Gower District 62 meets AYP targets
Updated: December 5, 2011 1:16AM
Illinois School Report Cards won’t be out until later this month, but Gower District 62 already knows this year’s will be one to hang on the proverbial refrigerator.
Curriculum and Instruction Assistant Superintendent Joan DuChane said the district’s students met or exceeded state standards on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test in every category, at every grade level.
“We’re very pleased,” DuChane said.
Schools across Illinois need to have 85 percent of their students meet or exceed state standards in math and reading on this year’s ISAT, administered this past spring, in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress standards set under No Child Left Behind.
That number increases each year as part of the No Child Left Behind initiative.
DuChane said the report card will show that 96.8 percent of Gower students met or exceeded standards this year in reading, math and science. Of that 96.8 percent, 52.4 percent exceeded standards. All students tested in seventh grade math either met or exceeded state standards.
Safe harbor target
A lower safe harbor target, an alternative offered by the state to help subgroups meet ISAT standards, was used for the district’s students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students, DuChane said.
DuChane credited several school initiatives, and the school’s teaching staff, with the 2011 scores. She pointed specifically to a new math intervention at Gower West, a new tutoring program at Gower Middle, and a new science curriculum at Gower West.
Both schools also have started posting learning objectives for each class. The posted objectives let students know the purpose of each lesson.
“Research shows that is a very strong strategy to improve student learning,” DuChane said.
While proud of the ISAT scores, DuChane said the tests are just a snapshot of a student body’s abilities.
“ISAT is just one measure for us,” she said. “We take lots of snapshots during the year.”
DuChane said her report to the School Board did not break down scores by grade level. Because of the district’s small size, one child’s score can affect a grade-level score by multiple percentage points, DuChane said. She said a district-wide view is a more accurate look at how the district’s students are performing.