January/February 2011 Board Briefs

January-February 2011 Board Meeting Summaries

2010 ISAT Comparison Presentation
For a fourth consecutive year, statistician/consultant Dr. Clay Graham delivered yet another positive presentation on the District’s 2010 ISAT results at the January Board meeting.  He reported that Avoca School District 37 ranked third overall in the state after having ranked fourth the previous year.   The District also ranked first among the New Trier High School feeder districts.  The rankings were based on achievement test scale scores rather than a percentage of “meets and exceeds” scores that can be misleading.  The presentation also included comparisons between Avoca School District 37 and eighteen similar, high-achieving Illinois schools.

District Social Studies Committee Update
At the January Board meeting, Avoca West Principal Dr. Kevin Jauch gave an in-depth report on the District’s Social Studies Committee’s recommendations to date.  Since the state is moving toward common core standards that do not include social studies, District 37 has allied itself with the National Council for Social Studies to create a new social studies curriculum.   The committee will make its final recommendations to the Board in the spring.

District Technology Committee Update
Dr. Porto reported at the January Board meeting that a new planning model for technology was being used, and that the new plan should be the last one the District will ever need.  Five subcommittees were formed based on District goals: Professional Learning Communities, Curriculum and Instruction; Programs; District Systems; and Communications.  The subcommittees will complete their work in March, after which time a three-year plan will be created.  The Technology Committee plans to report its final recommendations to the Board in May.

Demographic Trends and Enrollment Projections
During the February 7 Committee of the Whole Board meeting, the December 2010 Demographic Trends and Enrollment Projections report for the seven New Trier Township school districts was reviewed by the Board.  The districts commission demographer Dr. John Kasarda to conduct the study every two years to serve as a guide to future decision-making and planning.  The general trend projected for the next ten years in Avoca is a gradual decline in enrollment prior to another period of stabilization.  In the most likely scenario, the District may lose approximately 80 students during the next ten-year period.  According to the report, similar declines in enrollment were projected for most school districts in New Trier Township.  The administration plans to remain proactive and will continue to closely monitor future enrollment trends.

Employment Matters
At the January Board meeting, the Board accepted the resignation of K-3rd grade reading specialist Ellie Kaiser, who was on a leave of absence for the current school year.  At the February Board meeting, the Board accepted the resignation of Avoca West Elementary School inclusion assistant John Adinamis, effective as of February 25.

Upcoming Board Meeting Dates
Regular Board meetings are open to the public and are held at Marie Murphy School in the Community Room during the school year and in the library during the summer.  The public is invited to share input during the two visitors’ comments portions of the meeting.  Regular Board meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. on the second to the last Thursday of the month.  Committee of the Whole Board meetings take place at 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month in the Marie Murphy School Library. To confirm the times and locations of the meetings, please contact the superintendent’s secretary at 847-251-3587.  All open session School Board and Committee of the Whole Board meetings are videotaped.  A DVD copy of a particular meeting may be requested by the public through the Pupil Services Office (847-251-3138).  Please allow a minimum of three business days when requesting a copy.  Upcoming Board meeting dates include:

> 3/7, 5:30 p.m. – Committee of the Whole
> 3/24, 5:30 p.m. – Board Finance Committee
> 3/24, 6:30 p.m. – Board of Education
> 4/4, 5:30 p.m. – Committee of the Whole
> 4/21, 5:30 p.m. – Board Finance Committee
> 4/21, 6:30 p.m. – Board of Education

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