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D-427 official discusses district’s goals for future

SYCAMORE – Kristine Webster laid out some of the Every Student Succeeds Act goals for Sycamore School District 427 on Tuesday night at its November board meeting.

Webster, director of learning and teaching for the district, presented the 15-year goals for the Illinois plan with ESSA that starts from the 2018-19 school year. The goals are for 2032.

By 2032, 90% of all third grade students would read at or above grade level, 90% of all fifth grade students would meet or exceed in math, 90% or more of ninth grade students would be on track to graduate, and 90% or more of students would graduate from high school and would be both college and career ready.

“I will be very interested to see the goals in 2032,” Webster said.

Webster was happy to share with the board that the ESSA scores, which provide grades for schools in the district for their overall performances, were all “commendable.”

“It’s a celebration,” she said.

The different tiers can range from “exemplary” – the highest grade a school can receive – to “lowest performing.”

Webster also gave the current measures of academic progress MAP test averages and a three-year goal for each of the seven measures.

She said the current district percentile average in math is 57%, according to the MAP benchmark data. By spring 2022, the district aims for the average percentile for math to be at 69% – which would mean a 4% yearly improvement over the next three years.

The second goal has to do with reading. The current district percentile average is 60%. The spring 2022 goal is 69%, which would mean a 3% yearly growth in reading that the MAP assessment data dictates.

The SAT is another measure. About 49% of Sycamore High School juniors score at or above 540 on the SAT in English and language arts, according to the SAT and Illinois State Board of Education benchmarking report. The spring 2022 goal is to have 55% of Sycamore High School juniors scoring at or above 540 on the SAT, which requires a 2% yearly growth.

As of now, 46% of Sycamore High School juniors score at or above 540 on the math portion of the SAT. The goal by spring 2022 is to bump that up to 52% who score at or above 540 in math on the SAT, which requires a 2% yearly growth.

Another goal is to have more communication between Webster and each of the school principals in order to review student progress at each building, starting with the 2019-20 school year. Webster is to meet individually to identify positive areas and areas in need of improvement in regard to student growth and achievement.

Webster said in regard to the district’s performance that it needs to keep moving forward. She said it’s not her intention to “sugarcoat” anything.

“We’re not always going to hit the mark,” Webster said.

She said she’s set aggressive goals.

“I have every, every intention of meeting those goals, and I have no doubt that we can,” Webster said. She said she’ll have to be accountable if the goals aren’t met and provide solutions for how to meet the goals.

“We have to be willing to have those conversations, and we have to be willing to support those conversations,” Webster said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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