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Meeting roundup


Last updated 12/18/2019 at 6:24pm | View PDF

Community Consolidated Elementary District 181

Among other business Monday, board members:

• approved a 2019 property tax levy of $64.4 million. The amount represents a 2.98 percent increase over the 2018 tax extension, but the vote came with the understanding that the board will implement an abatement plan for up to $780,000 by the end of February to reduce the burden on taxpayers. The deadline for districts to file a 2019 tax levy is Dec. 31.

• heard a report on the piloting of the Actively Learn digital curriculum platform to support language arts programs at both district middle schools. The piloting began this month and will continue through May. According to Kathleen Robinson, assistant superintendent of learning, the resource features a large content library of pre-existing content, offers teachers the ability to upload their own content and use video content from YouTube and Google Drive with embedded questions, among other tools. Hinsdale High School District 86 has been using Actively Learn and District 86 teachers gave positive feedback about their experience to their District 181 counterparts. Administrators will give the board a report on the pilot in May, at which time a formal recommendation would be made. The district received a $4,180 Students First grant to cover the cost of the pilot.

• heard a recommendation for changes in advanced and accelerated math criteria, ELA/ACE criteria and the math trajectory to guide course placement decisions in grades three through eight for fall of 2020. The department of learning recommended the use of a standard age score (SAS) instead of a stanine for CogAT to be precise in identification. CogAT stanines span multiple percentile bands, while using the SAS enhances consistency with placement by allowing students at the 80th percentile and above a chance for placement in advanced and accelerated courses, according to the department’s memo to the board. The SAS levels would be 114+ for placement into advanced and 128+ for accelerated in the two placement years, entering grades three and six.

The department also will continue to use MAP RIT scores as a criterion, with placement guided by MAP RIT scores from the fall or winter and spring testing sessions. In addition, an optional summer Bridge A math course will be created for students moving from second grade on level to third grade accelerated. In the summer for sixth through eighth grades, Bridge 5 will be renamed 5A for sixth advanced math, and optional Bridge 5B will be created for sixth accelerated. Students who have completed algebra 1 honors in sixth grade with an A average and who have completed geometry honors in seventh grade with an A average will be placed in algebra 2/trig. An average below A in either course will constitute placement in integrated algebra/geometry honors.

• heard a presentation by the five District 181 staff members who traveled to South Africa over the summer as part of the LEAP partnership. The participants gained insight into how educators at the LEAP schools structure their SELAS efforts in some of the world’s most challenging circumstances, visiting multiple school districts in the area. LEAP teachers then visited the district in September to observe various classrooms and work with teachers from Clarendon Hills Middle School and Hinsdale Middle School. The experience was made possible through a partnership with the District 181 Foundation and Casten Foundation, and all travel expenses were covered by the Casten Foundation.


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