Changes Result in Student Achievement at All-Time High in Dist. 54

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

Changes Result in Student Achievement at All-Time High in Dist. 54


Unbelievable gains in student growth. Impressive results. Closing the achievement gap. Raising the bar.

These are just several of the comments that we heard from staff during the first round of our district's 90-day school improvement planning process. We are in the teaching and learning business and our staff members take this work very seriously.

Early in the year, school teams take an in-depth look at what has been working, identify which practices they would like to continue and determine the areas in need of improvement. They thoroughly analyze all available data as they develop their school improvement plan to increase student learning.

The plans are monitored at both the school and district levels on a continuous basis. This process was adapted from successful business practices and has been critical in helping to ensure that all 27 of our schools and the district as a whole are keeping a tight focus on meeting the student learning goals approved by our board of education.

The first review cycle has recently been completed and our data indicates that student achievement is at an all-time high. Information that is shared during these meetings not only becomes the basis for individual school improvement plans, but also provides us with priority focus areas that need districtwide support.

Several years ago, it became obvious that we were not seeing the type of growth in reading in the primary grades that we would expect. In response to this finding, the Department of Student Learning worked with groups of primary-grade teachers and reading specialists to develop a specific plan for improvement.

In only its second year of implementation, schools are reporting positive gains in the number of students meeting grade-level reading expectations.

Another districtwide area of focus has been restructuring the services that we provide to our English Language Learners. …

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Changes Result in Student Achievement at All-Time High in Dist. 54
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