Central District 51 Newsletter

Fall 2019

A Message from the Superintendent

Central 51 Families,


At the end of each summer, the students arrive to bring our buildings to life, and before we know it November is here. I am amazed each year how fast the time goes. This year is no exception with the construction project keeping us on our toes.


We knew the time would come when we would be dealing with dust, cramped spaces, crazy traffic patterns, and tight schedules. However, the finished product will be so worth it, and our teachers, administrators and staff are committed to doing whatever it takes to provide our students with the best possible educational experience. It is so inspiring to see everyone stepping up, working together and problem solving to find the best solutions to create a positive and supportive environment for our colleagues, students and families. It is an exciting time for Central 51 as additions to our existing buildings take shape.


One of the goals of the administration at Central is to ensure we are communicating with our parents and keeping them up to date on district news. Just as the building principals have begun publishing a monthly newsletter, the district office will provide a glimpse of what is happening district-wide a few times throughout the year. You can also follow us on our social media sites to get frequent updates on the fun things that are happening at Central.


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This issue will focus on items such as our recent Illinois State Report Card designation, enrollment trends and staffing, the results of our 5 Essentials Survey, the district budget, construction, the substitute teacher shortage, and social/emotional learning.


If you have questions regarding Central School District 51 please don’t hesitate to contact me at (309) 444-3943 or at dheidbreder@central51.net.

Illinois School Report Card - 2019 Official Summative Designations

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released our annual School Report Card. The Report Card shows how well our schools are progressing on a wide range of educational goals.


The Illinois Assessment of Readiness is a federally required measure of student mastery of the Illinois Learning Standards in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 – and their readiness for what’s next.


The Illinois Science tests are designed to measure performance against rigorous science standards. The tests require students to apply their science skills to answering questions. These skills are necessary in order for students to be successful in the real world. The science tests are given to students enrolled in grades 5 and 8. Illinois School Report Card


The overall district averages of students meeting and exceeding expectations were:

Math 59%

ELA 75%

Science 87% proficient


Individual buildings receive a report specific to it. Below are the reported areas for each building.


Students meeting and exceeding expectations-

CPS overall results

3rd Grade:

Math 72%

ELA 62%


CIS overall results

4th- 8th Grade:

Math 57%

ELA 78 %


5th & 8th Grade:

Science 87% proficient


Central School District 51 is proud to announce the 2019 official summative designations for both Central Primary School and Central Intermediate School as reported by the Illinois State Board of Education. A summative designation is a descriptor of how well our schools are meeting the needs of all students.


Central Primary School received an exemplary rating for 2019. This shows remarkable growth from a previous commendable rating in 2018.


Central Intermediate School received an exemplary rating for 2019. This is the second year in a row that the school received this rating.


Exemplary schools had “all students” index scores at or above 80.12 according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Of the 3058 elementary schools in Illinois that were tested, only 332 schools received the exemplary rating. Our schools are in the top 10% of elementary schools in Illinois.


Congratulations to our outstanding students, parents, teachers, staff, and administrators! This is a tremendous accomplishment and a time to celebrate.

5 Essentials Survey - Central District #51

The 5Essentials Survey measures changes in a school organization and provides individualized, actionable reports for each school. The survey is based on research by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. They have found five components critical for school success:


  • Effective Leaders: The principal works with teachers to implement a clear and strategic vision for school success.

  • Collaborative Teachers: The staff is committed to the school, receives strong professional development, and works together to improve the school.

  • Involved Families: The entire school staff builds strong relationships with families and communities to support learning.

  • Supportive Environment: The school is safe and orderly. Teachers have high expectations for students. Students are supported by their teachers and peers.

  • Ambitious Instruction: Classes are academically demanding and engage students by emphasizing the application of knowledge.


The 2019 results are listed here.


A summarized report may also be found at illinoisreportcard.com under the school's environment tab (climate survey).


The administrative team from both schools summarized their recent planning with staff.


CIS Data-


The CIS 5Essentials Survey identified Supportive Environment as the highest-rated of the 5Essentials at our school. Student-Teacher Trust was seen as the highest-rated sub-category in the Supportive Environment Essential on our survey. Peer Support for Academic Work was another highly rated subcategory of Supportive Environment.


The Essential respondents identified as an area for improvement was Collaborative Teachers. Teachers noted they were committed to CIS and would recommend our school to others. Teachers trust and respect each other and feel they can come to another teacher with feelings or frustrations. They feel responsible for the school and for all of the students not just the students in their classroom.


Teachers rated Collaborative Practices the lowest subsection of the Collaborative Teachers Essential on the survey. This was an area teachers saw not as something we are doing poorly, but an area we would like to improve and expand upon in the future. One area teachers would like to improve is to observe other teachers in the building to provide feedback and to get ideas for their own instruction.


CPS Data-


The CPS 5Essentials Survey identified Involved Families as the highest-rated of the 5Essentials at our school. Parent Involvement in School was seen as the highest-rated sub-category in the Involved Families Essential on our survey. Teacher-Parent Trust was another highly rated subcategory of Involved Families .


Our focus was Collaborative Teachers. Teachers feel they belong and are invested. They respect those colleagues who are experts at their craft and who lead school improvement efforts.


At CPS, teachers rated Collaborative Practices the lowest subsection of the Collaborative Teachers Essential on the survey. Notable comments were that teachers work well on instructional strategies. As grade level teams, teachers collaborate to develop material and activities. The school leadership team will continue to look at how to improve on this subsection.


Information collected through the 5Essentials Survey will continue to be one portion of the data we use to make improvements in each building. Thank you for taking part in this survey.


The 2020 survey link is open. Please click here to take the survey.

Student Enrollment Trend - Central District 51

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Each year, the administration and Board of Education analyze our 6th day total enrollment numbers from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Central School District 51 continues to grow with an enrollment of 1,363 students last year (2018-2019) to 1,407 for the current school year (2019-2020). Enrollment projections from last year predicted Central 51 would be at 1,392 students.


Every possible space in both buildings is being utilized throughout any given day until our construction and renovations are completed in August 2020. For the 2019-2020 school year, kindergarten saw a spike in registration with 155 students enrolled. This required an additional teacher to be hired taking kindergarten from 6 sections to 7. The Central School District 51 Board, administration and staff are continuing to monitor our enrollment trends.

Employment - Certified Staff

As student enrollment has increased over the last ten years, the Central 51 Board of Education has continued to add teaching staff to keep teacher/student ratios as low as possible. 23 certified staff have been added since 2010.

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Budget Highlights

  • Central School District 51 has an annual budget of around $12.7 million.

  • The Board of Education’s main priority has been focused on our students and academics. Despite these very difficult times, the District has maintained fiscal responsibility without elimination of student programs or student opportunities. The Board has been adding and expanding programs (S.T.E.M., Art, Spanish).

  • The District continues to operate soundly despite the past reductions by the State of Illinois to Mandated Categorical Grants, Evidence-Based Funding/General State Aid(GSA), and Transportation revenues.

  • The primary objective of the Central 51 budget is to provide the greatest educational opportunities for our students within a balanced budget.

  • Central School District 51 anticipates revenues at $12,633,318 and expenses are projected at $12,686,699. The District is utilizing dollars in reserve to cover the additional $53,381 needed this fiscal year.

  • Central School District 51 received the highest rating of Financial Recognition from Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for the fourth straight year in a row.

Revenues by Source FY2020

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Expenses by Object (without Construction Costs) FY2020

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Construction and Renovation

Our construction and renovation projects began this past summer in June. It has been remarkable to see the transformation throughout the summer and into October. BLDD Architects and P.J. Hoerr, Inc. (construction manager) have been a great partnership for Central 51. The projects continue to be on schedule and on budget. We have amazing contractors on site and their hard work does not go unnoticed.


The newly connected elementary and intermediate schools will feature:


  • Connection of two existing buildings via two newly constructed additions
  • 18,765 sf Band/Choir, Art, and Primary Gym Addition
  • 18,870 sf 3rd & 4th Grade Addition
  • Expanded and updated student media commons at both CPS & CIS
  • Expansion of dining commons capacities at both CPS & CIS
  • Relocation of district and building administration at CIS including new secured entry sequence
  • Various renovation throughout CPS and CIS to create updated and expanded learning spaces
  • Expansion of classroom spaces to provide age appropriate learning spaces for all students K-8
  • Central 51 is also focusing on creating 21st Century learning environments and the ability to expand the District’s STEM related programming and offerings to help prepare our students for the future.


We cannot thank our community for supporting our schools enough. Below are a few pictures of the current progress of our projects.

Substitute Teacher Shortage

As with most schools, Central is experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers. Substitute teachers are needed each day to cover for teachers or paraprofessionals that are away from the classroom due to illness, professional development, meetings, etc.


Becoming a substitute teacher can offer flexibility to those who can’t commit to a full-time position. Dist. 51 currently pays $95 per day for substitute teachers and $85 per day for substitute paraprofessionals. This is a great way to supplement your income while maintaining a flexible schedule.


There are several options for obtaining the necessary license to become a substitute.

  • SUB - A traditional sub license can be obtained by individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

  • ELS/STS - Two other options are available to those with an associate’s degree or 60 college credit hours. Both options include some restrictions. The first option is to apply for a ELS (Para) license. This license will only allow you to sub for paraprofessionals. The second option is to obtain a Short-Term Sub (STS) license. With the STS license, you cannot sub for paraprofessionals and the license is non-renewable.

  • PEL - Most certified teachers receive a Professional Educators License (PEL). Individuals with a valid PEL can sub without obtaining an additional license as long as the license is registered in Central’s region.


If you do not currently hold a PEL, you will need to apply online through ELIS to obtain a SUB, ELS or STS license. https://sec3.isbe.net/IWASNET/sign_up.aspx?logintype=elis


For more information on obtaining a substitute teaching license, please go to the Regional Office of Education’s website at: https://www.roe53.net/substitutes


In addition to obtaining the appropriate licensure, substitute teachers are required to present a fingerprint based criminal background check and an employment physical. The fingerprint based background check can be completed at the Regional Office of Education in Pekin, IL. Appointments can be made online at: https://calendly.com/printsroe53


Once you obtain your license, fingerprint based background check and employment physical, you can complete an application for Central District 51 at: https://www.applitrack.com/central51/onlineapp/JobPostings/view.asp?FromAdmin=true&AppliTrackJobId=239


Please contact Heather Ford at (309) 444-3943 or hford@central51.net with any questions.

Social Emotional Screener-

Social emotional learning (SEL) provides students with skills which are integrated with their attitudes and behaviors. As a result, students are given the tools to productively and ethically manage daily tasks and challenges.


Creating a support system between home and school needs to continue to provide our kids with the strategies to manage their emotions, build relationships, demonstrate respect for others as well as solving problems.


This year ,teachers at both schools will be completing a social emotional screener twice a year for all students in grades K-8. The first of these occurred in mid-October just prior to parent teacher conferences.


There are eight areas that are rated within the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment. Teachers are asked, during the past 4 weeks, how often did the child:


1. accept responsibility for what she/he did?

2. do something nice for somebody?

3. speak about positive things?

4. pay attention?

5. contribute to group efforts?

6. perform the steps of a task in order?

7. show care when doing a project or school work?

8. follow the advice of a trusted adult?


The next steps are for each building to analyze the results and determine which areas are opportunities for further planning and discussions. At Central District 51 we are committed to helping students achieve their goals.