Dear Parents,

On O ctober 31, the Illinois State Board of Education released the Illinois School Report Cards that rated school performance based on academic performance, academic growth, sub-group performance, graduation rate, and ninth-graders on track to graduate. The school designations include four ratings: Exemplary, Commendable, Under Performing, and Lowest Performing. All Yorkville schools earned a Commendable status on the 2018 Illinois School Report Card. 

As a school district, we are proud of our students’ accomplishments, the efforts of our faculty, and the support of our community. However, we believe our students are capable of achieving at even higher levels and will continue to provide more rigorous and personalized learning opportunities to help them maximize their growth and achievement. To learn more about the Illinois School Report Card click HERE

As the end of the first semester approaches, many of our students will participate in middle-of-the-year benchmark assessments or have a chance to retake summative assessments before the end-of-semester grades are calculated. These assessments are used to help us understand how students are demonstrating understanding of standards so far this year. Please take time to encourage your child to do their best these last few weeks before the semester break. Every day counts!

Have a wonderful holiday season! 

Dr. Nick Baughman
Associate Superintendent for Learning & Instruction
Improving Study Skills
With so many distractions and priorities in our students’ lives today, it can be tough to stay on track. Thankfully, there are many free resources to help students sharpen their study skills.

To support organization, Google Keep is a resource that allows students to easily save articles, images, and videos during the research or study process, while adding a quick note to remember the importance of the resource for later use.

Interested in helping students stay away from distractions on their Chromebook during homework time? StayFocusd is a Chrome extension that makes it easy to set temporary website blocks (social media, YouTube, etc.) during study time. 
Building Emotional Resilience
While study skills are incredibly valuable, even the most organized and focused students may stumble in the wake of social and emotional challenges.

Practicing mindfulness is one way to help students build their emotional resilience. A comfortable, private way for students to practice mindfulness is by adding mindfulness apps such as Aura or Stop, Breathe, Think to a cell phone or personal device. 
Job Market Trends
As the district's high school juniors and seniors begin looking at post-secondary plans, it is helpful to consider what skills are in demand in the job market and what the future holds for different career paths. 

The World Economic Forum places complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, and coordinating with others as the top five skills needed to thrive in the job markets of the future. Based on an article from CNBC (2018), many of the current top occupations in the U.S. are jobs that deal directly with working with people, technology, and data. The skills needed for these types of careers are ones that are cultivated and practiced in many courses offered at Yorkville High School including Child Development, Computer Graphics, Project Lead the Way, Dual Credit English 101, AP Statistics, and Bio-Med. 

When students choose to take advantage of these courses, as well as opportunities like the Field Experience program, they are building the necessary skills to be ready in college and beyond. According to an article published by Forbes (2018), learning how to learn, being able to analyze information, using strong communication skills, and having cultural awareness are some of the key skills students and adults entering the job force will need by 2020, and are all focus skills in many of the courses in high school. Supporting students as they develop the skills and knowledge for their future is at the heart of the district's Portrait of a Learner, and will continue to be an area of focus throughout the year.
Finding the "Right" Books