It is hard to believe that we are already halfway done with the year! We have so much done, so much still to do.
Our teachers are making sure that all students can read and perform mathematics at or above requirements for their current grade level. The addition of a double literacy block at all grade levels with an emphasis on responding early with interventions has students reading at higher levels. Smaller class sizes lead to more teacher attention per student allowing us to carefully monitor individual progress. While math has always been an area of strength, it is not without the continued hard work of students and teachers.
Our work has only just begun. State initiatives keep us busy. Our teachers are implementing changes in the curriculum – called the New Illinois State Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core. The state required that they were fully implemented in 2014. Our expectations for student learning changed greatly since the 1997 requirements. The goal of the new standards is to better prepare Illinois students for success in the college and workplace. The standards have much higher student achievement expectations than the old state standards.
This year, students in grades 3- 8 will take 2 separate PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests. All students will be tested on computers once in March and again in May in both reading and math each time. Both the PARCC assessment and taking the assessment online present great challenges but we prepare daily. Teachers and tech class practice what students need to know both in subject matter and how to utilize available online tools from PARCC. Students are taking PARCC practice assessments already.
Our district staff and administration are here to help your student succeed. As we prepare for this change in curriculum and now assessment, we will keep you informed along the way. Should you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to call your teacher or administration. We are here to help you.
Enjoy your winter! Spring will come soon!
Dr. Diane Cepela