Letter from Dr. Wade: Putting the 2018 State Report Cards in Context

Screenshot of the Illinois Report Card website

NOTE: District 401 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicolas Wade has written the following letter to the D401 community concerning the newly released 2018 Illinois Report Cards. To download a PDF copy of Dr. Wade's letter, click here.

To All District 401 Stakeholders,

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has released the district and school report cards for public viewing. This year's report card will look incredibly different with the state, under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), taking a multiple measures approach to determine a summative designation for each school. Multiple measures means the state is looking at many factors when determining the rating, as opposed to strictly going with academic achievement on a standardized test during the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era.

The state's new report card system is now providing a more comprehensive look at the multiple variables that are impacting student achievement. For example, you will now be able to see student and teacher attendance rates, the district's adequacy target related to state funding, more detailed teacher and administrator demographic information, and so on. Also, the report card is now looking at multiple ways to define success, such as determining College and Career Readiness and indicators for next grade level readiness in the elementary and middle schools. These report cards provide important information that is digestible for the reader and can be part of what is utilized for the District Office to continue developing a vision to improve upon the learning environment for students and staff.

The state has moved towards a system where a school can be awarded any four summative designations: Exemplary School, Commendable School, Underperforming School and Lowest Performing School. Elmwood Park CUSD 401 has four eligible schools to receive a designation, and John Mills Elementary, Elmwood Elementary, Elm Middle School and Elmwood Park High School all received a Commendable School rating. Of over 4,300 eligible schools in Illinois, 68 percent received a Commendable School rating, with 17 percent an Underperforming School, 10 percent an Exemplary School and 5 percent a Lowest Performing School. This is based on the most current information the day before the official release of the report cards.

A more detailed assessment of the District's report cards will be given out to all stakeholders in an upcoming issue of the Superintendent Spotlight and at the Board of Education regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.

While viewing the report cards can lead to noticing real and perceived strengths and weaknesses for each building and Elmwood Park CUSD 401 as a whole, please know that this information is included in the District's vision to further enhance the learning environment for students and staff by providing the necessary sources to articulate curriculum and expectations, in addition to student support services.

If you have any questions and/or concerns you can reach me by phone at 708-583-5831 or by email at waden@epcusd401.org.


Dr. Nicolas D. Wade
Superintendent of Schools

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