Unit 4 Celebrates Gains in Student Achievement

Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:00am

As we continue to experience the challenges of meeting the needs of a diverse community, we are making significant progress in providing equity and excellence for all of our students. 

Each employee plays a role in leading our students to success, and our teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and community members are to be commended for their efforts. 

As we prepare for the challenges of the coming year, I want to share some of the results of our teamwork. Preliminary Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) scores show continued improvement for all elementary schools. Although our adequate yearly progress (AYP) ratings are not official at this time, increased achievement is evident in all tested areas. 

Preliminary scores for all three middle schools show significant improvement in all tested areas of the ISAT. Gains of 30-40 percentage points are recorded. Carrie Busey, Kenwood and Stratton have been named Spotlight Schools by the Illinois State Board of Education and Northern Illinois University. Spotlight Schools have enrollments of at least 50 percent low income students, and 60 percent or more of the students met or exceeded ISAT standards in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Spotlight Schools have made AYP under No Child Left Behind in 2004 and 2005. 

State Superintendent Randy Dunn said that the Spotlight School requirements are rigorous, and the ability to meet them is a clear indication of expertise, commitment and dedication. 

Stratton Elementary School also earned an Academic Improvement Award for 2005. Stratton is one of only four schools in Illinois to earn an Academic Improvement Award for three consecutive years, and one of only 38 schools to earn both the Improvement Award and the Spotlight award in 2005. 

Champaign Unit 4 is one of only 26 districts in Illinois to have three or more Spotlight Schools.

The Illinois State Board of Education has chosen Central High School to participate with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Council of Chief State School Officers, and the International Center for Leadership in Education in a five-year initiative designed to take schools that are primed for success, offer them technical support, and help them become highly successful high schools. 

Proactive responses to improve discipline and safety for all our students include the addition of School Resource Officers and the increased involvement of community leaders in generating solutions.

Preliminary audit figures show that we not only met our 2006 budget projections, we may have actually exceeded our goal by almost $1,000,000.

These accomplishments are only a few of the recent successes in Unit 4 schools. Each accomplishment represents a tremendous amount of hard work by a dedicated team. By choosing to work in Unit 4, by sending your child to our schools, or by making a choice to support public schools, you contribute to the success of the children in our community. Thank you for choosing to be a part of the Unit 4 team.

Sincerely,

Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent

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