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At-risk students improve their Iowa Tests of Basic Skills scores
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011 15:57 PM

The Iowa Department of Education defines an at-risk student as any pupil who is not meeting or expected to meet the established goals of an educational program and requires additional support. Eastern Iowa Schools recently reported that 10 school districts will be honored by the State Board of Education and receive Breaking Barriers Awards for closing the achievement gaps for at-risk groups. Among the districts' accomplishments were higher scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS).

According to the news source, the Breaking Barriers Awards are designed to recognize schools that increase proficiency in reading or mathematics by 20 percent in an at-risk group. In order to be eligible, the institutions must not see any drops in proficiency in any other group of students.

The MFL Mar Mac Community School District was among this year's winners due to what its teachers and low-income seventh-graders have accomplished in terms of reading proficiency, the news outlet stated. Students' success is attributed to smaller classes, visual instruction and a focus on comprehension, among other steps taken. Based on these individuals' ITBS scores, there was a 20 percent increase in reading proficiency.