Rotolo Middle School

Schools to Watch Re-Designation

Introduction

As a Schools to Watch Re-Designation school, RMS is proud to present our celebrations throughout the past 3 years, but also look at our areas of improvement and identify our stretch goals for our future.
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Academic Excellence

All students at Rotolo are expected to meet high academic standards. Academic standards and expectations are clearly established through a variety of methods, including common syllabi and classroom behavior plans based upon BARK (Bulldogs Are Respectful, Responsible, and Keep It Safe). Standards are clearly communicated to students and parents through the student handbook, as well as postings on teacher web pages, Google Classroom, various social media communications such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, BARK 2.0 expectations, and Curriculum Night presentations. Various incentive programs such as Dazzle Dawgs and Bark It Market reinforce students’ growth and positive choices. Finally, Academic Eligibility from the IESA also reinforces that our students’ top priority is academics.


Curriculum, instruction, assessment, and appropriate academic interventions are aligned with high standards. Professional learning has occurred for multiple disciplines with support of consultants engaging staff in Learning Ladders and Core Six strategies. Teachers use various instructional strategies, in addition to various formative and summative assessments. Teachers and support staff, along with students, monitor growth. Discussions are ongoing regarding how students can improve their skills to meet their growth goals. Students complete diagnostic testing at the beginning of the school year. Benchmark/formative testing assesses growth frequently and as a natural part of the learning process.


The curriculum emphasizes deep understanding of important concepts and the development of essential skills. Curriculum, instruction, assessment, and academic interventions are aligned to the Common Core/State of Illinois Standards and promote the development of essential skills. Academic teams discuss how these connections can be implemented. Examples might include:


    • Social studies examines World War II, English Language Arts explores the novel Night.

    • ELA, units are centered upon Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions which connect to SEL standards and real world issues.

    • Science implements NGSS science practices.


These concepts emphasize skills and knowledge all students need to be well-informed citizens and to be prepared for college and careers

Instructional strategies include a variety of challenging and engaging activities that are clearly related to the grade-level standards, concepts, and skills being taught. Curriculum, instruction, assessment, and appropriate academic interventions are aligned with high standards. Purposeful reading and writing is present in all subject areas and reinforced through access to high quality tools such as Newsela, IXL, Science World Subscription, Junior Scholastic, and Scholastic Math. Subscriptions and resources from Project Lead the Way are also utilized. Research skills based upon The Big Six and MLA format are incorporated in all subject areas such as ELL, social studies, science, drama, debate, health, etc. Community resources are often incorporated into lessons. For example, when social studies classes were preparing to write for the annual “Patriot’s Pen” competition, veterans from the local V.F.W. came in to speak with students about their service experiences. The annual Veteran’s Day Assembly is a community event in which the entire school participates. Students, teachers, administration, and community members collaboratively prepare.


An after school student STEM enrichment program for students who are talented, interested and motivated in mathematics and science is offered every Tuesday afternoon called IMSA Fusion. The curriculum is written by curriculum writers at Illinois Math and Science Academy and include teacher professional development.


To encourage a literature rich culture, staff and students display their reading interests and participate in DEAR and have the opportunity to participate in reading contests throughout the year. and attend author visits


Teachers use a variety of methods to assess and monitor the progress of student learning. Students and teachers work together to meet established school growth goals. Classrooms post daily targets and “I Can” statements so students clearly know what they are learning and why. Due to our 1-1 technology with Chromebooks, students and staff are working toward achieving the “paperless classroom” through the use of Google Documents. Google Classroom, and other high quality programs which allow for timely two-way communication for growth and feedback. Pacing unit guides are available to staff and parents. Teachers are encouraged to connect items in their curricula with other subject areas when natural connections can be made to reinforce concepts and foster higher level critical thinking. Depth of Knowledge questions are a key component of lesson planning, implementation, and assessment.


The faculty and master schedule provide students time to meet rigorous academic standards. Teachers and students monitor data, such as MAP testing or individual course assessments, to determine growth areas as well as skills to celebrate. Skills based programs are also offered during student exploratory course times for select students. Enrichment opportunities are offered at multiple times during the academic day throughout the school year. Various programs are offered for students that allow for individual interest based learning/exploration. Students are encouraged to explore other technologies as they conduct their research. School Leadership Team is currently engaged in reviewing scheduling practice to improve and expand supports for students with academic and social-emotional needs at Rotolo Middle School.


Students are provided the support they need to meet rigorous academic standards. Students are encouraged to remediate skills which have not been mastered, and may retake formative assessments to demonstrate mastery. Remediation opportunities are available during X-Time as well as before and after school help sessions. Students are encouraged to remediate and retake assessments to demonstrate growth. Peer editing and feedback is used, when appropriate, to provide students with additional points of view on growth. Wired for Math is a program that meets weekly after school. This program provides homework assistance as well as internet connections. Students also regularly monitor themselves through rubrics or self-rating scales. The focus is on academic and executive skills necessary for success.


The adults in the school are provided time and frequent opportunities to enhance student achievement by working with colleagues to deepen their knowledge and to improve their standards-based practice. Professional Learning Communities work together three times a week to unpack the standards and align the curricula to the standards. This work is ongoing. PLCs continue to develop and improve common formative and summative assessments. Instructional strategies include: direct teaching, co-teaching, cooperative learning groups, hands on learning, simulations, inquiry, and project based learning. We are engaged in professional learning around Personalized Learning.

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Developmental Responsiveness

The staff creates a personalized environment that supports each student's intellectual, ethical, social, and physical development. Adults and students are grouped into smaller communities (e.g., teams, houses, academies) for enhanced teaching and learning. In each grade level there are academic teams created by subject area (math, ELA, SS and Science, along with an “X-Time”). Academic PLC’s meet by grade/subject area to align curriculum, analyze common core competencies, SEL standards, and problem solve. Exploratory teachers co-teach with academic teachers to support small group instruction through (Multi Tiered Systems of Support) MTSS. Academic and exploratory teams come to know students from multiple angles. Vertical district articulation meets the needs of incoming 6th graders and outgoing 8th graders. Sixth grade students have an additional twenty minutes of SEL supports with their first hour teacher daily.


Grade level counselors loops with students from grades 6-8. Social Workers stay with their students all three years. X-Time teachers also serve as their students’ mentor/advocate. All students have 20 minute X-Time daily. SEL lessons are taught during this time. In addition, every six weeks, administrators meet with X-Time classes to address social emotional learning topics, BARK 2.0, and growth mindset. Also, students have a forty-minute P.E. class daily that promotes lifetime physical fitness. Principal Advisory Students and Instructional Learning Program Students engage in Adaptive Physical Education and mentoring.


Eighth grade mentors from the Principal Advisory Committee provide student supports including:

  • Mentoring 6th grade general and special education students throughout the week.

  • Assist new parents/students during Locker Move-In and Registration, Curriculum Night and Sixth Grade Transition.

  • Meet monthly with building principal and problem solve student concerns.


Our Instructional coach provides guidance on learning style, brain research, and modalities. Professional development and committee work focuses on implementing small group instruction, personalized learning and Evidence Based Grading (EBR).


The school provides access to comprehensive services to foster healthy physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development. Teachers are trained to recognize and handle student problems including i.e.; ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences), suicide, growth mindset, depression, and bullying. Staff participated in a professional development day at Batavia High School devoted exclusively to SEL (Social Emotional Learning). Professional development topics include mental health awareness. Among the topics included: LGBTQ, ACES, Depression, Suicide Prevention, Growth Mindset, Bullying, Poverty, Digital Citizenship, Anxiety. All teachers commit to five hours and twenty minutes of professional development. Teachers also meet regularly with counselors and assistant principals in order to seek collaborative solutions for the social emotional and academic needs of students prior to bringing student to Building Level Intervention Team (BLIT). SEL goals are incorporated into units in Social Studies, ELA and Health classes.


Students with difficulties, and their families, can get help. Student Services Department provides resources and support to staff and students related to social emotional health and well-being. An example of this is Adopt a Family, where formal dresses are provided for the 8th grade dance. We also partner with a number of community based mental health professionals to allow for access to mental health support in schools that we subsidize. The student services department also has a strong partnership with Chip-In (School Family partnership that supports families in need). The district website can be used to find community resources for any student or family in need of assistance.


RMS houses a wide range of support (e.g., nurses, counselors, resource teachers) to help students and families. We have 2 nurses, 2 social workers, 3 counselors, 2 school psychologists, and 1 ½ speech- language pathologists. An Alternative Learning Opportunities Programs (ALOP) is in place to address students in need of educational supports services that are not provided by their regular school program. At Rotolo, the Positive Achievements With Supports (PAWS) program, which is authorized under the State of Board of Education’s Alternative Learning Opportunities Program, addresses this need. Students enrolled in PAWS receive a broad range of academic, behavioral, and social/emotional interventions designed to increase their academic achievement levels so they are able to meet the Illinois Learning Standards and complete their education in a personalized learning environment.


Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS), Bark 2.0, is re-booted reward system that explicitly teaches behavioral expectations at Rotolo Middle School. Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a system-wide approach in providing academic, behavioral, and social emotional support for students.


Building Level Intervention Team (BLIT) is comprised of Social Workers, Counselors, Speech and Language Pathologists, Assistant Director and Assistant Principals. Their role is to examine academic, behavioral, and attendance data for progress monitoring purposes and to deliver Tier 2 and 3 interventions. BLIT also looks at Behavior Intervention Plans, 504’s, BIP’s, FBA’s, the list of students that are receiving D’s and F’s, and IEP referrals in a systematic manner.


School staff members offer parent education activities involving families. The school counselors have a Parent Advisory Council. The purpose of the Council is to share information about the counseling department and to gather feedback regarding future counseling programs.


All teachers foster curiosity, creativity and the development of social skills in a structured and supportive environment. Teachers facilitate learning by deliberately teaching study skills and organizational skills. Teachers integrate creative activities in the lessons (e.g., current technologies, visual and performing arts, etc.). Teachers foster the development of inquiry based learning through the implementation of Personalized Learning opportunities and small group instruction. Teachers promote higher order thinking and question development by giving students many opportunities to use questioning and problem solving skills within activities.


The curriculum is socially significant and relevant to personal and career interests of adolescents. Students take action, make informed choices, work collaboratively, and learn to resolve conflicts through classes. A scope and sequence curriculum has been developed by grade level counselors in collaboration with administration to ensure that Tier I SEL lessons are explicitly taught at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade level. These lessons include College and Career, Digital Safety, B.A.R.K. 2.0, and Growth Mindset.


Teachers use an interdisciplinary approach to reinforce important concepts, skills, and address real-world problems. Teachers collaborate to create integrated activities that cross content boundaries. Examples include:

  • A large interdisciplinary unit around World War II.
  • Student-centered fundraising in eighth grade social studies classes help veterans in need addressing a Civics Standard.
  • Seventh grade science students conduct an annual large-scale water quality study that involves water sampling at the Fox River. The results of the study are reported by the students to the city council each year. A portion of the study involves making recommendations to the City of Batavia regarding the failing dam that is located in the downtown area.
  • Sixth grade students become scientists and mathematicians engaging in a pumpkin science and math experience. Students become entrepreneurs as they solve a real-world problem and make a “pitch”.


Students are provided multiple opportunities to explore a rich variety of topics and interests in order to develop their identity, learn about their strengths, discover and demonstrate their own competence, and plan for their future. Counselors provide grade level lessons on Decision Making, Conflict Resolution, Career Exploration, course selection, academic goal setting and attendance issues. Students participate in lessons from Career Cruising.com. Students take surveys that help them determine an early path to career opportunity. RMS has nine Exploratory Departments with over forty different exploratory classes offered throughout grade six to eight. Students have the opportunity to explore their interests through many extracurricular activities, clubs and sports offered by Rotolo Middle School after school including: Newspaper Club, Yearbook, Stellar Girls (STEM for girls), Battle of the Books, Open Lab for Stem, IMSA Fusion (STEM enrichment), Games Club, Builder’s Club, Wired for Math, Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Vocal Gold, and Stringz, Intramural Sports,Tennis Club, Bowling Club. See the complete list here.


Students have opportunities for voice - posing questions, reflecting on experiences, and participating in decisions and leadership activities. Principal Advisory Group promotes student leadership, service to the school and voice in decisions. Students have the opportunity to be a student mentor or be mentored by a student leader in 8th Grade. School staff members have an “open-door” policy to encourage student involvement and connection. Students are able to participate in Student Council at each grade level. Several students are invited to participate in the School Counseling Advisory Council. Students can talk with any teacher at X-Time for help. Counselors and Social Workers loop with incoming 6th graders through 8th grade. Students take an active role in teacher-family conferences and participating in goal setting.


The school staff members develop alliances with families to support the well-being of the children.

  • Parents volunteer in numerous ways.( Career Speeches, LRC Helpers)

  • Parents attend many events at Rotolo such as Curriculum night, Parent/Teacher conferences, capstone project night for 6th grade

  • Information to parents is given through multiple platforms on social media, school website, and Messenger service system.


Staff members provide all students with opportunities to develop citizenship skills, to use the community as a classroom, and to engage the community in providing resources and support. Students take on projects to improve their school, community, state, nation, and world. For example,

  • Penny Wars fundraising
  • Turkey Trot supporting the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry,
  • Rotolo 5K
  • Junior National Honor Society and Builder's Club supports many fundraisers and community service projects throughout the year.
  • Kane County Veterans Online Memorial - digital online war memorial.
  • Various guest speakers that come to RMS to share their culture and passion ie:Young Author’s Club Margaret Peterson Haddix - author visit,Government Employees - Mayor and other public figures in the community,Kane County Judges, Computer Scientist from Fermilab and Hour of Code.
  • Staff participated in a staff “Greens for Jeans”. Staff made monetary donation to wear jeans. Money was donated to families in our Batavia Community.



The school provides age-appropriate, co-curricular activities to foster social skills and to develop interests beyond the classroom. Student co-curricular activities cover a range of interests—STEM, Robotics, team sports,clubs, exploratory, service, and visual and performing arts.

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Connection to Careers

Students in First Aid Class learn what it's like to be a paramedic.

Social Equity

High-performing schools with middle grades are socially equitable, democratic, and fair. They provide every student with high-quality teachers, resources, learning opportunities, and supports. They keep positive options open for all students.


To the fullest extent possible all students, including English learners (EL), students with disabilities, and gifted and honors students participate in heterogeneous classes with high academic and behavioral expectations. Exploratory classes are supported to accommodate students with disabilities and English learners. Peer mentors are recruited to participate in adaptive physical education classes. Students in math and language arts can be scheduled in multiple levels ranging from an “Enriched” program for students who exceed grade level expectations to an “Essentials” program for students struggling to meet grade level expectations due to disability. PLTW (Project Lead the Way)programs have been included in the Exploratory curriculum and after-school programs.


Students are provided the opportunity to use many and varied approaches to achieve and demonstrate competence and mastery of standards. Students are able to demonstrate their knowledge by oral expression, graphic representation, and summative assessments. RMS is a 1:1 device school with all students provided with a Chromebook. This technology allows teachers to create lessons and programming for students through a multimedia approach. Students are able to use Chromebooks for research, videos, audio-files, presentations, adaptive learning (Google Read/Write), non-fiction reading and current events (Newsela), reciprocal teaching, and collaborative work.


Teachers continually adapt curriculum, instruction, assessment, and scheduling to meet their students’ diverse and changing needs. BPS professional development day at Batavia High School was devoted exclusively to Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) topics and mental health awareness. These topics included education about students who are living in poverty, e.g., neurodevelopmental impact of poverty. WIRED for Math is a weekly program provided to all students after school. The program is designed to provide additional teacher support and access to internet to facilitate access to the curriculum and homework completion. Transportation is available for students who engage in the additional learning opportunity. A scope and sequence curriculum has been developed by grade-level counselors in collaboration with administration to ensure that Tier I social-emotional lessons are explicitly taught at 6th, 7th, and 8th grades by teachers (Lessons focus on the following topics: SEL, College and Career, Digital Safety, B.A.R.K. 2.0, and Growth Mindset).


All students have equal access to valued knowledge in all school classes and activities. EL teacher specialists are infused into the classrooms to support general education teachers and EL students. Students in math and language arts can be scheduled in multiple levels ranging from an “Honors” program for students who exceed grade level expectations to an “Essentials” program for students struggling to meet grade level expectations due to disability. Tier-three intervention programs including Reading Skills, Math Skills, Developing Opportunities, and Positive Achievements with Supports to support students across a wide variety of social-emotional and academic needs. Accelerated, short-term interventions for students with similar needs are fluid and do not become low-level or permanent tracks. All students have access to participate in interest-based classes, activities, or opportunities. Counselors meet individually with students to problem solve academic, scheduling, or attendance issues. They also provide group counseling for students who need assistance with academic goal setting and attendance issues.


Students have ongoing opportunities to learn about and appreciate their own and others’ cultures. Materials in the Learning Resource Center reflect the Rotolo Middle School student body. Teachers use multi-cultural materials and methods. After-school clubs that promote social equity include Equality Club and Builder’s Club.


The school community knows every student well. Students are placed on teams to promote individual student attention and resources. Students have access to a variety of professionals in addition to teachers, i.e. school counselors, social workers, school psychologists, and speech-language pathologists. Staff members do not use negative labels or discuss students in negative ways. Every student has an adult advocate and support in the school. Data from 5 Essentials, Illinois Youth Survey demonstrates relationship and safety).


To the fullest extent possible, the faculty welcomes and encourages the active participation of all its families and makes sure that all its families are an integral part of the school. The Student Services department includes school counselors, school psychologists, and support staff that assist students and families access resources. RMS partners with a local community program to supply students with groceries for the weekend, purchase of school supplies, waivers for field trips, and clothing needs. Transportation, meals, childcare, and translation support are provided so all families of diverse cultures and languages can attend school events.


The school’s reward system is designed to value diversity, civility, service, and democratic citizenship. BARK 2.0, Dazzle Dawgs, and classroom support systems are designed to embrace the entire student body.


Staff members understand and support the family backgrounds and values of its students. The EL teachers provide information to staff about cultural diversity, responsiveness, and inclusiveness of parents.


The school rules are clear, fair, and consistently applied. School rules and regulations are available online or in print to inform students and parents of the school expectations. Assistant Principals, along with grade level counselors, meet individually with each of four grade level teams every six weeks to discuss and problem-solve students’ Social Emotional Learning and disciplinary needs.

Organizational Structure and Support

A shared vision of what a high-performing school is and does drives every facet of school change. The BPS District plan includes 3 core strategies and is embraced by the each school in the district. It includes an aligned curriculum and assessment system, quality staff and collaboration and personalized learning. MTSS (multi-tiered support systems) are incorporated in the master schedule to meet student needs. Academic and Exploratory Teams have PLC time/team time daily. Department articulation time is given during institute days for elementary, middle school and high school teachers to collaborate.


The Principal has the responsibility and authority to hold the school-improvement enterprise together, including day-to-day know-how, coordination, strategic planning, and communication. School Leadership Team (SLT) and Team Leaders (TL) have shared roles in achieving our school improvement goals. More members were added to each team to be more representative of the staff. All representatives on these committees are staff elected. An RMS Intranet is available to share all communication documents including schedules, procedures, agendas and forms. Weekly newsletters are emailed to provide important information to staff and populated by a number of staff members. Weekly Messenger is sent to parents/subscribers to inform them of upcoming events and current information at Rotolo. Social Media platforms of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are utilized to highlight and share narratives of the middle school.


The school is a community of practice in which learning, experimentation, and the opportunity for reflection are the norm. Twenty-two teachers participated in a shadow day to observe a day in the life of a middle school student at RMS. Teachers volunteered to participate in Instructional Learning Rounds to identify a possibility of practice and gather feedback from a team of teachers.


The school and district devote resources to content-rich professional learning, which is connected to reaching and sustaining the school vision and increasing student achievement. RMS has an instructional coach to support teaching and learning. ELA, Math and Social Studies teachers have had training in Learning Ladders to unpack the state standards. Several teachers have participated in Instructional rounds and received training by Pam..........


The school is not an island unto itself; it is a part of a larger educational system, i.e., districts, networks and community partnerships. Rotolo has a shared goal with district. Rotolo makes transitions easier by providing opportunities for 5th graders to visit the building and for 8th grade students to visit the high school. All teachers work together to support MAP testing and PARCC testing and support all accommodations/modifications.


The school staff holds itself accountable for student success. RMS utilizes a variety of data from several surveys such as 5 Essentials, NWEA MAP, and Rutger's to hold itself accountable for student success. The Rutgers Faculty Survey is administered to RMS certified staff to measure the school environment. 5 Essentials and NWEA MAP Data is analyzed by the School Leadership Team to identify growth targets and to examine instructional strategies to implement a year-long school improvement plan. MAP Math and ELA PLCs analyze data three times a year via a Data Days structure reviewing tiered data as part of MTSS and supporting the RMS School Improvement Plan. Common assessments allow for evaluation and addressing student needs. Exploratory teachers have the option to use MAP data as part of the SLO process. The ELA, Social Studies, and Math PLCs have been working with standards to develop Learning Ladders which are a set of sequenced statements showing a progression towards mastery of a larger standard. Beginning in 2017, PLC Showcases began as a conversation for staff to discuss their PLC celebrations and work towards a guaranteed and viable curriculum.



District and school staff possess and cultivate the collective will to persevere, believing it is their business to produce increased achievement and enhanced development of all students. Performance Matters Series has been launched for teachers to engage in professional learning. Our Mission statement of Always Learning, Always Growing embodies growth mindset approach to continuous improvement.


The school staff and district staff partner with colleges and universities. A mentoring program for new teachers exists with support from building administrators and veteran teachers. Student teachers and related service clinicians work with veteran staff members. Multiple staff members are engaged in internships for Administrator licensure.


The school includes families and community members in setting and supporting the school's trajectory toward high performance. Families are much more than fundraising partners in the middle school. Families are invited to engage in the curriculum, attend events, and serve as judges in a variety of events. For example,

  • 6th grade family night capstone night.
  • Coffee with the principal occurs monthly
  • New this year was Coffee with the Teams at the Sixth Grade level which allowed parents access to their teachers to learn about the transition to the middle school.
  • Events such as Curriculum Night and Step-Up Night invite families to the middle school to meet teachers and learn about their child’s academic and social emotional curriculum.
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Significant Changes in the Past 3 Years

Leadership structure at RMS involves the role of Team Leaders and School Leadership Team. These teams are integral groups in the daily operation and learning at RMS. Subject and grade level representatives meet monthly. Team Leaders is a return to this representative model. Staff have been added for representation for every core academic team, each exploratory department, and related services. Both the School Leadership Team and Team Leader selection process is a collaborative effort between the teacher association and building administration. The Batavia Education Association holds elections for each group. Additionally, the building administration team has reduced the team from eight members to six, and moved away from a divisional model to an interdependent team model. An effort has been made to focus on becoming a modern middle school. This has included how collaboration has occurred, a balance of interdisciplinary teams, and professional learning communities.


Size: 1,324 students


Enrollment Projection

The District’s home school (official) K-12 enrollment declined by 63 students (-1.1%) to 5,898 in 2018, the second-largest decline in a six-year trend. Details regarding the District’s enrollment is available in the 2019 Enrollment Report.


Figure 1. Historical and Projected Enrollment


Student demographics


District mandates

There are three core strategies in Batavia School District 101. Our mission statement of Always Learning, Always Growing focuses our district in the development of a guaranteed and viable curriculum, quality teams, and personalized learning. Another district mandate is the Co-Teaching model which is supported by district- wide training and a commitment to teacher partnerships. In addition, Learning Ladders is standards work with a consultant for ELA and Math teachers/PLCs. The District is currently aligning work with Multi-Tiered Systems of Support through high quality Building Level Intervention Teams. Finally, Social Emotional Standards have been studied and planned for along with the study and training for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)


Overall program and structure


View student PARCC scores by grade and subject over time

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For a full review of data from Sam Rotolo Middle School, please visit Sam Rotolo Middle School State Report Card.
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Suspension Data

To provide information on the suspension rate for your school for the past year, please fill out the attached chart. Numbers should reflect the cumulative total suspensions for the past year.
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Plan to Address Suspension Rates

Our disciplinary data is on an upward trend that is reflective of the systems of support we have put implemented over the course of the last three years.

  • Education of staff on Senate Bill #100.

  • Collaborative re-entry meetings held with students, parents/guardians, support services personnel, and administration.

  • Implementation of Restorative Justice practices to further support students’ social and emotional needs.

  • Social Emotional Learning Goal focused on John Hattie’s strategy of developing and communicating consistent and high expectations for student performance, both academic and related to classroom management strategies.

  • Administration meets with grade level teams twice per trimester with a focus on reviewing B.A.R.K. 2.0 (Bulldogs Are Respectful, Responsible, and Keep It Safe) expectations as they pertain to the bus, classroom, and other learning environments within the school.

  • Administration meets individually with each of four grade level teams every six weeks with grade level counselors to discuss and problem-solve students’ SEL and disciplinary needs.

  • A scope and sequence curriculum has been developed by grade level counselors in collaboration with administration to ensure that Tier I SEL lessons are explicitly taught at 6th, 7th, and 8th grades by teachers. (Lessons focus on the following topics: SEL, College and Career, Digital Safety, B.A.R.K. 2.0, and Growth Mindset)


In general, we have seen an overall improvement of the number of suspensions decrease particularly in out-of-school suspensions. We attribute improvement in this particular area to ongoing professional development training of staff and systems of support that are embedded within the framework of what we are doing with our students. (Please see above for action steps as related to Social Emotional Learning and Discipline.)

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Special Recognitions


  • Batavia Foundation Education Grants
  • Khan Learn Storm Participant
  • Secretary of State Grant (Back to Books)
  • Multiple Donors Choose Recipients
  • Alternative Seating for Math
  • PAWS Program (ALOP Grant)
  • IESA State Champions for Cross Country
  • IESA State Runner Up Boys Basketball
  • IESA Scholar Attitude Award
  • CANDO Exemplary Award Winners (Mary Beth LaClair, Keith Ozsvath, Amanda Marinko, Angela Rico, Vicki Albrecht, Dave Crawley, Bridgett Schmitt, Jill Schulz)
  • Doctor of Education: Katie Gabris
  • Kane County Educator of the Year Candidate: Jeanne Fayhee
  • Google Certified Teachers
  • Veterans (VFW) Award Julia Schaeffer & Keith Ozsvath (2018)
  • Multiple presentations at AIMS Network Events
  • American School Counselor Association Award – RAMP Award
  • ILMEA Festival
  • Illinois Horizon Schools to Watch Recipient
  • BFEE grant. Save the penguins kits for all 8th grade science teachers (spring 2017) (Sweeney)

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Research Projects, Grant Awards, Articles, and Projects



  • ASCA Ramp Certification
  • School Leadership Team engaged in research and design for master schedule
  • Shadow Days project launched to gain perspective of a student’s daily schedule and routine
  • Fab Lab created with grant monies and contains alternative seating and STEM materials for discovery
  • Dr. Gabris earned her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Aurora University
  • ILP Buddy Program article
  • Nationally Board Certified Teachers
  • Multiple Google Certified Teachers
  • Department supported Rocking for a Cure 2018 raising $27,000 for JDRF.
  • Associate Principal Jen Hix is a part of Learning Forward Academy
  • Associate Principal Josh Bulak is in graduate school for Chief Business Officer
  • Principal Bryan Zwemke is in graduate school for Education Leadership
  • The IMSA Fusion program was a subject in the study of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s Fusion program being conducted by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University.
  • Current research on social-emotional supports for adolescent psychological well-being for my doctoral dissertation work at Johns Hopkins University; Submitted research presentation proposal for current research on teacher social-emotional supports as a protective factor for psychological well-being at the upcoming Society for Research and Child Development (SRCD) conference in Baltimore (Papale)
  • MaryBeth LaClair contributed to Teaching with Primary Sources in Illinois Classrooms: A Showcase of Library of Congress Resources Shared by Educators
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Stretch Goals

Academic Excellence

  • Increased discussions and piloting around Grading Philosophy and Standards Based Reporting

  • Effective use of 5Lab Data Warehouse system.

  • School Improvement plan to continue to focus on small-group, differentiated instruction, inquiry, and personalized learning


Social Equity

  • Gain an understanding of equity for our student population with focus on special populations

    • Assess the current state of the school with respect to implicit biases and equitable practices

    • Expand community efforts including supplying dental services and health physicals on site

    • Increasing parent partnerships supporting academics and SEL

    • Increase community involvement to support CHIP-IN and local organizations offering family/student supports


Developmental Responsiveness

  • Expand Social Emotional Competencies & Mental Health curriculum/programming understanding ACES and increasing outside Support Providers


Organizational Structures

  • Schedule Structure

      • To improve and expand supports for students with academic and social-emotional needs

      • Deliberate focus on Advisory period

  • Link BLIT agenda and data to School Leadership Team agenda and action plan to support Tier I.

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Sharing expertise with larger middle-level audiences

  • Music Department serving as guest clinicians for local middle schools

  • LRC Director networks among state-wide school librarians
  • University partnerships for internships within Student Services for graduate students in Social Work and School Psychology
  • STEM Department engaged in networking among area schools on listservs
  • Building Principal hosts weekly Twitter chat with teachers from Unit 5 School District #aimsnetwork
  • Fox River Prairie Conference Principals Meetings
  • Member of AIMS
  • Supporting IESA Division C Schools
  • Presented at National Forum for the Acceleration of Middle Level Education (McKnight, Schulz, Kitzmiller, Zwemke)
  • Teacher presented at the AIMS Summer Splash and National Schools to Watch 2015 on One-to-One Technology in the classroom (Schulz)
  • Teacher presented at AMLE in Austin, Texas (Sengenberger)