Ottumwa Schools’ “Be The Best” Initiative Enters Second Year with Changes


Mike McGrory, Superintendent of the Ottumwa Community School District, outlined the second phase of the district’s “Be The Best Initiative” at a school board meeting earlier this week.

Dubbed “Vision of Excellence”, the second phase focuses on improvements to facilities, expanding curricular and extracurricular activities, and creating more personalized learning environments.

McGrory says many students, staff, and community members were surveyed before the recommendations were formulated.

“we actually had 1,200 respond to our survey and our most recent survey clearly indicates that our stakeholders support the district vision moving forward. the survey results also show that the community wants the district to continue creating more personalized, smaller learing environments for our students.”Ottumwa Schools Superintendent Mike McGrory

The recommendations include:

  • Starting in August 2022, all south side kindergarten students will attend Pickwick Early Childhood Center.
  • For the 2022-23 school year, Douma will become a 1-2 (grades) building. 
  • Construct a new 3-5 elementary school, located on the Douma campus. After construction is complete in August 2023, south side students in grades 1-5 will attend school at the current Douma location.
  • For the 2023-24 school year, OHS will become a 10-12 building, Evans will become an 8-9 building, and Liberty will become a 6-7 building. 

The school board unanimously approved the Superintendent’s recommendations.

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