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Schools rated as "commendable" and growth deemed exemplary
Schools rated as "commendable" and growth deemed exemplary
Faith Behr
Thursday, November 29, 2018

The state of Illinois gives every school a rating using the new ESSA (Every Child Succeeds Act) formula. Based on 20171-8 results, all three schools in Salt Creek District 48 were rated as “commendable.” The ratings are based on test scores, attendance, achievement growth and other variables and are published as part of the Illinois School Report Card. Unlike prior Illinois School Report Cards, ESSA provides a fuller picture of schools. Using a complex formula each school receives a label of either “exemplary,” “commendable,” “underperforming,” or “lowest performing.” “We long fought to include the growth piece in the calculations,” said Superintendent Dr. John Correll. “We are proud of the commendable rating but are certainly working toward the “exemplary” level.

Some other data and notes from the Report Card:

  • 45 percent of students met or exceeded standards on the English Language Arts portion of the PARCC exam and another 24 percent approached standards,
  • In math, 36 percent of students met or exceeded standards and another 29 percent approached standards.
  • Principals noted that the results were commendable but that student growth over time was exemplary,
  • Student attendance is now a factor in the designation and all school administrators are stressing the importance of student attendance to families,
  • Students in the English Language Learners (ELL) program are performing higher than the state average. Over time, as they get older, students graduate from the District 48 program,
  • Absenteeism is an issue in the lower grades and administrators are working with families to address it and promote the value of attendance. (Salt Creek Primary recorded 18 percent chronic absenteeism, Swartz School 19 percent and Albright three percent),
  • The District has a 149 percent capacity to meet its funding expectations, a commendable statistic and much higher than many schools,
  • Of the 34 teachers in the District, 84 percent have a Master’s Degree or higher.
  • 100 percent of teachers are rated “proficient” or “excellent.”

Albright Principal Scott Jackson said Albright Middle School School is exploring ways to increase math teaching time and is also considering incorporating ELA standards into the social studies and science curriculum. “It is not a mystery why students do better at ELA than math – students have a double block of ELA,” he said.

Of the overall report, Superintendent Dr. John Correll said, “We are committed to the growth we’ve experienced in achievement and are confident that we can continue to show progress.”