“Shifting” Towards the Iowa Core

Dear Parents:

We have all heard about the power, problems and opportunities with the Iowa Core, as books and articles have been written for and against the Core, but from an educator’s perspective the Core is simply a systematic instructional approach, so all student are guaranteed a quality instructional program. In addition, the Iowa  Core proposes ways to increase the level of complexity, so students can attain at a deeper level. How do we increase the quality of an instructional program?  To improve the quality of an instructional program, the Core proposes that we move or shift how we teach. For example, in literacy, “Shifts “require teachers to:


    Practice reading with complex texts and its academic language, (vocabulary)

  • Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literacy and informational.
  • Build knowledge through content rich non-fiction.

The Iowa Core offers guidance and direction how to ameliorate our instructional by what teachers do, but also expects more from students, as student are required to develop the skills to be independent learners, and become reflective about their learning. This is not going to happen immediately, but at Van Allen, we are undertaking instructional actions to ensure we that we provide our students the best possible educational program by using the Iowa Core as our instructional backbone.

Don LeBlanc


Students displaying their collected can goods-almost a 100% of our classes have reached their goal! Great job Van Allen!



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