Diagonal schools narrowing IDOE ‘violations’
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At their regular meeting Wednesday, January 15, the Diagonal Community Schools board of directors received an update on the district’s efforts to address “violations” identified by the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) last fall.
Superintendent Karleen Stephens provided board members a progress report on each specific “violation.”
Stephens said 71 percent of the items had been “closed,” meaning IDOE had accepted the items as no longer representing any form of violation of state requirements.
Another 17 percent of the items had been submitted to the IDOE’s Early Childhood division for its approval, which would come via a site visit later this year.
Six percent of the remaining items concerned the installation and signage for handicapped accessible facilities. This installation is ongoing and in some cases dependent upon favorable weather.
Six percent of the remaining items are related to courses offered by the Diagonal district.
IDOE now requires students to be enrolled in any courses before those courses can count as being offered in the district’s state-mandated minimum curriculum.
Stephens reported requirements had been met for courses in fine arts, science, social studies, health and foreign language in the current semester.
Courses in English, math, another science and career and technical education would be met with the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
A handful of other items such as English language learning, library services, and services for hearing-impaired students is in progress and nearing completion.
Stephens reported she, high school principal Lorna Paxson and board president Amy Kelsey are scheduled to present the district’s progress report to the IDOE in Des Moines today (Thursday, January 23). Following that meeting, the district will have a clearer picture of how to proceed in the coming months in addressing any remaining concerns raised by IDOE.