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Superintendent's Note

From the desk of Jim McKay

Posted: September, 29, 2017 - 7:56am

Advanced Placement data show results of state’s focus on equity

SPRINGFIELD – The College Board released non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and PSAT results from Illinois students statewide. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., issued the following statement:

“The Advanced Placement (AP) data released by the College Board show increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and in the percentages of students performing well. The State Board committed to increasing access to AP classes and exams, especially among underrepresented student groups. School teams across the state embraced this goal. The data show what is possible when we commit to equity – to establishing high expectations for all students and to providing all students the different levels of support they need to meet our high expectations.

“The economic and civic success of our state depends on all students from all backgrounds having access to college and being prepared to thrive in college – whether or not they choose college as their next step in life. Many colleges and universities count AP exams as class credit, helping students achieve a degree more affordably and more quickly.

“The PSAT assessments help educators and educational leaders see students’ progress during high school and identify students who need greater supports. The State Board is very glad this year to be able to reimburse all schools for one PSAT assessment per student in the ninth and tenth grades during the 2017-18 school year. Students also now have access to free supplemental educational resources through Kahn Academy to help them master the standards assessed by the PSAT and SAT.”

The reports released by the College Board include results from the following assessments.

Advanced Placement – Results of students in any grade who enrolled in an AP class and took an AP exam during the 2016-17 school year. The data show:
·      Increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and the percentages of students performing well (scoring a 3 or higher).
·      Black students make up 17.3 percent of the Illinois student population, but only 8 percent of AP participation.

SAT – Results of students in the 12th grade during the 2016-17 school year who voluntarily took the SAT during the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school year (NOT the results of the spring 2017 statewide SAT accountability assessment administered to students in the 11th grade during the 2016-17 school year). The data show:
·      A performance gap between American Indian, Hispanic, and Black students and their Asian and White peers.
·      A performance gap between students who used fee waivers and students who did not.

PSAT – Results of students in the ninth, 10th, and 11th grades who voluntarily took the PSAT during the 2016-17 school year. The data show:
·      A performance gap between American Indian, Hispanic, and Black students and their Asian and White peers.
·      A performance gap between English Learners and their native English-speaking peers.
·      A dip in the average scores for all student groups, as the number of students taking the PSAT has increased significantly.

View the College Board reports on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Documents/College_Board_2017_SAT_Suite_Illinois_Public_Schools.pdf and https://www.isbe.net/Documents/College_Board_2017_SDIR_Illinois_Public_Schools.pdf.

Learn more about the 2017-18 school year PSAT reimbursement on the ISBE website at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/PSATReimbursement.aspx.

Similar to the state’s work to improve equity for all Illinois students, Antioch and Lakes Community High Schools are partnering with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS), a non-profit equity organization based in Seattle, Washington. The mission of EOS is to provide support to schools to help promote access to more rigorous classes for underrepresented subgroups of students. The goal of this work is to help increase the proportionality of our enrollment in AP classes for low income students and students of color.  This specific work is consistent with our district strategic plan, where we strive to create a learning environment that encourages all our students to find and pursue their passions. 

post Archive
  • Posted: September, 7, 2017 - 3:07pm

    U.S. Department of Education approves Illinois ESSA Plan

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Illinois State Board of Education officials say the state’s ESSA Plan incorporates feedback gathered from thousands of online comments and 100 in-person forums and meetings.  Under the Illinois ESSA Plan, multiple indicators of school quality and student growth will be collected and examined, and will be used to help schools perform better under a plan that specifically meets their unique needs. 

    Additionally, the Illinois ESSA Plan…

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  • Posted: August, 9, 2017 - 11:44am

    Welcome Back and While You Were Away

    Let me be the first to say welcome back, we are honored and happy to serve you and our communities!
    I would like to welcome the incoming Freshman Class of 2021!  We also welcome our upperclassman and anyone new to Community High School District 117; we truly look forward to ensuring that every student is offered the opportunity to grow and learn in a positive, safe, and engaging environment. Our dedicated and talented staff strives to realize our mission of Igniting the Passion and Discovery of Every Student.  We are very proud of our unwavering commitment to student growth…

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  • Posted: August, 7, 2017 - 4:55pm

    State Funding for Schools

    I want to provide residents of Community High School District 117 information regarding state funding for schools in Illinois for the 2017-18 school year as you may be familiar with this issue through the news media and other sources.

    Due to the inequality associated with the current Illinois school funding formula and its significant adverse consequences particularly to school districts with the greatest economic need, the legislature has developed a new funding formula designed with evidence based criteria to equitably support state funding for schools.  To date, the legislators…

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  • Posted: May, 31, 2017 - 11:36am


    ISBE submitted the ESSA State Plan for Illinois to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on April 1, 2017.  On April 10, 2017, ED identified a section of the plan that it considered incomplete.  This section included measurements of interim progress for academic attainment, graduation rate, and English Learner proficiency.  In the plan submitted on April 1, 2017, ISBE stated that it intends to develop measurements of interim progress based on three-year baseline data and that this data is currently unavailable due to not having three years of data from which to determine a baseline…

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  • Posted: April, 24, 2017 - 10:43am

    State Budget Impasse

    There is an effort statewide by many in a variety of public and private sectors including educators currently encouraging our state legislators to formulate and pass a responsible and responsive state budget. Below, are some of the consequences and concerns shared by many as a result of the current budget impasse.

    All areas of society, including Illinois public school students, have suffered the consequences of Illinois’ financial problems over the past couple decades. For nearly the past two years, Illinois has operated with just a partial budget for education and “stopgap”or band-aid…

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  • Posted: January, 5, 2017 - 11:51am

    Community High School District 117 asks the voters at the April 4th Election

    The Board of Education passed a resolution (December 8, 2016) that places a question on the ballot of the April 4th, 2017 election.  The question asks voters of the District whether all Board Members should be elected At-Large.  District residents will have the opportunity to cast their vote regarding this question at the Tuesday; April 4th, 2017 consolidated election.

    The reason for the question stems from the current difficulty in sustaining representation from the unincorporated areas of the District.  Since at least 1965, it has been required that the unincorporated…

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  • Posted: November, 28, 2016 - 1:59pm

    Positive Power of Our Schools

    The holiday season should be a positive, sentimental and enduring time filled with family gatherings and friendship.  Unfortunately, too often, this idyllic time is not enjoyed by our students or families but rather represents a time of struggle both financially and emotionally.  Compounded with the unprecedented negative rhetoric of recent political campaigns and the ongoing pockets of civil unrest, in our country, our students may be even more vulnerable. 

    That is why it is critically important to reaffirm the strength and positive power of our schools. Community High…

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  • Posted: September, 30, 2016 - 12:00am

    Far Too Common!

    On September 29th, the national evening news reported once again on a tragic school shooting at Townville Elementary School in South Carolina. The threats of violence in schools and society are becoming far too common and sadly, in my opinion, creating a new “normal”.  While Community High School District 117 encounters threatening situations occasionally, it never becomes easier for parents, students, staff or our greater community to accept.  These threats of violence are senseless and require immeasurable resources on the part of our schools and communities.  We take these…

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  • Posted: August, 30, 2016 - 11:02am

    Illinois Class of 2016 average ACT score up slightly as national average declines

    SPRINGFIELD — Results released today in ACT’s annual score report, “The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2016,” show Illinois’ graduating seniors achieved an average composite score of 20.8, an increase of 0.1 over last year’s score. The national average composite score on the ACT fell from 21.0 to 20.8.

    “Our graduates continue to show progress,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The work of improving opportunities for all students and increasing the pace of progress is one we approach with urgency.”

    Illinois’ graduating…

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  • Posted: August, 8, 2016 - 7:44am


    It is my pleasure and honor to once again welcome back all of our Community High School District 117 families!  We are excited to provide our students with high quality programing that promotes all forms of personal growth.  I would like to extend a special welcome to our Freshman Class of 2020!                                                           

    While you were on summer break, the District was working hard to improve our…

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Ignite passion and discovery in every student
  • District 117 Logo

    Community High School District 117

    1625 Deep Lake Road

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-395-9001

    Fax: 847-395-7553

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    Antioch Community High School

    1133 Main Street

    Antioch, Illinois 60002

    Phone: 847-395-1421

    Fax: 847-395-2435

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    Lakes Community High School

    1600 Eagle Way Drive

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-838-7100

    Fax: 847-838-3670