Davenport school achieves Level 1 certification

A second-grade student does class work at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport.

For The Catholic Messenger

John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport has achieved Level 1 certification, the highest level, in a national program that recognizes the school for creating a “Safe, supportive and collaborative culture.”

Marzano Resources created the Marzano High Reliability Schools program (HRS) to help transform schools into organizations that take proactive steps to ensure student success, said JFK Principal Chad Steimle. “We have been working with Marzano Resources for a number of years — beginning with the seminal works of  What Works in Schools, Classroom Management that Works and Classroom Instruction that Works, he said.  This work continues JFK’s commitment to bring educational research to the practices at JFK.

Participating schools follow a research-based, five-level hierarchy to assess, monitor and confirm the effectiveness of their schools. This framework, based on 50 years of educational research, defines five progressive levels of performance that a school must master to achieve HRS certification. Students benefit by learning the content and skills they need for success in college, careers and beyond, Steimle said.


Moving through the levels “represents a complete transformation in how schools are run,” says CEO Robert J. Marzano. Schools must collect data and validate their performance at each level of the hierarchy. Marzano Resources analysts determine certification in cooperation with school data teams.

Level 1 certification reviews day-to-day school operations in the areas of safety, orderliness, input/feedback mechanisms and decision-making. It recognizes the collaborative work that teachers do regarding curriculum, assessment, instruction, and student achievement. It also addresses the school’s fiscal, operational and technological resources and the recognition of accomplishments. JFK implemented a student of the month program, a physical suggestion box for staff and a digital suggestion box for parents, students and community members through participation in HRS, Steimle said.

“Receiving HRS recognition illustrates that the JFK teachers, staff, parents and students do the hard work to follow research-based educational practices,” he said. JFK is one of only 50 schools in Iowa and 605 nationwide that has achieved HRS Level 1 certification.

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