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Cascade Elementary teachers and staff work during a professional development session after the weekly Wednesday early dismissal. From left, Dan Wendler, Morgan Pitz, Ann Newhouse, Kay Hoffman, Molly Koelker and Amber Gravel.

Cascade Elementary earned a High Performing rating on the Iowa School Performance Profile, placing it in the top 3% of schools in Iowa. The school was ranked 42 out of 1,293 schools on a scale that measures performance in reading and math, student growth and improvement from the previous year, and a survey called “Conditions for Learning” which focuses on aspects of student safety and emotional needs.

The school’s rating continues a streak of high-tier placements over the past four years. In the 2019-20 placing, Cascade Elementary was rated “Exceptional,” the top category containing only 12 schools. Because there was no list in the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19, the next placing was High Performing in 2021-22, followed by this year’s High Performing rank. According to Principal Dan Wendler, the lower ranking from the Exceptional year isn’t a negative indicator of the school’s progress, but simply a quirk of the ranking formula which focuses on growth from previous years.