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Superintendent's Corner

Dr. Shelly Davis-Jones

November 08, 2018


October 2018


Friday, November 2, 2018

October 31, 2018

Dr. Denita Scott

Berger Vandenberg, Caroline Sibley and STEM Academy identified for greater funding and supports.

School designations create opportunity to build on strengths and close gaps in service to students.

Calumet City Illinois – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released designations for every school in the state. The designations provide a public benchmark of each school’s progress toward the goal of preparing all students for success in college and career. Schools identified as Lowest-Performing or Underperforming will receive additional federal funding and participate in the collaborative, school-led IL-EMPOWER improvement process.

Berger Vandenberg, Caroline Sibley and STEM Academy have a designation of Underperforming. The state’s new support and accountability system evaluates schools based on a fuller picture of school quality, including the performance of individual student groups and measures beyond test scores. Like the state’s new Evidence-Based Funding formula, the support and accountability system drives resources to improve student outcomes to the schools in the greatest need of increased support.

At Berger Vandenberg School we pride ourselves in educating the whole child by meeting both the academic and social needs of our students.  The teaching staff is providing interventions daily in both reading and mathematics to the students with the greatest need.  We have already seen an increase in the confidence levels of our students who are receiving these interventions.

Berger Vandenberg’s data show that our students’ mean growth percentile in English Language Arts is just below the state average and exceeds the state average in mathematics.  The state has identified one student group that needs additional targeted support. We are committed to helping Berger Vandenberg become an exemplary school.

Gabrielle Herndon, Berger Vandenberg Elementary, Principal

Caroline Sibley School continues to work diligently to close the achievement gaps. We have identified the student groups that need additional targeted support and are implementing interventions to better support our students. In an effort to focus on providing these additional supports, we are looking to provide academic coaching in all classrooms.

Over 99.7% of our students participate in PARCC testing. We have analyzed the results to identify the individual levels of each student. We are using this data to help our students move from their current level of performance to their next level. It is our goal to become a Commendable or Exemplary School by next school year.

Carolyn Franklin, Caroline Sibley Elementary, Principal

We are working diligently at the STEM Academy to support all the students who identified in a targeted student group. I want to commend teachers and staff on being steadfast in their teaching and addressing the needs of all of our scholars. Our purpose at the STEM Academy is to educate and reach all learners. We are committed to educating the whole child one-step at a time.   We are committed to the process of promoting success for all students with the support of the board of education, parents, and community stakeholders.

The STEM Academy will continue to teach and improve student growth in ELA and math as the State has identified one student group that needs intensive targeted support. We will continue to monitor and implement strategies to attain growth in all student groups and to become an exemplary school. 

Dr. Nicole Robinson, STEM Academy, Principal

Underperforming schools have a powerful opportunity to participate in the school-led IL-EMPOWER improvement process. IL-EMPOWER provides schools with choice and voice in how to improve. IL-EMPOWER begins with a collaborative local needs assessment utilizing the IL Quality Framework and its Supporting Rubric. The process includes additional federal funding, ISBE school support managers, and the school’s choice of professional learning partners to work with on local improvement needs. IL-EMPOWER also offers opportunities to learn from other schools and districts.

Dolton School District 149 embraces this opportunity to receive supportive assistance from the Illinois State Board of Education by establishing partnerships with academic companies through IL-EMPOWER.  We are very transparent with our community and are committed to working with all schools especially the three schools designated for targeted support. We know our targeted student groups for all three schools and we are ready to begin the planning and the actions of our work plans.

The IL-EMPOWER process and additional federal funding will maximize new opportunities to support students and build on existing strengths.

  • Increase proficiency in ELA and math on State Assessments using Common Core Standards
  • Provide instructional coaches in the classrooms of the targeted student groups in ELA
  • Create individual student performance goals and track student growth
  • Provide enhanced professional development for teachers and support staff
  • Continue to engage with our parents, partners and community stakeholders

Dolton School District 149 is committed to keeping the Calumet City and Dolton communities engaged in the continuous improvement process through opportunities to give input and get involved.

Learn more about the school designations at https://www.isbe.net/support and about Berger Vandenberg, Caroline Sibley and STEM Academy current performance at www.illinoisreportcard.com.

Dr. Shelly Davis-Jones


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