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School districts honored for 'Breaking Barriers'

November 16, 2011

DES MOINES, IA – Ten school districts from across the state were honored by the State Board of Education today for significant progress in closing gaps in student achievement.

The Breaking Barriers to Learning and Teaching Award was created by the State Board. Each year, the award recognizes successful efforts to eliminate achievement gaps with improved instruction, curriculum and programs for students, as well as professional development for school staff.

This year’s recognized districts are Atlantic, Centerville, Central Decatur, Clinton, Colfax-Mingo, Hampton-Dumont, Lewis Central, MFL-MarMac, Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Spencer.

“These districts have helped a diverse group of students achieve,” said State Board of Education President Rosie Hussey. “Their continued efforts will benefit not only their own students, but also their communities and the state for years to come.”

Districts are honored with the Breaking Barriers award if math or reading proficiency improves by 20 percent or more among specific subgroups of students without a decline of more than 5 percent in any other subgroup of students. Student subgroups include English Language Learners, minorities, low-income and special education students.

The districts that met these criteria are:


  •  Atlantic: Grades 3 and 6 (socio-economic status)
  • Centerville: Grade 5 (socio-economic status)
  • Central Decatur: Grades 4 and 8 (socio-economic status)
  • Clinton: Grade 6 (Individualized Education Plan)
  •  MFL-MarMac: Grade 7 (socio-economic status)
  • Spencer: Grades 3 and 5 (socio-economic status)


  • Sergeant Bluff-Luton: Grade 8 (socio-economic status)
  • Colfax-Mingo: Grade 8 (socio-economic status)
  • Hampton-Dumont: Grade 11 (socio-economic status)
  • Lewis Central: Grade 5 (socio-economic status)

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