Exemplary Designations for Avoca Schools

Exemplary Designations for Avoca Schools
Posted on 11/05/2018
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On October 31, the state of Illinois went live with their interactive school report cards at www.illinoisreportcard.com, displaying “exemplary” designations for both Avoca West and Marie Murphy Schools!

As required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) the state of Illinois assigned a “designation” to every school in the state: Exemplary, Commendable, Under-performing, and Lowest-performing. This year’s academic indicators make up 75% of our designation and include proficiency in Math and English, student academic growth over time, and the performance of our English Learners on the ACCESS test. The remaining 25% for this year are based upon school quality/student success indicators, such as absenteeism, and participation on the 5Essentials Survey.

The report card has a ton of information about our school district and both schools. It includes environment, demographic data, and financial data. Typically what people race to the state report card for are the academics results. Those are there, along with a variety of tools to help the reader breakdown the data by school, subject, testing year, demographics and more.

Avoca’s Schools’ “exemplary” rating was earned because we had no underperforming subgroups, and we were in the top 10% of all schools in the state. While it is exciting to have 100% of Avoca designated as “exemplary,” I have learned from Bears new Head Coach Matt Nagy to not let the highs be too high, or the lows too low. While I appreciate the attempt by the state to include more indicators of success beyond just academics, I also must point out that with only 10% of the state’s top schools receiving the “exemplary” designation, there are many schools with “commendable” designations that are also doing a phenomenal job with their students!

In future years, the state will be making adjustments by adding the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) , which students at 5th and 8th grade take annually, including a Fine Arts component that has yet to be unveiled to us, and decreasing the weighting of chronic absenteeism from 20% this year to 10%. With our nationally recognized science and fine arts programs (strings, visual arts, music and creative writing), I expect to continue to have a high designation in future years, too!