Students and staff speak out on Irving Elementary rating at board meeting

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:35 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The recent rankings of the district’s Irving Dual Language Elementary School, also led to a lot of discussion at Monday night’s meeting, and some of those discussions were spirited. Irving Elementary staff, students, and parents showed up to the meeting to tell the board about the school.

School rankings by the Iowa Department of Education recently ranked the District’s Irving Dual Language Elementary School as a “priority” school for overall performance. Irving is one of the District’s largest minority-majority schools. Seventy percent of Irving students are designated as ELL and ESL learners. ELL and ESL individuals were some of the hardest-hit throughout the pandemic, according to district leaders.

Ninety-two percent of students at the school qualify for free or reduced lunches. Some in the Irving Elementary community say the ranking misrepresents the valuable impact the school has on its students.

“It is a multi-language school, a dual language school. And the board has always been supportive of that. We are taking other actions with our ESSER money to provide additional services, however hiring the staff to do that has been increasingly complicated,” said School Board President, Dan Greenwell.

The school currently has a 50/50 program, where one half of the day is instructed in English and the other half in Spanish. Parents say the program is a good addition to language learning courses, as well as cultural exchange, and the district also had a chance to weigh in on the issue Monday night.

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