SHILOH – At Monday’s Shiloh District 85 meeting, Superintendent Dale Sauer presented the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which has replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in the state of Illinois.
Sauer said that ESSA is a “new system of accountability” and was formed in 2015 but it has taken over two years to manifest in Illinois schools’.
According to Sauer, the idea behind ESSA is to focus on the whole education of a child and less about just one test score.
Whereas NCLB was performance driven and consisted of a single test score, ESSA consists of different categories – of which 75 percent pertains to academic indicators. 50 percent of the overall score would pertain to student growth – which compares an individual student’s PARCC testing in respective years and would also compare to other students scores in Illinois schools’.
Twenty-five percent of the overall score is “different student success and school quality indicators” and has nothing to do with testing. Within the 25 percent, chronic absenteeism is a factor, as are school climate surveys.
“We have always focused on performance and test scores,” Sauer said. “Arguably, this is a better system, but we will have to get acquainted with it and understand it better.”
Goals of the new system are that by 2032, the state of Illinois would like to see 90 percent or more of third graders to be at reading level or above, 90 percent of fifth grade students to meet or exceed expectations in math, 90 percent of 9th grade students on track to graduate and 90 percent of high schoolers to be prepared for college or a career.
Sauer said that there are expanded “subgroups” within ESSA – of which Shiloh has four subgroups: Caucasian, African American, Economic Disadvantaged and IEP students. A subgroup must consist of at least 40 students.
Sauer said that beginning next year, school districts will be assigned an A through F designation on Illinois school report cards. There are also district designation rankings such as “exemplary,” “commendable,” “under performing” and “lowest performing” which Shiloh District 85 will receive on Oct. 30.
“Theoretically, everybody could be an exemplary or commendable school,” Sauer said. “By math, that cant be.”
To be an exemplary school would mean that a district cannot have any underperforming subgroups and also must be in the top ten percent of performing school’s in the state.
Sauer expressed uncertainty of Shiloh existing in the top five to 10 percent of school’s because of other competitive Illinois “magnet” schools.
“I would think the top five percent is already eaten up. Its really can we squeeze into that next five percent,” he said. “We’ll do some analysis and see where we are at.”
In other action, SES principal Tiana Montgomery said elementary students are exhibiting “great behavior” this school year.
“I’m truly impressed and proud of my students here at Shiloh Elementary – we have had several student expressing great character each and every day by being responsible, respectful and kind,” Montgomery said.
SMS principal Darin Loepker said that the character word of the month is “responsibility” for October and will be “fairness” for November.
Loepker said that parent- teacher conferences are Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Thursday, Oct. 25.
“These are wonderful avenues for our staff to get together with parents. It’s not only important to be able to share stories of kids that are struggling and may not be able to make the grades like other kids – it’s also nice to meet with parents to share successes as well.”
“Its one of my favorite times because we get the parent in and get to see smiles and share things with parents that they wouldn’t get to hear on a day to day basis,” Loepker said.
Loepker said that Shiloh winter sports season – which consist of girls and boys basketball and cheerleading, began Monday evening, Oct. 15.
On Oct. 22 through Oct. 25 there will be a public book fair at the middle school which will coincide with parent- teacher conference hours.