Volume 23, No.5 | Thursday, December 5, 2019
News from the November 26, 2019 meeting
Four Pillars Guide Music Education
Music education is based on the four pillars of creating, performing, responding and connecting. Music teachers Abby Blair (Westmoor), Kathryn Finch (Meadowbrook), Jeremy Bartunek (Greenbriar) and Anca Apetean (Northbrook Junior High) provided an overview of changes they have made to the music curriculum over the last two years to align with these four pillars and the Illinois Learning Standards for music education.

Elementary students in kindergarten through fifth grade have music for one hour twice a week. Students in sixth and seventh grade have music as part of a rotation of classes for six-week periods. Eighth-grade students have music as an elective.

Above: First-graders at Westmoor School rehearse for their first performance in the Winter Sing earlier this week.

Watch this video created by Music Teacher Abby Blair for an inside look at the elementary music classroom.
MAP Assessment Measures Growth, Norms
NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a standardized test that District 28 uses alongside other local assessments to provide teachers with immediate feedback on each student’s learning profile, as well as to provide a district-wide overview of student learning.

MAP math is administered to students in 2nd through 8th grades, and MAP reading is administered to students in 5th through 8th grades. MAP is given two to three times per year, which varies by grade. There are fall, winter and spring testing windows.

The assessment measures growth over time and is aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards but is not grade-level dependent. MAP also provides one of the data points used in considering students for advanced placement.

Dr. Kris Raitzer shared the scores for the Fall 2019 testing window at the Board of Education meeting Nov. 26.

MAP scores are averaged nationally into quintiles. The math scores by grade for fall 2019 show 42% to 54% of District 28 students scoring in the top 20%. At the same time, as few as 0.50% to 5% score in the lowest national quintile.

In reading, 36% to 44% of district students score in the top 20% nationally, and just 3% to 5% score in the bottom 20% nationally.

“We would love for every child to (score in the top two quintiles). I don’t think you can ever put a ceiling on that,” said Dr. Raitzer. See scoring details in the Board Report.
Academics, School Quality Factors
in School Report Card
The Illinois School Report is an annual report compiled by the Illinois State Board of Education for every school and district in the state.
Superintendent Dr. Larry Hewitt provided an overview of the state report cards to the Board of Education.

The report card includes multiple indicators that make up the school’s overall rating. Academic indicators account for 75%. Academic indicators include both student proficiency and academic growth. Student proficiency is measured through the state standardized assessments, which include the Illinois Assessment of Readiness for typically developing students, the ACCESS assessment for English Learners, and the Dynamic Learning Maps for students with cognitive disabilities.

District scores in English Language arts improved 6 points to 68 percent meeting/exceeding expectations. In math, the overall district score improved 4 points to 66 percent meeting/exceeding expectations. In science, the district score improved 8 points to 79 percent meeting/exceeding expectations.

School quality accounts for the remaining 25% of each school’s rating. Quality indicators include results from the Illinois 5Essentials Survey and the percentage of students identified as chronically absent. The state also included additional financial information this year, including per-pupil spending for each school.

All of the district’s schools received Exemplary or Commendable designations.

View the report cards here:
In Brief....
Substitute Teacher Pay Increases
In an effort to attract more substitute teachers, the district is increasing the daily rate of pay by $5.
Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato said raising the rate to $120 per day for a substitute, $125 per day for substitutes who work more than 10 days per school year, and to $127.82 for retired District 28 staff will make the district competitive with neighboring districts. The change is effective immediately.
 
Tentative Calendar for 2020-21 Aligns with Dist. 225
The proposed 2020-21 school calendar maintains the same teacher institute days, parent/teacher conferences, school improvement planning days, and state holidays as the current calendar.
 
Dr. Hewitt is also designating Casimir Pulaski day to be an attendance day if it is needed to make up an emergency weather day. The school year will start on the same day as the high school district, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 and will have a tentative ending date of June 1, 2021, assuming no emergency days are needed. The winter and spring breaks will align with District 225. Once the calendar is approved in December, all the specific dates will be released and sent to parents.

Bus Service Up For New Contract
District 28 participated in a Request for Bids for transportation services with neighboring districts on Nov. 21. Rather than requiring one bid for all of the districts, as had happened in the past, companies were allowed to present contracts for individual districts, with the hope of generating more bids for each of the school districts.

Jessica Donato, Chief School Business Official, said she received six letters of interest on the bid but only one complete bid proposal, which was from the existing provider, First Student. She noted the proposal was substantially higher than the rates the district is currently paying. She will be working through the proposal with First Student to identify additional savings and will be researching other options.
 
New Staff Join YE and Greenbriar
Jennifer Breuck is joining the Young Explorers Early Childhood program as a social worker, effective Dec. 9 as a long-term substitute.
 
Diane Anderson is joining the Greenbriar staff as a part-time English Learner teacher. She has spent most of her career serving as a reading specialist. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and a master’s degree in education from Concordia University. She received her English as a Second Language endorsement from National-Louis University.
 
Committee Helps Shape Parent Programing
The Communications Advisory Committee has met twice to provide input on existing communication and guide future parent programming and engagement. The committee’s membership is composed of parent volunteers in the workforce and at home, whose children attend each of the district’s four schools and represent all the grade levels.

After brainstorming last month, the committee prioritized topics of interest. A math parent forum is already being planned for December. The committee identified curriculum and academic pressure/anxiety as the categories with the highest interest for future programming. The committee will meet again in February while planning continues on programs and communications the committee identified.
Based on the parent survey and feedback from the committee, Communications Director Terry Ryan is also researching companies that design mobile apps to bring a mobile app to the district for parents.
Want to Know More?
Livestream/archive video
The Board of Education meetings are now live-steamed on the District 28's YouTube Channel.

Tune in at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 for the next board meeting, or view the archived streamed meetings on the You Tube Channel.
#28Empowers #Innovate28
District 28’s official hashtags! You can search the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to monitor posts from teachers, administrators and the district accounts. These hashtags help us tell the story of Teaching, Learning and Caring in District 28 and the innovative teaching and learning around Learning First.