Immanuel Lutheran School excels in national testing
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — All grades attending Immanuel Lutheran School in Marshfield scored above their current grade level during the 2015-2016 school year administration of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).
“(The ITBS) is a nationally normed standardized test that many schools throughout our country use,” said Immanuel Lutheran Principal Karen Bahn. “It gives us an opportunity to compare our students to kids throughout the country.”
Students are tested on reading, math, language arts, science, and social studies as well as their ability to use reference materials.
Students in kindergarten and first grade at Immanuel Lutheran scored a full year above grade level, and students in grades two, three, four, six, and seven scored two years above their current grade level. Fifth- and eighth-grade students scored three or more years above their grade level.
“This is typical of our school,” said Bahn, who has been principal for the past 17 years. “Our kids are challenged academically. They have a rigorous program. Many are later AP Scholars and top of their class.”
Administrators credit small class sizes and one-on-one instruction to the success of the students in testing. Class size at Immanuel Lutheran ranges from 10 to 12 students per grade.
“It enables us to have proof positive in regards to how effective our teachers and the class sizes are at Immanuel Lutheran,” said Immanuel Lutheran Board of Education Chair Rachelle Meyer.
“It shows that even though we are a small school, we have the ability to really teach children well,” Bahn said. “Our teachers are dedicated and loving. That is part of our ministry.”
Bahn added, “It also shows that we can give the individualized attention that students need because our classes are smaller. Each student is important.”