The Oskaloosa Community Schools provide an education for students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The district is organized on a K-6, 7-9, 10-12 basis. The educational program also has an alternative school program. In addition, a partnership between business and education initiated an ambitious school-to-career program, the SUCCESS Center, located in the Chamber.
The student-teacher ratio at the elementary level is 24:1. There is a shuttle bus service provided by the district to maintain this ratio as evenly as possible. Parents can send their children to the elementary school of their choice within the 24:1 student-teacher ratio.
The Oskaloosa Junior High, grades 7-9, offers a wide variety of electives. The junior high houses close to 600 students. Oskaloosa Senior High, grades 10-12, serves just under 600 students. In addition to North Central Accreditation, educational choice and opportunities characterize the senior high for its students. The high school is a 3A school in Iowa and a member of the Southeast Seven Conference effective in August, 1996.
Oskaloosa schools provide some programs not available to all schools in Iowa. For instance, an elementary through high school orchestra program is available in addition to the vocal and instrumental music program. The Iowa Communications Fiber-Optic Network is located at the high school and the district plans to extend this communications link to other buildings in the district. Currently, advanced credit courses are offered to 9th through 12th grade students over the ICN.
Elementary through high school students are provided with a Gifted and Talented Program, and a Dropout Prevention program is in place for secondary students. Computer labs are available in each of the districts buildings. The goal of the district is to infuse knowledge and skill on the part of the students in the use of technology and to do so within each learning discipline.
Oskaloosa is pleased to have one of only two School-to-Work programs in south-central Iowa. This program was so successful its first year that it has received second year grant dollars for the year 2000. The Junior Achievement program is one resource used by the School-to-Work program. The program allows students in 7-9th grades the opportunity to learn more about skills needed to experience success in the work world. The Junior Achievement Program was successful in 1999 due, in part, to thirty-two consultants from area businesses and industry who volunteered an hour a week in the classrooms for seven weeks.
The partnership with Junior Achievement has also provided two pilot programs for Oskaloosa students. GLOBE, an international program, allows an agri-related class at the high school to work with students in Mexico to learn about import/export, tariffs and marketing. The second program, Classroom, Inc., allows teachers and students from Fremont and North Mahaska schools to train with Oskaloosa teachers using computer software that simulates business environments.
Other partnerships are also available to the public schools. The Iowa State University Extension Service has E-SETs and Funtivities available to local school districts so students may learn about science, engineering and technology with exciting projects like bridge building and design, or robotics. Iowa Public Television also has interactive programs and website career exploration information.
Nearly 40 area business and industry representatives participate in the high school Career Day once a trimester. The students learn first hand about skills and education necessary for specific careers.
The SUCCESS Center, a cooperative effort between the Oskaloosa Business and Education Communities, is continuing to provide students with a better understanding of the way things work in business, the professions and other occupations, and what to expect as they mature into the workforce.
Oskaloosa has a Christian grade school, the Oskaloosa Christian School, which educates students from kindergarten through 8th grade. The Christian school has an outstanding tradition of educational excellence.
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