Schmidt shared information from US News which reviewed and gathered high school academic information. The US News reviewed over 21,000 US public schools. 92 Iowa Schools made their ranking with 21 receiving silver medal distinctions and 71 being ranked as bronze medal schools. In addition to sharing data specifically for West Bend-Mallard, Schmidt provided data from the report on the neighboring schools of Emmetsburg, Pocahontas Area, Algona, Laurens-Marathon and Humboldt.
Schmidt indicated West Bend-Mallard has been named a 2013 Bronze Medal Winner. The others from the list receiving that designation were Humboldt and Pocahontas. According to Schmidt, the district's test scores show the West Bend Mallard high schoolers to be 96 percent proficient in reading and 88 percent proficient in math. Twelve percent of the district's students take AP classes.
Schmidt also shared with the board and community the 2012 results of the Iowa Assessment Reading and Math Test. "The test is used to evaluate yearly progress of students in Iowa's school districts. The numbers illustrate the percentage of West Bend-Mallard students designated as proficient or advanced in reading and math based on their standardized test scores for 2012," said Schmidt.
Information pulled from the chart Schmidt provided indicated that in the area of reading, the district's students were: Grade 3, 85.7; Grade 4, 93.3; Grade 5, 79.2; Grade 6, 55; Grade 7, 42.9 and Grade 8, 85.2. The state averages for the same grades are 76.9, 74.4, 74.3, 64.9, 67.5 and 66.1 respectively. In the areas of math, the numbers were very similar: Grade 3, 85.7; Grade 4, 93.3; Grade 5, 75; Grade 6, 60; Grade 7, 66.7 and Grade 8, 81.5. Like the scores in reading, West Bend-Mallard students scored higher than the state average in every grade except Grades 5, 6 and 7.
Schmidt also shared combined information gathered from the Iowa Department of Education regarding the neighboring districts of Algona, Emmetsburg, Gilmore City-Bradgate, Humboldt, Laurens-Marathon, LuVerne, Pocahontas Area, Ruthven-Ayrshire, Sentral and Twin Rivers. In reading, with the exceptions of Grades 6 and 7, West Bend-Mallard students scored higher than the neighboring schools. Similarly, in the area of math, students in all grades except for grades 5, 6, and 7 scored higher than their neighbors.
Superintendent Schmidt provided the board with a breakdown of the class sizes for the district. The largest class for the current school year is the tenth grade class. That class has 38 students. Schmidt also reported the 51 students open enroll into the district, two tuition in, 39 open enroll out, while 4 tuition out. She also reported that 15 WGS students attend West Bend-Mallard as well as three foreign exchange students.
As was indicated prior to the meeting, no decisions about the Mallard building were made on January 21. The next West Bend-Mallard School Board meeting will be February 24 at 5:30 p.m. in West Bend.