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2016 Highlights

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Board Highlights

Previous versions can be found on the Board Audio/ Highlights/Minutes page for 2011 and 2010

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...from the July 19, 2016 Board of Education Meeting
 

REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS

Student Achievement Objectives

Superintendent Dr. Dave Moyer presented details of the two Student Achievement Objectives of Balanced Assessment and Increased Student Engagement.

Develop a Balanced Assessment System and Improve Assessment Literacy throughout the District

Action steps include:

  1. Refine and develop common summative assessments in all grade levels and content areas to ensure standards alignment and support teacher ability to utilize data to improve learning outcomes
  2. Increase the capacity of teachers to formatively assess student mastery of designated learning targets
  3. Increase the capacity of teachers to utilize data to personalize instruction
  4. Establish Grading Task Force

Increase Student Engagement in All Grades EC-12
 

Action steps include:

  1. Implement Year Two of Mobile Learning Implementation (MLI), utilizing Chromebooks in grades 4-12
  2. Build capacity around the Danielson Frameworks related to 3c: Engaging Students in Learning and “Level 4” Instruction
  3. Implement the workshop model of literacy with the new English Language Arts units of instruction
  4. Initiate and complete the Math Curriculum Design Team process
  5. Study and pilot instructional systems that promote student engagement to include, but not limited to, Quantum and Kagan.

District Performance Indicators
 

Charles Sprandel, Director of Research and Assessment, reported the following changes to the District’s assessment system:

  • Reduced universal use of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing in the spring
  • No longer utilizing EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT series
  • Starting in the 2016-17 school year, the SAT series will be administered in the fall to students in grades 8-11

Ways in which District 205 is improving measures include:

  • Using cohort measures where possible
  • Altered English Language Learner (ELL) measures to better monitor progress and program quality (percentage of students growing at the 60th percentile or higher)
  • Other measures created or altered to more accurately reflect the spirit of the indicator

Mr. Sprandel reported that the Class of 2017 will be the last to take the ACT. Due to the State’s new contract with SAT, this year’s juniors and all subsequent classes will move to taking the SAT. Achievement gaps will continue to be monitored using fall MAP scores and the SAT. This change to SAT will cause a gap in District growth data at the high school level, due to the lack of longitudinal data. (For further information, on the SAT Suite of Assessments, as presented by the College Board, click here.)
 

A new measure will be introduced to include students that take Advanced College Project (ACP) courses as well as other courses that lead to post-secondary certifications. Another new measure will be introduced to monitor the percent of former ELL students who meet the District’s college and career readiness trajectory.
 

“Our internal Advanced Placement Participation measure will remain unchanged. We will no longer use the Fine Arts Participation and New Century Participation measures, but will continue to report other state-required measures (graduation rate, PARCC and the Illinois Science Assessment),” noted Mr. Sprandel.
 

“We will continue to monitor growth at the elementary and middle schools using NWEA MAP with the following changes: 1) use fall-to-fall growth and 2) use average change in RIT score. Our internal College and Career Readiness measure will be adapted to show cohort growth. It should be re-normed in 18-19 to reflect new PSAT data,” he said.
 

Most District Performance Indicators (DPIs) will be reported at the October Board meeting, along with the presentation of the 2015-16 State school report cards.
 

Model Schools Conference Principals’ Report
 

Dr. Moyer and Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Dr. Kathleen Kosteck, along with seven principals representing all three levels (elementary, middle and high school), recently attended the 24th annual Model Schools Conference, held June 26-29 in Orlando, Florida. This team of District 205 educators was invigorated by the focus on “creating cultures of innovation,” led by Dr. Bill Daggett, Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education.
 

Dr. Moyer noted that Daggett is most noted for his “rigor and relevance” framework, which has a focus on both college and career readiness. “What is very encouraging and exciting is the coming together of people developing a common vocabulary, a common approach, a deeper understanding, so that we’re on the cusp of actually bringing these things to life.”
 

Dr. Kosteck said, “I want to recognize the power of a large group of our leaders sitting down, sharing and focusing on leadership and the role that we play in student achievement. All of the conversations that occur between sessions were awesome and invigorating as professionals. The timing was perfect. The information presented was so intense and broad that you need a large group to divide and conquer (the offerings) and then come back and process ‘What did you see?’ and ‘What did you learn?’ This pulled together a lot of the concepts that our principals have been laying the groundwork for in their role as instructional leaders.”
 

The principals in attendance at the Model Schools Conference also reported on their experiences. One common theme among them was their gratitude for having the time to experience rich conversations together on these important topics, which will jump start the learning in Elmhurst District 205.
 

According to Nikki Tammaru, an overarching theme espoused by Dr. Daggett in both the opening keynote and closing session of the conference was: Our conversations need to be about the students, not the adults. This is something Dr. Moyer has echoed as well. “From day one last August, when Dr. Moyer first stood in front of us, it was about developing a balanced assessment system and student engagement. That has not changed over the last year,” she noted.
 

“From my perspective, we have never been more focused in District 205,” said Mrs. Tammaru, who has been the principal of Hawthorne for five years. “I feel like we are headed in a really good direction. The Model Schools Conference was a great opportunity, and I would like to thank you so very much. I can’t wait for August to come; I’m very excited to get started with what we are bringing back to our teams.”
 

Edison Principal Jim Pluskota discussed the concepts of rigor, relevance and relationships, which were presented as the framework of the conference. “Relationships are so important, just as important as giving the students good instruction. The late Rita Pierson has a TED Talk, called Every Kid Needs A Champion, in which she says ‘Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’ That’ really powerful.”
 

Fischer Principal Jane Bailey noted that “The traditional model of education doesn’t really teach kids to think; it teaches kids to know - they know the right answer. We want kids to think and ponder deeply what they’re doing. We might look at the performance indicators right now and ask ‘Why are we changing things?’ Well, we’re going to be changing instruction, although not radically, because we have students who have a sense that they can’t, that they don’t know. Our job is to instill that they can and find ways to make it happen. To do that, we’re going to change the way we’re thinking for future focus learning.”
 

The three middle school principals, along with York High School’s Erin DeLuga, attended pre-conference sessions.
 

Sandburg Principal Linda Fehrenbacher reported on a session led by Dr. Daggett called Leading the Culture That Defines Rigorous Learning. “He challenged us to build a culture that defines leadership, sets vision and gives purpose. And he gave us the ‘what,’ ‘why’ and ‘how’ to do that. One of my big takeaways is summarized by four words: The Power of One - one person, one issue, one student at a time. I heard it at various sessions, and it’s going to be my theme and mantra this year. I came back really rejuvenated and excited, so I’m looking forward to the new school year too.”
 

A takeaway for Bryan Principal Jacquie Discipio was the idea to add “choice and voice” to her school’s staff development throughout the year. She attended sessions where other administrators explained the benefits of “loosening the reigns” to get teachers more involved in planning their own professional learning. “Most importantly, I was able to connect, listen and learn from my amazing District 205 colleagues,” she said.
 

Principal DeLuga said, “It was an incredible experience, not only because of the things we were able to take in during the conference, but because of what we’ll be able to take back to our students. The resounding theme was: What is best for kids? What is our moral imperative?
 

“José Ortiz hosted a session on English Language Learners (ELL) that I attended. He really focused on college, career and life readiness for all, and that’s something that I’m very passionate about as a leader and educator. He said, ‘The deep-rooted idea of these kids and those kids needs to be eradicated and replaced with our students - system wide.’ The emphasis of the conference was on each student learning and growing where he or she thrives. Growth mindset is an extraordinarily powerful tool for all educators to embrace. It requires components that are critical, intentional, explicit and revisited over and over again.”
 

So how will these ideas be operationalized? There are three things the group came up with based on their collaboration together.

  1. Strong and explicit articulation from kindergarten through high school on the teaching and administrative levels, really maximizing the potential of the unit district.
  2. Building servant leadership – leadership is not a position; it is a disposition for taking action.
  3. Professional Learning Communities – truly well defined, explicitly aligned PLCs not only empower teachers to lead, they model for students what true leadership looks like.

Dr. Moyer thanked the principals for their report. “It was a great, great shared experience,” he concluded.
 

SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA – CONSENT ITEMS
 

The Board approved the following items in a vote of 7-0:

  • Personnel Report
  • Financial Reports
  • Bid #16-09 - Wheelchair Passenger Van Full Size - $43,419 for Transition Center
  • Reclassification of Athletic Director Position
  • Sale or Disposal of Surplus District Materials
  • Recycle or Remarket Surplus Technology Equipment
  • Recommendation for Hazardous Crossing

Due to a reclassification of the York Athletic Director position by the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) to the Illinois Municipal Retirement System (IMRF), District 205 was obligated to change the title of Athletic Director to Assistant Principal of Athletics to reflect the need for a licensed administrator to fill the position. This will allow the position to become TRS creditable beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.
 

Regarding the identification of York and St. Charles as a hazardous crossing, the Board of Education approved the recommendation that a combination hazard exists along St. Charles Road and, in doing so, approved the establishment of an additional bus route.
 

SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA – ACTION ITEMS
 

The Board approved the following items, one at a time, in votes of 7-0:

  • Student Achievement Objectives - see previous details
  • Eureka Math Pilot - piloted by 52 teachers at the K-5 level at a cost of $76,000
  • Donation (Hawthorne) - a Buddy Bench, in the amount of $633.83, from the Jeff Fischer family

Emily Bastedo thanked the Fischer family, who have children at Hawthorne Elementary School, for their gift to the District (in accordance with Policy #8:80).

For the 2015-16 school year, the Board of Education approved student achievement objectives focusing on balanced assessment and student engagement.  These objectives provided focus for the district by guiding the development of school improvement plans, resource allocation, and professional development decisions.  The 2016-17 student achievement objectives are an extension of the District's work in the areas of balanced assessment and student engagement.

 

District 205 is committed to preparing all students for college, career and life. Furthermore, it is committed to raising the bar and closing the achievement gap for all students. The New Illinois Learning Standards and the demand for future ready learning have raised expectations for all students. Teachers are now asked to focus on fewer topics, go into greater depth and to apply them to real-world contexts.

The District has used Everyday Math for nearly 20 years, and the resource has served our students well. However, contemporary expectations have necessitated a review of the District’s math curriculum and the resources to support it. Teams of teachers representing each grade level have reviewed many resources side by side using the EQuIP Rubric and Edreports.org. At the K-5 level, teacher teams overwhelmingly agreed that Eureka Math would best support teachers and students in Elmhurst in the pursuit of math excellence.

Teacher teams are extremely excited about this new resource, and the majority of the teachers on the Curriculum Development Teams (CDT) have volunteered to pilot this year, in addition to implementing the new English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum. Teacher feedback from the ELA CDT process indicated a desire for teachers to have a more extensive pilot prior to a major curriculum adoption. At the K-5 level, teams meet weekly in their grade-level professional learning communities to collaborate on improving instruction. It is most effective for full teams to pilot Eureka Math, so they can collaborate and support one another. The District has identified multiple teams at each grade level representing all elementary schools to pilot Eureka Math.

The purpose of the pilot is to collect feedback to better anticipate what supports teachers will need during full implementation in 2017-2018 school year. Currently, the plan is for 52 teachers to be involved in the pilot. A large-scale pilot is important. There is much variation in the District with respect to student learning needs, teacher experience and school factors. Casting a wide net in the pilot will provide the necessary feedback to best identify and anticipate problems and pitfalls, while also generating potential solutions.

Each teacher participating in the pilot will receive the teacher guide ($150) for their grade level, all of the required hands-on manipulatives ($200-400) that they don’t currently have access to, student workbooks ($700-$1,400) for each student, professional learning to jump start the pilot ($200), and access to on-demand professional learning during the school year ($190). The student workbook costs for Eureka are similar to the current expenditure for Everyday Math workbooks. In total, the pilot would cost the District $76,000. This is money that would be spent later in this fiscal year when the new math curriculum is adopted for 2017-2018 district-wide. The District will display materials in the spring as required. Purchasing some of the materials for the pilot now will allow the Math CDT team and the Learning and Teaching Department the ability to collect feedback to ensure effective implementation for 2017-2018.

 

ACTION COMING OUT OF CLOSED SESSION
 

The Board approved the appointment of Ms. Mary Baum as the new Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Teaching at a salary of $143,070. It also approved 2016-17 salaries for the District Office non-union support staff and for District 205 Food Service employees at a total dollar amount of $63,137.75.
 

Additionally, based on the Board’s evaluation of Superintendent Dr. David Moyer, and on provisions of the Superintendent’s existing contract, the Board unanimously approved a .8% increase for him for the 2016-17 school year, for a total base salary of $217, 728.
 

SUPERINTENDENT’S COMMUNICATION
 

Dr. Moyer reported that two FOIA requests were received:

  • One requesting information regarding school lock downs, which was denied.
  • One requesting specific invoices, which was granted.

In addition the Superintendent discussed:

  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Designations - all K-8 schools in the District earned a high distinction status (Gold or Silver Level) for their school-wide PBIS implementation. Schools are at various implementation stages, all sharing in the success of the PBIS systems, which are positively impacting the school communities. 
  • State Education Budget - the result is a net increase of $231,000 in General State Aid to D205.
  • High School Testing Requirements - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) testing is no longer required for Illinois high school students.
  • Instructional Coach Update - Instructional Coaches (ICs) at the elementary level were all hired from within District 205 (Field and Edison positions are still unfilled). Churchville has hired an IC, but Bryan and Sandburg positions are currently still open. Two teachers will split the position at York High School and carry a half-time teaching load. OnAugust 9 and 10, the new ICs will be trained by Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Teaching, Mary Baum, who is experienced in this area.

BOARD COMMUNICATIONS
 

John McDonough and Dr. Moyer attended the recent City of Elmhurst Joint Review Board meeting, concerning the establishment of a new Tax Increment Financing district, to be known as TIF 5. In a non-binding vote, they indicated that, yes, the District is agreeable to this, trusting that the City will fairly address the impact this new TIF will have on the Elmhurst schools.
 

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND IMPORTANT EVENTS
 

August 3 – Special Board of Education Meeting – 6:00 PM – District 205 Center
August 9 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center
August 15 - First Day of School for York Community High School students
August 18 - First Day of School for D205 Elementary/Middle School students
August 23 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center

 

NOTE: Video footage of all Board of Education regular meetings is usually posted on 205TV within 48 hours. Audio is usually posted within 24 hours at www.elmhurst205.org/Audio (please click on appropriate meeting date). Specifics related to each meeting, including Board votes, may be accessed via BoardDocs at 
www.boarddocs.com/il/elmhurst/Board.nsf/Public.

 

NOTE: Video footage of all Board of Education regular meetings are posted on 205TV within 48 hours. Audio is posted within 24 hours at http://www.elmhurst205.org/Audio (please click on appropriate meeting date).