Iowa City school board approves long-range plan

To hear officials tell it, the Iowa City Community School District's new strategic plan will bring growth to the district by increasing student proficiency, improving the learning environment, and strengthening the district's teaching staff and resources.

"We have some targets and we have a direction and we have some goals," Iowa City schools Superintendent Matt Degner said.

The plan is divided between three primary goals: Equity, Proficiency and Growth. It identifies four areas for development: School Culture, Student Learning, Workforce, and System and Resources.

"I do think it's important for me to ask, teaching instructional staff can join with us as we work on this ladder to try to carry out and to tell the students that the district and we're going to work our very hardest to bring this district into into compliance with the plan and allows us to better serve all the students," school board member Charlie Eastham said.

The district's new plan was unanimously passed by all seven directors during their Tuesday meeting.

The new plan will guide the district for the next five years and will be measured by data including test scores, surveys of students and data on employee retention.

Degner said the new plan shows not just the goals of the district but what it is working on.

"This tells our story and tells about the work that we're doing," Degner said.

The new plan has similar goals from the current strategic plan which also strived to increase student progress. In the new plan the district specifically outlines their goal of increasing student learning by setting a goal that by 2077, 80 percent of students to score "proficient" or "advanced" on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress tests.

Degner said she hopes the plan will be used as an anchor in case they ever drift away from the goals and promises outlined in the plan.

"If we make a mistake, we get too far off course, this should be our anchor point to redirect us back to what we do for the school district," Degner said.

Looking towards the future, Degner hopes the district can build upon this plan to address other goals the district has to serve its community.

"As we move forward, if there's things that aren't on here that we decided are important work or important strategies to employ that we should update this," Degner said.

This article originally appeared on Iowa City Press-Citizen: Iowa City Schools new strategic plan will work for bring equity to the district