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Schools in North Iowa

Schools in North Iowa

By: Rachel Smith Wumkes

Making the decision on where to live is a big deal, with so many variables to consider every step of the way. 

How many bedrooms will we need?

Can we afford the mortgage payment?

Is the neighborhood safe?

Often, it seems once you’ve found an answer, another question pops up out of nowhere. 

An important consideration, often overlooked, is the quality of schools in the area.  Now, you may be wondering how schools will affect someone’s house search if their children have all grown and moved out on their own?  Or what about the couple who don’t plan to have any children?

Schools in the area shouldn’t be relevant, right?


The truth of the matter is that school districts impact the housing market in a variety of ways.  They determine how desirable a neighborhood is viewed, the resale value of a home, and they are a key element in determining home value stability. 

Children or not… schools are important. 

However, if you have little ones on the cusp of entering their school years, it can be at the top of your priority list.  In fact, it’s often the determining factor when choosing a home. 

Moving to North Iowa is like hitting the school jackpot.  Districts in the area pride themselves in shaping the minds of tomorrow, guiding our youth on the path of excellence as they become the next generation in the workforce. 

In the Mason City/Clear Lake area alone, the diverse mixture of public and private school options leaves the decision to the family on what is the best fit for their children. 

Mason City Community School District

Mason City Community School District serves approximately 3,725 students. The school district itself covers 95 square miles.  There are four elementary schools, one intermediate school, one middle school, one high school and one alternative high school. They offer a 4-year-old preschool program, able to serve 80 students.

Mason City has a long-standing tradition of excellence in their music program.  They have built an exceptional K-12 program in both band and vocal music, thanks to influential role models like Meredith Wilson, the original “Music Man.” 

However, that’s not all they offer.  Academics, Arts and Athletics round out the school, receiving high marks on all accounts.

North Iowa Christian School

North Iowa Christian School represents the realization of a dream of a group of parents to create a Christian school that is “making a difference”.  Their core curriculum is faith-based, rooted in the Scripture, and centered on quality in everything they do. 

This K-12 institution has a God-centered focus and puts His Word at the core of everything they do.  Scripture, Prayer, Family Orientation, and Heart of Serving are key elements in their vision.  Their passion for excellence encourages students to achieve their best in academics, faith, activities, and service.

Neman Catholic School

Newman Catholic Schools, located in Mason City, Iowa, is an early childhood through twelfth-grade Catholic school that welcomes students of all faiths while serving the parishes of North Iowa.  Newman is a Blue-Ribbon School, and top rated in the State of Iowa.  Their team of licensed educators are dedicated to every student who passes through their doors.  They offer an education that is faith based while providing the academic structure to ensure students are prepared to be productive citizens in society and active community leaders. 

Newman is known for the excellence in athletics, being a top rival to many schools in the region.  They also offer a variety of clubs and activities for students to enjoy. 

Newman is known for the excellence in athletics, being a top rival to many schools in the region.  They also offer a variety of clubs and activities for students to enjoy. 

Newman Cathlic Elementary

Clear Lake Community School District

 People come from all over the Midwest to vacation at the Lake, but these kids are the lucky ones.  They get to live here full time!  The motto for Clear Lake Schools is “All Students.  All Staff.  All In.”  Their mission to ensure a high level of learning for everyone is carried out by the entire staff.  They strive to create an environment where students are empowered, developing passionate, innovative, adaptable learners prepared to embrace the challenges of the future. 

Not only are academics, athletics, and extra-curricular activity promoted for the utmost scholastic experience.  In Clear Lake, students are taught about the account of “The Day the Music Died” at a young age, growing their appreciation for the Surf Ballroom and its legendary place in Rock ‘n Roll history.

Clear Lake Classical

Established in 2014, this private Christian school is committed to providing a classical, biblically-based education to young people in primary and secondary grade levels.  Clear Lake Classical was born out of a desire to see children in the community develop a love of learning, and to live up to their academic potential.  Rooted in the Gospel, this school strives to educate students with an emphasis on grammar, logic, and rhetoric in all subjects.

A quality education is something you simply cannot put a price tag on.  It’s not just an investment in your child’s future so they are able to secure a good job someday, but the life lessons learned, and memories made along the way. 

Of course, Mason City and Clear Lake aren’t the only communities in our region.  North Iowa is blessed with a slew of small, rural communities who pride themselves on offering a phenomenal education to our youth. 

And it doesn’t end with high school.  Located on the outskirts of Mason City, North Iowa Area Community College is a nationally ranked, two-year institution serving students of all ages and abilities.  Whether you’re doing a 2-year program, starting your academic path before transferring to a 4-year school, or looking for continuing education, NIACC is there to provide a quality education to all students. 

But we’ll talk more about both of those in another blog post!

With these quality schools in the Mason City and Clear Lake areas, you can’t go wrong with a home purchase in their districts, and the realtors at Jane Fischer and Associates do everything they can to ensure your questions are answered efficiently and effectively as you choose where to put down roots.

Jane and her team pride themselves on reducing the stress of your big move down to the most important items… like where to hang the television.

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