ACROSS THE BOARD
October Committee Meetings
Learning & Teaching Committee - October 19, 2020
The Superintendent reminded families that the summer free meal program has been extended for children between the ages of 1 and 18 until June 30, 2021.
Seal of Biliteracy Update
Dr. Cindy Ruesch, Director of Staff, Family, and Student Services presented information about the number of District 303 high school students who have been awarded either the State Seal of Biliteracy or the State Commendation toward Biliteracy for the 2019-2020 school year. The awards are given to students at graduation who show high levels of proficiency in English and another language.
2019-2020 School Year
71 students received the State Seal of Biliteracy
86 students received the State Commendation toward Biliteracy
The benefits of earning the distinction include earning credit at the college level and being an asset to employers who are looking for verification of a student's language skills that make them useful in the workforce.
Transition Center Update
Mrs. Aubree Schuett reminded board members that the transition program serves students between the ages of 18 and 22 at the Haines Center. Currently, students are learning both remotely and in person. Students sent samples of paper that they have made. In addition, board members watched a video showing student servers at the Daily Bean located in the St. Charles Public Library. Patrons can get a cup of coffee on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Each day, two students and a job coach work the 60-minute shifts.
Mrs. Shuett also showed interviews with one student who is learning remotely and one student who is attending in-person. The remote student talked about why she likes learning from home. She said that she does not have to wear a mask, which causes her stress and she doesn’t have to leave her house. She talked about her favorite things related to the transition program and thanked the Board for creating the Haines Center.
The program has students who are fully remote, in-person 5 days a week, or in-person 2 days per week. Students are able to access services no matter what the modality. The staff is working to provide as many community-based experiences for students during the pandemic. The goal is to get students more learning opportunities is the goal going forward.
High School Course Offerings
Our district fine arts CDTs worked together to develop a Fine Arts Conceptual Framework. It reads, “As part of a complete education, students in CUSD 303 develop a lifelong relationship to visual and performing arts through creating, performing, responding, and connecting.” Those 4 artistic processes stated in our conceptual framework are the cognitive and physical actions where learning and making are realized in all areas within Fine Arts. Visual Arts at the high school level has continued to update their course offerings since the adoption of the new Fine Arts Standards. Curriculum maps and course title change proposals for level III and advanced classes of 3D Media, Digital Art Illustration & Design, and Film Animation & New Media were presented. In addition, the Athletic Training course at the high school also has a proposed title change to Sports Medicine along with an updated course description. These proposed changes provide a broader scope for those students interested in pursuing a career in a health-related field. Lastly, with the addition of our Accounting 100 dual credit course, College Accounting needed a revised course description and updated prerequisites.
High School Gap Goal
Mrs. Audra Christenson and Mr. Jim Richter presented.
High school PLC's from both schools have been meeting to identify prerequisite skill gaps students may be possessing from last year's COVID-19 instruction in the spring. Teams met to identify the skills, align them to standards, identify where and when the skill gap would be rectified, how it would be assessed, the degree to which students demonstrated competency if it had been assessed already, and what opportunities for ongoing support exist for students who need it. PLC's will continue to provide data on the progress students make as the year progresses.
Update on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Fall Benchmark Data
Dr. Patti Palagi and Mrs. Kate VincentStudents in 2-12 grade completed the ECRA Social-Emotional Learning Survey in late September. The survey provides information on the Social Emotional state learning standards of Responsible Decision-Making, Self-Regulation, and Social Relationships. D303 has prioritized the Social-Emotional learning needs of students; this was very evident during our school closure last spring and our work to welcome students to the 20-21 school year. Families, students, and staff have been provided additional resources and learning opportunities to support overall social-emotional health and well being. Fall ECRA survey student responses were very similar to academic readiness data with most students demonstrating mastery of grade level standards. The area of Self-Regulation was identified as an area for further review and support across grades. The ECRA Social-Emotional survey will be administered again in the winter and spring. Information from subsequent surveys will assist in determining the impact efforts at the student, building, and district levels. This information will be instrumental in shaping action steps to support students Social-Emotional learning moving forward.
Citizen Advisory Committee - October 22, 2020
Members of the Citizen Advisory Committee, along with staff members who all make up the Educational Facility Planning Committee met to hear a presentation from Wold Architects about the preliminary work done by Wold and D303 staff members. CAC members also learned about the three focus groups that are being formed to study the facilities and make recommendations to the School Board in January. The focus groups are:
The Focus Groups will begin meeting on November 4, 2020.
Business Services Committee - October 26, 2020
High Schools returned to in-person learning and we are proud of the way that our students and staff members who are following protocols.
As part of Kane County, we are in mitigation in the region and we are seeing an increase in cases in our schools as we are a reflection of a larger community. We have put health and safety measures in place and we encourage our community to extend the same precautions when you’re not at school.
Spent $200,000 mostly on wipes and hand sanitizer for schools. We have also refunded fees that appear in this line item.
Tax Levy Process
Dr. Chapman walked the Board through the process the District follows prior to the Board approving the levy at the meeting in December. Highlights include:
- The District’s current tax rates are the lowest they have been since 2011
- District 303 has the lowest debt portion of its tax rate in Kane County
- The debt portion of the District's levy will drop by 50% by this time next year