Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! As we begin to adjust to new schedules, classes, teachers, and schools, we want to highlight three significant changes that will affect students and parents this coming year. Please read the briefs below for this important information.

Dr. Timothy Shimp
Superintendent of Schools
1. Yorkville CUSD 115 Mobile App
This month the district officially launched the Yorkville CUSD 115 mobile app. The app can be downloaded through the iPhone App Store or Google Play. App features include access to staff contact information, school and district social media feeds and calendars, transportation links, food menus, and a “Y Not Say Something” section to share a comment, compliment, concern, question, or suggestion with the school/district (do not click “anonymous” if you would like a response). District parents will receive an email later this month with a password that will enable them to access their child(ren)’s specific school information through the app, such as grades, classes, bus schedules, and cafeteria fee balances.
2. Hard Lockdown Emergency Procedures
With the Board of Education’s approval of the “Run-Hide-Fight” safety protocol last spring, new procedures have been added to this year’s lockdown drills. First, the district has replaced the former “code red” warning with a “hard lockdown” announcement. Using common language will ensure all students, staff, and first responders are aware of the situation. Secondly, the “hard lockdown” procedure will offer additional options besides the traditional “hide” protocol in case a violent intruder gains access to a school building. Dependent upon the age and abilities of the students, as well as how and where the specific emergency situation unfolds, running away from the school, or as a last resort, fighting the attacker, will also be possible options. Additional information will be provided to parents throughout the school year.    

3. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the current federal legislation that governs elementary and secondary education. Each state is required to create an ESSA plan to oversee the education of its students, and determine how the federal funds will be used to improve education. Illinois ESSA aims to meet four academic goals within 15 years: 1) 90% of third-grade students read at or above grade level; 2) 90% of fifth-grade students meet expectations in math; 3) 90% of ninth-grade students are on track to graduate with their grade-level classmates; and 4) 90% of graduates are ready for college or a career.

What does this mean for Yorkville CUSD 115?

Part of the plan will grade each school and district on its overall performance according to one of four “tiers,” either exemplary (Tier 1), commendable (Tier 2), underperforming (Tier 3), or lowest-performing (Tier 4). Annually, starting this fall, these designations will be reported on the Illinois School Report Card. Throughout this school year, the district will continue to communicate with parents about its goals and progress towards complying with the new Illinois ESSA expectations.