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Outgoing Western Dubuque school board member John Lembezeder, left, receives a plaque for his years of service to the district from Superintendent Rick Colpitts at the Nov. 19 school board meeting.

While it didn’t come as a shock to board members, Basic Education Data Survey (BEDS) numbers from the state confirm that the Western Dubuque School District continues to grow.

During the board meeting Nov. 19, District Business Manager and Treasurer Mark Frasher told the board the district enrollment is 3,523, up 36 students from a year ago.

The greatest increase continues along the Highway 20 corridor. Peosta Elementary has 375 students this year, up 22 from last year, while Farley Elementary has 248 students, an increase of 17 from a year ago.

The district has 306 students open enrolled into the district from other school districts, while 77 students open enroll out of Western Dubuque to other districts. Frasher told the board close to one in 10 students attending Western Dubuque open enrolls from another district.

Peosta Elementary teachers Lisa Dallenfeld, Mary Deb Boffeli and Paige Bildstein shared reading intervention strategies with the board. Reading Intervention for Students to Excel (RISE) focuses on students in first through fifth grades.

The teachers explained the intervention is broken into four parts:

• Reading a new book — the book is introduced, prompts for strategic action are given and mini records are kept.

• Phonics and word study — teachers review and teach sight words as well as phonetic skills.

• Rereading yesterday’s book — teachers prompt students to reread the text for fluency and engage students in a comprehension conversation.

• Guided writing — Teachers support students as they write about the familiar text.

Later in the meeting, outgoing board member John Lembezeder was recognized for his five year of board service. In closing remarks, Lembezeder acknowledged his role as a board member gave him a different perspective.

“We all hear what great schools we have here at Western Dubuque,” he said. “I think seeing it as a board member is getting close to seeing it as an administrator, teacher, janitor or bus driver sees the district. It really is a privilege to see.”

Lembezeder said he especially enjoyed board visits to buildings across the district. “You see and hear the pride people have in our schools. You gain some respect beyond just that as a regular citizen.” Finishing his remarks, he said, “I encourage everybody to just keep getting better every day.”

During the district’s reorganizational meeting, new board member Nancy Fett, along with Jessica Pape and Chad Vaske, were sworn in. Pape was re-elected as board president, while Vaske will continue to serve as vice president.

The district set meeting times at 6 p.m. the second Monday of every month.