100 Educational Philosophy



100 - Legal Status of the School District

101 - Educational Philosophy of the School District

101.R1 - District Goals

102 - Long-Range Needs Assessment



           The Board of Directors of the Decorah Community School District reviewed all of the policies in Series 100, Educational Philosophy, on the following dates:

           April 9, 2001

           January 15, 2007

           October 14, 2019

Filing Instructions:  File this page immediately behind the Table of Contents in Series 100.





100 Legal Status of the School District

Code No. 100

Iowa's Constitution authorizes the creation of a Common Schools System.  As part of this Common Schools System, this school district is a school corporation created and organized under Iowa law.  This school district shall be known as the "Decorah Community School District."

This school corporation is located in Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties, and its affairs are conducted by locally-elected school officials, the Decorah Community School District Board of Directors.  This school corporation has exclusive jurisdiction over school matters in its territory.

Date of Review:  October 14, 2019

Date of Revision:

  June 11, 2012                            



Legal References:

Iowa Constitution, Article XI; 274.1, 274.2, 274.6,             

274.7, 278.1, 279.8, Code of Iowa            





101 Educational Philosophy of the School District


The vision of the Decorah Community School District is to create a student-centered environment where:

  • individual needs are addressed.
  • cooperation and teamwork are valued.
  • competent professionals lead.
  • community partnerships flourish.
  • a commitment to excellence prevails.
  • life-long learning continues.


Education is the responsibility of all residents of the Decorah community.  We believe in creating an environment that is student-centered, where individual needs are addressed, and students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.

We value cooperative teamwork among students, teachers, support staff, parents, administrators, and community.  This begins with an attitude of openness and mutual respect, honest listening and expression, the flexibility to respond to change, and the ability to compromise.  The strengths of each school and community member should be recognized and used to their fullest potential.

We believe that community resources should be maximized to meet student needs and professional development of school staff should be encouraged.  All citizens of the Decorah Community School District should have a commitment to excellence and a shared responsibility to support lifelong learning.

This vision will be fulfilled through the achievement of the following Student Learning Goals:

             Decorah Community School District graduates will be

                           Knowledgeable Individuals,

                           Effective Communicators,

                           Competent Thinkers and Information Processors,

                           Skillful Problem Solvers,

                           Collaborative Workers,

                           Resourceful Learners, and

                           Responsible Citizens.


Date of Review:  October 14, 2019

Date of Revision:

April 9, 2001         



Legal References:

278.1, 279.8, 282.1, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C. 12.2,                                                                         




101.R1 District Goals


The goals of the Decorah Community School District are to:

  1. Assure that every student has access to curriculum, instruction and assessment systems that reflect the district's mission and beliefs and that prepare students for life in the twenty-first century.
  2. Design and implement a technology program that will benefit the learner, school employees, families and the community.
  3. Secure and manage financial resources to adequately meet student and district needs.
  4. Develop and implement a long-range facility plan, which will accommodate enrollment and enhance present and future educational programs.
  5. Develop an integrated long-range planning process which culminates in improvement plans at all levels of the organization.
  6. Select the best employees and maintain a highly qualified staff through continuous professional development.
  7. Develop and implement a communication plan directed toward all stakeholders which will enhance community support and confidence in our schools.
  8. Build collaborative and innovative partnerships through school, parent and community interactions.


Date of Last Review:  October 14, 2019

Date of Revision: April 9, 2001

102 Long-Range Needs Assessment



The long-range needs assessment process enables the District to analyze assessment data, receive feedback from the community about its expectations of students, and determine how well students are meeting student learning goals.  The Board shall conduct ongoing and in-depth needs assessment, soliciting information from business, labor, industry, community agencies, higher education and community members regarding their expectations for adequate student preparation as responsible citizens and successful wage earners.

In connection with the in-depth needs assessment of the District, the Board shall authorize the appointment of a committee representing administrators, employees, parents, students and community members.  This committee, named "Shareholders," shall make recommendations regarding major educational needs, student learning goals, long-range goals that include reading, mathematics and science achievement, and harassment and bullying prevention, training and other initiatives.  To the extent possible, committee membership shall have balanced representation of members by race, gender, national origin and disability.

The District will provide opportunities for local feedback on an ongoing basis by utilizing a variety of methods.  These may include surveys, focus groups, building and program advisory committees and forums.  Information gathered from these sources will be used to provide recommendations and assist the Board in making decisions related to student preparation and District policies and procedures.

It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to ensure the District community is informed of students' progress on state and locally determined indicators.  Multiple assessment measures shall be utilized for reporting.  The Superintendent shall report to the Board about the methods used to keep the community informed, including methods utilized to inform parents of kindergarten through third grade students of their child’s individual performance.

As a result of the work of the Board and the Shareholders, the Board shall determine major educational needs and rank them in priority order; develop long-range goals and plans to meet the needs; establish and implement short-range and intermediate-range plans to meet the goals and to attain the desired levels of student performance; evaluate progress toward meeting the goals and maintain a record of progress under the plan that includes reports of student performance and results of school improvement projects; and annually report the District's progress made under the plan to the Shareholders, community and to the Iowa Department of Education.


Date of Review:  October 14, 2019

Date of Revision:

October 14, 2019



Legal References:

Chapter 21, 256.7, 280.12, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C.                                                        

12.2, 12.8