Elementary school honored for its academic improvement achievements
by Xiomara Levsen
November 02, 2023

An elementary school in Muscatine was honored for its improvement in academics last month.

Grant Elementary School was notified Oct. 18 they received the Lighthouse Academic Honor Roll.


Grant Elementary students posing with the banner.

Principal Leslie Bennett said this was created to recognize Leader in Me Schools that have both met the rigorous requirements necessary to achieve and maintain Lighthouse School Certification and shown exemplary academic growth or proficiency as measured by state accountability standards.

“While we recognize that Leader in Me is only one of many factors that affect academic achievement, we are pleased to acknowledge and celebrate your achievement,” Bennett said.

The percentile ranking for Grant Elementary School rose in 2023 to 54% up from 43% in 2022, an improvement of 12%, showing exemplary academic growth.

“Lighthouse Academic Honor Roll is determined through the data analysis of an independent nonprofit — Schooldigger.com —a website focused on empowering families with reliable data about the performance of their children’s school,” Bennett said. “The Schooldigger.com algorithm scores on a percentile ranking, comparing like schools across the state. To meet the academic proficiency standard, a school must be at or above the 85th percentile for the state’s combined proficiency standards. To meet the academic growth standard, the school must be at or above the 50th percentile and have shown a five percent growth from the previous year’s percentile ranking.”

The staff at Grant Elementary started working on a few things to help get the students to improve their academics.

“Grant Elementary teachers have been working hard at increasing student achievement, as well as fostering a positive learning environment,” Bennett said. “In addition to our continued work with Leader in Me, last year, we focused considerably on social-emotional health through positive student-to-student relationships and teacher-to-student relationships. This year we are implementing a brand new reading curriculum called CKLA, from which we hope to see continued results. We are already seeing increased levels of rigor and more active student engagement.”

Bennett also added it is important for students to take ownership of their learning so it is more meaningful to them. Research shows that for students who have an awareness of their academic performance set attainable learning goals, and regularly report on their academic progress, achievement levels improve significantly. All students at Grant Elementary have created and maintained an annual Leadership Portfolio that highlights progress on their academic and personal goals.  Students share this progress with their families at student-led conferences twice per year. This process really encourages student ownership over their learning and has had a positive effect on achievement.


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