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ERIC Number: EJ1051708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
It Takes a Culture
Bruckner, Martha; Mausbach, Ann
Educational Leadership, v72 n5 p60-64 Feb 2015
In 2005, the graduation rate for the Council Bluffs Community School District was, at 68 percent, the lowest in Iowa. District leaders knew that to improve, they needed to create a cultural change throughout the community. They began by getting community members involved in creating a strategic plan and mission statement that included a guarantee that every student would graduate. The public commitment set the stage for the tough work ahead. The district changed how it tracked students who entered their alternative high school program. The junior high schools became middle schools that provided a variety of enrichment activities to build relationships with students. Beginning in kindergarten, classes of young students were referred to by their graduation year--"Class of 2016" instead of 4th grade--and transitions to middle and high school became opportunities to look ahead, with 8th graders participating in a graduation rehearsal rather than a graduation ceremony. The community got involved by providing funds for additional staff, equipment, and learning and enrichment programs. Experts from the community provide mental health and other support as needed. Over the course of eight years, this multifaceted approach has shown encouraging results, with the graduation rate rising to reach almost 85 percent in 2013.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A