“Chronic absenteeism” of students is a concern in Illinois schools, and Will County is no exception.
To address the concern, Shawn Walsh, regional superintendent for the Will County Regional Office of Education, said the regional office has hired additional truancy officers. These officers visit school districts and work on ways to reintegrate chronically absent students into the system, Walsh said.
Chronic absenteeism differs from chronic school absenteeism, Walsh said. Chronic truancy is when a student misses 5% of school days without a legitimate reason. Chronic absenteeism is missing at 10%, even if the reason is legitimate, Walsh said.
Addressing the problem is multi-faceted, as the reasons for missing school are “as vast as the ocean”, Walsh said. But missing school for legitimate reasons is still a concern.
“If you’re not in school, you’re not learning,” Walsh said.
Walsh said he was pleased that 16 schools in Will County received exemplary status.
According to a Plainfield School District 202 press release, schools are assigned one of four designations based on their performance.
Designations are “exemplary” (10% of top performing schools), “comprehensive” (5% of worst performing schools), “targeted” (schools are overall above the bottom 5% but with “ one or more subgroups of students “”tied with the lowest 5% performer”) and “commendable” (all other schools), District 202 said.
Five of District 202’s 31 schools have achieved exemplary status and 24 have achieved commendable status, District 202 said.
Lincoln-Way School District 210
Renae C. Goldie, director of curriculum for Lincoln-Way School District 210, said all three high schools in District 210 had an exemplary rating. All three high schools also had SAT scores above the state average.
“We are extremely proud of our results,” Goldie said. “We think they are very representative of what we see from our students and staff every day.”
Goldie said she believes the COVID-19 pandemic has helped close District 210’s achievement gaps since “the pandemic has affected all children.”
District 210 filled the gap by making sure teachers knew how to work with these students through professional development activities, Goldie said.
The district also highlighted the availability of practice tests, letting students know “we think you should come.”
“And they did and took advantage of it,” Goldie said.
Joliet Public School District 86
Theresa Rouse, superintendent of Joliet Public Schools District 86, said none of the data took her by surprise because “we really know and study our data throughout the year,” Rouse said.
Most of the schools in District 86 earned a commendable rating. One earned a targeted grade and the Eisenhower Academy was deemed exemplary, according to the Illinois State Report Card.
But Rouse also said she’s glad the report card measures student growth as well as their skills, especially as students “come out of COVID.”
“The skill side is tough because we work every year to advance our students with their skills,” Rouse said. “We have challenges and we recognize the fact that we have a lot of room to grow.
Ankhe Bradley, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at District 86, said the district continues to invest in quality instructional materials so students have the optimal resources for continued growth and proficiency.
District 86 also has bilingual ELA and math coaches to help teachers ensure “students are growing every day,” Bradley said.
Rouse said District 86 has a strong English program for its bilingual students and District 86 can also offer English classes for students’ parents.
District 86 also addresses chronic absenteeism and other social-emotional needs through family support programs and emphasizes the message that students “should be in school every day.” days,” Rouse said.
“We’re already seeing some improvement in that regard,” Rouse said.
Valley View School District 365U
Rachel Kinder, superintendent of schools for Valley View School District 365U, said it’s impossible for school districts to “show or hide” the fact that students have been significantly affected, both academically and socially-emotionally. , over the past two years.
Kinder said the decline in math was not unexpected, especially since other school districts in Illinois also experienced declines, and because students lacked ‘solid instructional practices’ in classrooms. of class.
She said Valley View is filling math gaps with curriculum adjustments, summer programs and other supportive resources. The district is also working to reduce its percentage of chronic absenteeism, especially since the rate hit “an all-time high” last year, she said.
In addition to “keeping the lines of communication open with parents,” Valley View works to connect parents to a variety of resources and community partners – including mental and behavioral health services – to reduce absenteeism in students, Kinder said.
Kinder said students face many obstacles when transitioning into “normal school day instruction,” so Valley View provides “a lot of support.” Valley View’s “bright spot” is its ELA program, she said.
“Our children continue to grow at a faster rate than we’ve seen statewide,” Kinder said.
Lockport Township School District 205
Bob McBride, superintendent of Lockport Township High School District 205, was pleased with the district’s high marks in many areas: graduation rate (93%), freshmen on track to graduate (97%), students taking dual credit courses, and college enrollment and retention, he says.
But where District 205 is striving for improvement is in the area of reading science and social science student-related texts and drawing inferences and conclusions, which the district has learned from the analysis that ‘he gets the SAT,’ McBride said.
To improve these areas, students are encouraged, where possible, to take three years of science, one such course being chemistry, he said.
District 205 also added Math Plus and Science Plus programs. When a student struggles with a concept in math or science, they switch to that program while continuing to take their other classes, McBride said.
McBride encouraged people to check state school reports for themselves. He said state report cards provide credible information on a wide range of topics, including student growth, district spending and teacher retention.
“It’s a great site,” McBride said. “So use it. »
For more information, visit illinoisreportcard.com.