District 211 Academic Goals (Part 2)

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As District 211 looks to strengthen its District-wide curriculum, there has been a slight shift in the focus of academic goals for the next two years. The Board of Education approved those goals for the 2012-2014 academic years at its July 12 meeting.

The first goal is that students will demonstrate academic growth in high school. Instead of the District focusing solely on higher enrollment in more rigorous classes, teachers are looking at overall growth based on the individual student.

“What we want as far as growth is to have students try to progress to the next difficulty level of coursework,” said Samantha Dolen, assistant superintendent for student services. “Before growth was based on test scores across the board, but we’re looking at growth from a starting point of the individual student, whether or not they meet standards, master those standards and skills, and are ready for college when they earn their diploma.”

The next goal, which builds on academic growth, consists of students demonstrating attainment of knowledge and skills defined within local, state, and national high school standards. Proficiency will be assessed, standards will be monitored, and students should demonstrate attainment and retention of the critical learning standards and materials in each course in which they are enrolled.

Another academic goal focuses on graduating high school on time. Regardless of income-level, race, or educational background, students should meet requirements to earn a District 211 diploma within four years. This is based off state standards that high schools should have 90 percent of its students graduate in four years, and 95 percent in five years.  Historically, District 211’s four-year graduation rate has been above 93 percent.

The last goal is that students will demonstrate college and career readiness while in high school. Whether that is moving toward a four-year degree or enrolling in a technical program or trade school the District will measure career readiness by enrollment and completion rates for dual-credit courses. If students can earn college credit for completing dual-credit courses, it will provide an opportunity to master skills at a college level before high school graduation. The District will also look at whether students meet or exceed college-readiness benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading, and science as measured by the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT assessments.

For more information on the 2012-2014 academic goals, please visit board docs here.