As I write this, most of our students have just taken the Illinois Student Achievement Test (ISAT), which measures academic progress, allows for comparisons among schools and districts and provides a snapshot of our progress.
This will be the last time Illinois students take the ISAT; next year they will take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career test (PARCC), which is aligned to the new Common Core standards; PARCC is also expected to be more rigorous and do a better job telling us how well children are learning. And because nineteen states belong to the PARCC consortium, we will be able to compare our schools with others beyond those in Illinois. The best news is that schools will get the PARCC results on a timely basis so that teachers will be able to use the data to target instruction and help students improve.
The district began aligning its curriculum to the new standards as soon as Illinois adopted them in 2010, and continues to focus on developing confident, resilient learners who are able to rise to the standards' more rigorous expectations. The Board of Education is also addressing the physical learning environment and recently approved adding roughly four classrooms at each elementary school over the next two years. These additions, which we are calling "Phase I," will give the elementary schools badly needed space; however, we will still have portables and other issues; these will be addressed as the BOE develops "Phase II" facility plans.
Finally, if you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to complete the District 41 Satisfaction Survey, which closes after today. The results will help the Board understand what is important to our parents, including viewpoints on our facilities and around the 21st century elementary initiatives of teacher specialization and multiage instruction. The higher the response rate, the more valid the results will be, so please make sure your voice is heard.
Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education