West Lyon Community School District is located in the far northwest corner of Lyon County, Iowa; the Minnesota state line provides the northern border of the district as does the South Dakota state line on the west. Ours was one of the first districts in the region to consolidate in 1964, uniting four small, rural towns--- Alvord (pop. 200), Lester (pop. 400), Larchwood (pop. 800), and Inwood (pop. 900)---into one school centered community. Including the many farms in our district, West Lyon currently serves a student population of 878 in grades PreK-12.
As a largely rural population, most of our parents earn a living as farmers or in an agricultural related business. However, additional employment opportunities for students and parents are available in nearby Sioux Falls, SD, which also affords us the conveniences of city shopping and entertainment. Our position at the juncture of 3 states provides students a variety of post secondary education options, including three universities, three colleges, and three community colleges, all within a 60 mile radius of West Lyon.
The Iowa agricultural community is notoriously a proud group of hard working people, and those traits extend to the school community; ours is a dedicated teaching and support staff with an average of 18 years of teaching experience, and a third has over 20 years of experience. A low pupil-teacher ratio affords our students the one-on-one contact and personal attention that is so valuable in the education process. And we share high expectations with our students, requiring that they achieve the 40th percentile or above on the Iowa Test of Educational Development test to receive a diploma (alterations are made for IEP students). We traditionally have a high graduation rate (in excess of 95% each year) and consistently over 60% of our graduates attend a university or college with an additional 35% typically attending a community college. A rigorous curriculum with over half of our students taking college level prep classes including advanced English, advanced math, advanced Biology and/or Physics, and a challenging curriculum for vocational programs are offered. An assortment of extra curricular and co-curricular opportunities meet the varied interests of our students, including an outstanding FFA program, band and vocal programs, speech and drama, and the major sport activities. Over 80 percent of our students participate in at least one activity outside of the classroom. An emphasis on technology is paramount: every classroom is equipped with internet access, the student-to-computer ratio is 3:1, and we have set a goal to have interactive white boards in all classrooms by 2011. In 2008 & 2010 West Lyon High School was recognized nationally as a bronze award winner from U.S. News & World Report, placing West Lyon in the top 10 percent of schools nation wide. Only 33 other high schools in Iowa earned this distinction. In 2009, West Lyon High School received the Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education. The Blue Ribbon is given to the top performing schools in the country. WLHS was the only high school in Iowa to receive this high honor in 2009 and one of 313 schools in the nation receiving this award.
The district’s philosophy of education---dedicated to opportunity, community, and excellence--- is as follows:
The West Lyon Community School District shall be committed to the service of the students entrusted to its auspices. The District shall strive for the fullest development and maturation of each child.
However, it must be recognized that the school system is not the only institution that plays a vital role in the growth and development of young people. For example, the home, churches, law enforcement agencies, social and welfare institutions, and community leaders also possess major responsibilities.
We take pride in educating our students with the highest regard for academic rigor and instilling positive values in each child. It is our mission to ensure our students can be productive, positive members of our society.
It is the policy of the West Lyon School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, socio-economic status, age or disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies, as required by Titles VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
It is the policy of the West Lyon School District that the curriculum content and instructional materials utilized reflect the culture and racial diversity present in the United States and the many careers, roles, and life styles open to women as well as men in our society. One objective of the total curriculum and teaching strategies is to reduce stereotyping and to eliminate bias of race, color, creed, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, socio-economic status, age or disability. The curriculum should foster respect and apprecation for the cultual diversity found in our country and awareness of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each individual as a member of multicultural, nonsexist society.