Iowa low achieving schools receive federal help - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa low achieving schools receive federal help

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Some Iowa schools are getting a failing grade when it comes to students. Now three million dollars is on the way from the federal government to try to help. The money comes from the "school improvement grants" program.

In the past three years Waterloo schools had received the grant; Lincoln Elementary, Irving Elementary, and George Washington Carver Academy.

Stephanie Mohorne became the principal of Lincoln Elementary four years ago after the school was put on 'persistently low-achieving" status. She admits, test schools were low.

"Our students were not achieving to their potential. They weren't achieving at the level we know our kids can," said Mohorne.

To improve scores, the school received more than two million dollars in federal grant money to use over four years. Since then the school has incorporated a number of things, like family night.

"It may be a science night where students and families are participating in a particular science project first and then having dinner," said Mohorne.

She says over the last few years test scores have improved. In fact last year they saw double digit gains in the areas of reading, math and science.

It's an improvement mother, Ashley Shavers could clearly see in her first grader.

"In kindergarten they did their testing throughout the year so I seen the difference because of the way they do math and the way they do the reading," said Shavers.

Dr. Jane Lindaman will be the new superintendent for Waterloo schools next school year. She says this is much more than higher test scores.

"We really want parents to be confident and happy with the school and satisfied with the education their children are getting. We want the teachers to be highly qualified and confident with their skills," said Dr. Lindaman.

Dr. Lindaman says the money was also used to coach teachers. She says they also lengthened teachers' days so they could collaborate with other educators.

Dr. Lindaman says they plan to apply for this new round of money available for next school year.

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