Dear Unit 4 Families and Staff,
The Illinois State Board of Education released a detailed look at student performance data from the 2022-23 school year. Students in Champaign Unit 4 Schools have shown encouraging progress over the last several years. While this is a reason to celebrate, Unit 4 also recognizes the urgency we have to continue to decrease the disparities in our academic outcomes.
Thanks to the dedication and commitment of all of Unit 4’s outstanding students, educators, families, and community partners, Unit 4 students continue to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unit 4 Schools saw increases in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math on both the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and SAT as well as increases in Science on the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA). We attribute these gains to the District’s investments in the following initiatives:
Continuing our commitment to educational justice, equity, and excellence.
Continuing the structure of School Improvement Leadership Teams (SILT) and formal School Improvement Plans (SIP) for every school in Unit 4.
Implementing a new K-5 ELA core curriculum aligned with the Science of Reading.
Increasing our student attendance rate and parent/family engagement.
Providing ongoing professional development to enhance teaching and learning.
Partnering with Focused Schools to support job-embedded professional development, instructional tools and resources, and focused coaching in order to move instructional practices to a place that has a direct impact on teacher efficacy, student engagement and academic success.
Partnering with SAMs to provide tools and coaching to help administrators prioritize instructional leadership and schedule activities directly connected to improving teaching and learning.
Creating and supporting pathways to college and career readiness.
Continuing to expand the implementation of the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program throughout Unit 4.
I am extremely pleased with the continuous progress and the direction all of our schools are heading. We understand that we have a great deal of work ahead of us in order to make our vision and mission a reality in Unit 4. It is so refreshing to see Unit 4 staff roll up their sleeves to achieve the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan. We are fully immersed in the task required to ensure every student receives high quality instruction in a welcoming, inclusive and affirming environment. Our team will continue strengthening our core curriculum for all students while providing the right balance of social and emotional support our students and staff require.
Some of the ISBE Report Card highlights include:
IAR ELA performance: 26.3% of students met or exceeded in 2023, which is the highest it has been since 2019.
IAR Math performance: 23% of students met or exceeded in 2023, which is the highest it has been since 2019.
SAT ELA performance: 34.5% of students met or exceeded in 2023, which is the highest it has been since 2019.
SAT Math performance: 33.2% of students met or exceeded in 2023, which is the highest it has been since 2019.
Science proficiency increased to 45.6% of students proficient or exemplary in 2023, which is the highest it has been since 2019.
9th graders on track increased to 72% in 2023, which is the highest it has been since 2020.
Chronic absenteeism is decreasing.
Our participation rates remain consistently above 95% for ELA, Math, and Science assessments
Based upon the ISBE School Designations, Unit 4 has 10 Commendable Schools (Centennial High School, Barkstall Elementary, Bottenfield Elementary, Carrie Busey Elementary, International Prep Academy, Kenwood Elementary, Robeson Elementary, South Side Elementary, Stratton Academy of the Arts, and Westview Elementary); two Targeted Schools (Central High School and Dr. Howard Elementary); and five Comprehensive Schools (Edison Middle School, Jefferson Middle School, Franklin STEAM Academy, Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, and Garden Hills Academy). Unit 4 does not have any Intensive Schools.
ISBE provides funding through the Title I School Improvement Grant (authorized under section 1003(a) of Title I of ESSA) for schools that are designated as targeted, comprehensive, or intensive. These grant funds provide resources to help improve the learning environment and outcomes for the targeted student groups from each school’s designation. District Leadership will continue to support the needs of each campus based on the data contained in the Report Card. Click here to view the Champaign Unit 4 School District Report Card.
Dr. Shelia E. Boozer