News from CCSD15 Board of Education

January 10, 2019

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Board takes steps to secure all school entrances

In an effort to provide enhanced safety and security, the Board of Education approved the development of bidding documents for the construction of controlled entrances at 11 District 15 schools. Once complete, all schools in the district will have controlled entrances for visitors.

Currently, nine of District 15's 20 schools have entrances that limit a visitor's access to only the main office when entering the front doors. At 11 schools, the main office is not directly connected to the front vestibule.

Architectural firm STR will now develop documents that will allow the district to solicit bids for the building modifications. Once bids are received, the board will be asked to vote to approve an identified vendor to complete the construction work. If approved, work will be completed during the summers of 2019 and 2020.

Dr. Cheryl Wolfel honored with "Those Who Excel" award

Dr. Cheryl Wolfel, Executive Director of Second Language Programs, was recognized at the Board of Education's Jan. 9 meeting for receiving the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) “Those Who Excel” Award of Excellence.

Each year, ISBE's "Those Who Excel" awards program honors outstanding teachers, administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel and community members for their exceptional contributions to schools throughout the state.

A fervent advocate for children and families, Dr. Wolfel has been instrumental in enriching curriculum for the district's English Language Learners, developing the district's Community School programming, implementing Spanish Dual Language and ensuring the needs of all children are met.

District receives recognition status for annual audit

Miller Cooper accounting firm completed its annual audit for District 15 for the year ending June 30, 2018.

District 15 received an “unqualified” audit opinion from Miller Cooper, which is the highest opinion an auditor can grant. Such an opinion states that the auditor feels the district followed generally accepted accounting principles appropriately and that the financial reports are an accurate representation of the District's financial condition.

The Annual Financial Report calculates an estimated Financial Profile Designation for the District. The Illinois State Board of Education calculates the final score. The estimated profile designation score is 3.90 on a scale of 0.0 to 4.0, qualifying the district for recognition status. This is the second year in a row the district has achieved this score.

Student achievement report presented to board

The Board of Education heard the annual student achievement report from the Department of Instruction during its Jan. 9 meeting.

This year, District 15 has aligned its report with the new state measures for school accountability known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), using a broader set of student success indicators.

ESSA Student Success Indicators

  • Student growth: 50-percent
  • Chronic absenteeism: 20-percent
  • School climate survey (5Essentials): 5-percent
  • Math proficiency: 10-percent
  • English Language Arts (ELA) proficiency: 10-percent
  • English learners progress to proficiency: 5-percent

The state uses the student success indicators to creates index scores for student subgroups. Each school in the state is then given a designation of exemplary, commendable, underperforming or lowest performing.

Exemplary: Overall school performance is in the top 10-percent of schools in Illinois and has no underperforming student groups (two District 15 schools).

Commendable: Overall school performance is above the bottom 5-percent of schools and below the top 10-percent with no underperforming student groups (14 District 15 schools).

Underperforming: Overall school performance is above the bottom 5-percent of schools in Illinois, but has one or more student groups that are underperforming (four District 15 schools).

Lowest Performing: Overall school performance is in the lowest 5-percent of schools in Illinois.

District 15's past focus on student growth, student outcomes and group monitoring is closely aligned with ESSA, with student achievement remaining steady over the last several years. The full student achievement report is available to view on our website.

Winston, Lincoln Elementary Schools share school improvement goals

Winston Campus and Lincoln Elementary Schools provided the Board of Education with an update to their School Improvement Plans at the Jan. 9 meeting.

All District 15 schools have been working through a process called "Data Wise," which was developed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Data Wise supports educators in using collaborative data inquiry to drive continuous improvement of teaching and learning for all students.

After examining school data, Lincoln's learner-centered focus is vocabulary and Winston's focus is vocabulary within a math context.

The schools developed five-step action plans to address the issues, including adjusting instructional practices and enhancing professional development opportunities.

View the School Improvement Plan presentations for Winston Campus and Lincoln Elementary Schools on the district website.

Board does not take action to rename school

The Board of Education discussed a proposal at its Jan. 9 meeting to rename Lake Louise Elementary School as Scott B. Thompson Elementary School. The proposal was put forward by the board as a way of honoring retiring Superintendent Scott Thompson's legacy in District 15.

After a brief discussion, board members decided not to take action on the proposal.

Dual Language students lead the Pledge of Allegiance

Kindergarten Spanish Dual Language students from Winston Campus Elementary School lead the Board of Education in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at its Jan. 9 meeting.

The Dual Language program is a new Spanish language immersion program, which has been very well received by staff, parents and students.

The students in attendance spoke in Spanish, and shared their favorite part of Dual Language with the crowd. They were assisted by teachers Ana Erdei and Rebeca Santana, and assistant principal Marilynn Smith.

To learn more about Spanish Dual Language, visit our website.