Gethsemane Christian Academy
A Tradition of High Academic Standards

  • Administration of Iowa Test of Basic Skills in grades 3-8
  • Spanish, Art, Vocal Music, Band, Physical Education instruction
  • Participate in academic contests with valley Lutheran schools in Math, Geography, and Spelling
  • Science Fair every other year for grades 5-8
  • Optimal student-teacher ratios
  • iPads available for student use or students can bring their personal computer
  • Students earn recognition of Presidential Academic Awards
  • Leadership retreat for grades 6-8
  • Field trips and guest speakers


Each October students in grades 3-8 take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®). ITBS is a nationally standardized achievement test for K-12 students. It was developed by professionals at the University of Iowa and is based on over 75 years of research. The scores earned can be compared to scores of students across the country in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

There are a variety of measures Gethsemane uses to check the performance of each student and to make instructional decisions. If a child in 4th grade receives a grade equivalency (GE) score of 5.4 in Reading Comprehension, it means that the student answered the test in the same way that a 5th grade student in the 4th month of school year would answer the same test.

Gethsemane also looks at the national percentage ranking (NPR) statistic both in terms of students and as a school as a whole. This number tells us how a student or group of students would rank out of 100. If a student receives a rank of 72 as an NPR, it means that the student scored higher than 72 percent of students in the group he/she is being compared. NPR’s range from 1 to 99. An NPR of 50 is considered grade level (the middle point on a bell curve). NPR scores in the top quartile (75% – 100%) are considered advanced while scores in the bottom quartile (0% – 25%) are considered in need of immediate remediation.