News from CCSD15 Board of Education

October 11, 2019

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Strategic plan refresh presented to Board of Education

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Laurie Heinz presented a proposed refresh to the district's strategic plan at the Oct. 9 Board of Education meeting.

Dr. Heinz and her administration have been working to revise the district's existing plan, created in the 2017-18 school year. The transition between Superintendents and the seating of two new Board members this spring is an ideal time to review the status of the plan to ensure that everyone is operating from a basis of current information around a shared direction of continuous improvement.

A specific roadmap to implement the plan through the 2021-22 school year, as well as a two-page "At-a-Glance" flyer highlighting our mission, vision, values and strategic direction are guiding this work. These documents are under development, pending board approval of the plan.

At the November meeting, the goal is for the Board to review a final version of these two documents along with a proposed set of metrics to monitor progress toward the completion of these goals.

Responsive literacy instruction in District 15

At the Oct. 9 Board of Education meeting, District Literacy Coordinator Colleen Mullins presented a report on responsive literacy instruction in District 15.

District 15 is putting a large focus on teaching pedagogy associated with the new Fountas and Pinnell Classroom (FPC) literacy curriculum. Professional development around differentiation of instruction, and development of common language and experiences are part of the Professional Learning Cycles for District 15's FPC roll-out.

View the full presentation on our website.

2019-20 Every Student Succeeds Act changes

The State of Illinois continues to align its online school report card with requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Dr. Meg Schnoor presented the key features of ESSA for the 2019-20 school year to the Board of Education at its Oct. 9 meeting.

Two important goals of ESSA are to help parents access a broader set of information about schools and to help foster a closer partnership between the state and school districts. More information on the full ESSA plan can be found online.

ESSA takes into consideration several factors when defining student success:

  • Math growth: 25 percent
  • English Language Arts growth: 25 percent
  • Chronic absenteeism: 20 percent
  • Math proficiency: 7.5 percent (adjusted from last year)
  • English Language Arts proficiency: 7.5 percent (adjusted from last year)
  • Science: 5 percent (new this year)
  • English Learners percent to proficiency: 5 percent
  • Climate survey: 5 percent
The state categorizes schools into four designations based upon the level of support they require, according to the ESSA guidelines. This year's ESSA designation information will be included on the Illinois State Report Card for our district and each school, and will be available to view online on Oct. 30.

Fall report shows decreased enrollment

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Claire Kowalczyk presented the district's fall enrollment report to the Board of Education at its Oct. 9 meeting.

Data shows the district's preschool through grade 8 enrollment is 11,946 students, down 370 students from the 2018-19 school year. District enrollment has declined each year since 2013. Over the past five years, the median decline has been 105 students per year.

Although enrollment has decreased overall, there are several schools where enrollment has increased over the last several years: Plum Grove, Hunting Ridge, Pleasant Hill, Marion Jordan, and Walter R. Sundling.

The district's enrollment over the last ten years is available to view online.

2020-21 school year calendar adjusted

At its Oct. 9 meeting, the Board of Education voted to adjust the 2020-21 school year calendar.

The revised calendar starts the school year with two teacher institute days on Thursday, Aug. 13 and Friday, Aug 14. Students will begin classes on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. View the full calendar online.

Board recognitions

Students from Gray M. Sanborn Elementary School's "Respectables" leadership group led the Board of Education during the Pledge of Allegiance at its Oct. 9 meeting. The sixth grade students were chosen by classroom teachers as models of the Tiger Traits: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe.
The PTA/PTSA Presidents from each District 15 school were also recognized at the Oct. 9 meeting for their dedicated service, volunteerism, and partnerships in making our children’s educational experience a more positive one. Because of these PTA presidents, the children and schools in our community are more successful. The board and Dr. Heinz thanked them for their dedication to the children and families of District 15.