Clark Elementary was one of the recipients of a $7,000 grant awarded by the Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County. We will use the money to purchase materials to be used to develop a Makerspace in our building. Makerspace will be a mobile cart filled with tools that students can use to create, design, explore, and produce interest- driven projects. Clark Elementary is excited to launch this new learning opportunity. Bulldog Highlights Hello, fellow Bulldogs! It is the holiday season, and it is a good time to count our blessings and the things we are thankful for at Le Mars Community Schools. We have a lot of great things occurring within our district making our educational system one of the best in the state of Iowa. Let’s look at a few of the areas we are thankful for here at Le Mars Community, in no particular order: First, we have a great, caring staff working vigorously each day to help students suc- ceed by providing the best teaching strategies and support to meet students’ individual needs within a rigorous academic program. Our students continue to achieve above the state and Northwest Area Education Agency student achievement averages on the Iowa Assessments. Our ACT scores continue to shine by exceeding the Iowa and national composite scores; our students’ 5-year average composite scores are 22.5, whereas the state of Iowa is 22.1, and the national average is 20.9. Additionally, our PK-12 programs provide much needed academic and socio-emotional support pro- grams to help our students through issues; which, many times leads to dropping out of school. Our graduation rate is one of envy within a state with a high graduation rate; Le Mars Community graduation rate was 96.9%, whereas the state rate was 91.3%. This is a tribute to parents, school, and community partners making education a pri- ority. Second, we have great extra-curricular, co-curricular, and club programs. We consis- tently have elementary, middle school, and high school students participating and placing toward the top in local and state competitions and honors. Our arts programs are revered as some of the best in the state of Iowa. Our athletic programs continue to compete for conference, district, and regional titles and represent Le Mars Com- munity very well at the state competition level. Third, our school board is one of the best in the state of Iowa. They are the only school board in the history of the state of Iowa to earn a 17th consecutive Iowa Asso- ciation of School Board’s Achievement Award in Better Boardsmanship. This repre- sents the dedication, continued school board education, and student-first attitude our school boards have exhibited over the years. Next, our school system is able to accomplish so much in spite of less than adequate funding from the state. Our district can easily be considered one of the most economi- cally efficient districts in Iowa. Our current tax rate is $11.52/$1,000; which ranks us in the top 20% in the state of Iowa schools with the lowest tax rate. Compared to the 20 school districts with an enrollment size similar to LCS, we have the lowest tax rate in this enrollment category (tax rates range from $20.16/$1,000 down to Le Mars’ $11.52/$1,000). Finally, we are thankful to be able to live and work in a community that supports their children and school at such a high level. It takes everyone working patiently, respect- fully, and collaboratively to create an educational system that will help our students meet the demands of an ever-changing world. We thank you! Have a good one, Bulldogs!