Superintendent's Note

From the desk of Jim McKay

Posted: October, 28, 2015 - 11:14am

School Accountability

In the ever changing realm of public education, school accountability measures continue to increase which arguably impact students and staff both positively and negatively.  I wanted to share with you the latest from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  The new school report card will be launched soon.  According to ISBE… this year’s rollout will follow a slightly different process than years past due to our transition to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.

On Friday, Oct. 30, ISBE will post the 2015 Report Card atwww.illinoisreportcard.com, with data including student and teacher demographics, enrollment, district-level financial information, Illinois 5Essentials Survey information, graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment, and freshmen on track. The Report Card will showcase new metrics and features to show a more complete picture of school climate and students’ progress toward college and career readiness.

Recently, Dr. Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Schools, conveyed that parents will receive score reports later this fall for the first Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam administration. These scores will look different than scores from previous state tests and may appear lower than what educators and parents typically expect for some students. This difference does not mean our students know less or are less capable. The PARCC exam scores will reflect higher expectations for what students should know and be able to do to stay on track for college and careers. PARCC exam results cannot be compared to test scores from the state’s previous assessments. The PARCC exam is a drastically different test that uses extended tasks and technology-enhanced items to more accurately measure students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills, which are all necessary for students to succeed in higher education and/or their career field after high school. The first year of PARCC testing will serve as a baseline for test scores and will determine the performance targets for future years. No immediate consequences are tied to the 2015 administration. In future years, scores will be available to educators and parents earlier and, ultimately, will provide them more timely and reliable information to determine whether students need extra assistance or more advanced instruction earlier in their academic career.

More information regarding student and school performance will be provided when we receive it from the state.  Suffice to say the PARCC assessment is very difficult to use as a comparative tool and the data will be confusing given the multiple assessment constructs.

post Archive
  • 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

    WELCOME BACK!

    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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  • Posted: May, 27, 2016 - 10:11am

    Summer ... A time for reflection

    The end of a school year marks a very busy time for everyone that is involved in the education process.  Senior students eagerly transition into their next phase of their life, while underclass students dream about summer break and anxiously anticipate another year in high school.  It’s the summer break period that I would like to address, in an effort to maximize this time away from school.

    Have you ever contemplated what makes a good summer break? A lot of things come to mind such as an extended family vacations, spending time with friends and family, sleep, and specific…

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  • Posted: May, 5, 2016 - 2:30pm

    Thank You Teachers

    I wanted to share what our country’s new Secretary of Education, John King wrote about teachers.
     
    “This week, our nation recognizes and honors you for your tireless efforts on behalf of our students, everywhere from small towns and suburbs, to rural communities and Tribal lands, to big cities. Teachers have one of the most challenging and fulfilling jobs — literally shaping and changing lives. Especially during Teacher Appreciation Week, we celebrate and thank you for the vital role that you play in supporting students and strengthening the future of our nation.

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Ignite passion and discovery in every student
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    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

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    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-838-7100

    Fax: 847-838-3670