As parents, we strive to provide endless opportunities for our kids. We want our children to grow up happy, to find their passion, and be purposeful in their pursuit of success. In District 115, our strategic plan provides a blueprint for student success with these opportunities in mind. The Teaching and Learning Department’s focus is to find innovative ways to support our school community by challenging our students to be creative, independent, and collaborative. Please read the articles below for this important information, and reach out to me with any questions at 630-553-4382 or nbaughman@y115.org .


Sincerely,
Dr. Nick Baughman
Associate Superintendent for Learning & Instruction
Illinois School Report Card
This month, the State of Illinois will release a revised version of the school report card. This public document will evaluate school districts in various areas including academic performance, district financial conditions, and student attendance information. Each school will also be designated as one of four summative tiers. The tiers indicate how well the school is meeting the needs of students based on the state's criteria.

Tier 1: Exemplary School
  • Academic performance is in the top 10% of districts
  • High schools have a graduation rate higher than 67%
  • No subgroup performs below the overall score of a district in the bottom 5%

Tier 2: Commendable School
  • Academic performance is not in the top 10% of districts
  • High schools have a graduation rate higher than 67%
  • No subgroup performs below the overall score of a district in the bottom 5%

Tier 3: Under Performing School
  • One or more subgroups perform below the overall score of a district in the bottom 5%

Tier 4: Lowest Performing School
  • In the lowest performing 5% of Title I eligible schools in Illinois
  • High schools have a graduation rate at or below 67%

This year, preschool through eighth-grade school designations are based on student English language arts proficiency, mathematics proficiency, academic growth, and English Learner progress. High school designations are based on English language arts proficiency, mathematics proficiency, graduation rate, and English Learner progress. For more information on the Illinois School Report Card please visit www.isbe.net/support.
Gifted & Talented Education
The goal of the Teaching and Learning Department is to match instruction to a student's capabilities. Through a variety of assessments, teachers can identify students who are ready to learn at an accelerated rate. How the curriculum is accelerated varies by grade level, with the most common strategies listed below:
 
  • Kindergarten - Grade 2: The most common method for reaching and teaching high-ability students in the primary grades is to group students within a class or a grade level and provide materials and resources that match their instructional level. It is most commonly done for math or reading.

  • Grades 3 - 6: Beginning in third grade, students identified as gifted/talented are placed into Gifted Cluster Classrooms. These students benefit from interactions with similar peers, so cluster grouping supports both their social emotional needs as well as their instructional demands. Gifted Cluster Classroom teachers are trained how to best teach high-ability students through continuous coaching by members of the Gifted/Talented Resource Department.

  • Grades 7 - 12: Students in middle school are offered advanced courses, while students in high school have access to honors courses and 20 Advanced Placement courses.

For more information, visit District 115's Gifted and Talented web page at https://www.y115.org/gifted-talented.
Flipped Classrooms
What is a flipped classroom ? A flipped classroom is one in which the teaching and learning takes place outside of the physical classroom space.

In a traditional classroom, students spend their class time listening to lectures and learning concepts. Some in-class time may be used for discussion and practice, but it may be limited. In a flipped classroom, lectures and new learning happens outside of class time. By using video and interactive technology, students can watch lectures on their Chromebooks or smartphones with the ability to pause and rewind the lecture, and interact with their peers. In-class time is then used to expand upon what was learned -- to apply skills, complete projects, deepen understanding, and work with teachers one-on-one.