Iowa City Community School District five-year strategic plan to increase proficiency in schools

The district’s strategic plan will focus on equity and school development and will be implemented in 2023.


Grace Kreber

The Iowa City Community School District held a meeting at the professional development center on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2022.

Virginia Russell, News Reporter

The Iowa City Community School District will implement a new five-year strategic plan in 2023 to improve student equity and development in the district. 

To improve equity, the district plans to reduce proficiency gaps in reading and math in racial and academic demographic groups, such as English Language Learners, Individualized Education Plan learners, and Free or Reduced Lunch users. 

For proficiency, the district wants 80 percent of students to have proficient or advanced scores in math and reading on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress. 

School board members approved the framework of the strategic plan, which will focus on school culture, education, administration, and school systems, at a school board meeting on Tuesday.

The district will track its growth goal through the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress, which will measure whether the district meets its plan to keep its median student growth percentile at at least 60 percent in reading and math. 

The plan also highlights four focus areas, which include school culture, student learning, workforce, and systems and resources. 

Each focus area will utilize the High Reliability Schools model, a five-level model that focuses on equitable outcomes for students, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan, which eliminates inequity in the district. 

Iowa City schools superintendent Matt Degner said the plan aims to better align the district’s goals as a whole and will serve as a means of measurement for the district when checking the progress that has been made.

“The main thing in our district is to keep the work aligned,” Degner said. “We also have strategies and measurement tools to hold ourselves accountable to those about if we’re committed to the right work and staying on focus in those different areas.” 

Degner said the plan will also be posted on the school district website page and shared with the district schools. 

School board member Charlie Eastham expressed his approval of the new plan at the meeting.

“I’m frankly delighted to serve on a school board that is considering adopting this kind of teaching plan,” Eastham said.