MAPLE PARK – Kaneland administrators touted District 302’s achievements, such as improved test scores and better communication tactics, during the second annual “State of the District” on Monday.
After a presentation that highlighted five key areas of the district – teaching and learning, support systems, human resources, finance and community relations – attendees were invited
to talk one on one with administrators. Several administrators said they’ll continue to brand the district around its mission to “graduate all students college, career and community ready.”
During the presentation, Erika Schlichter – director of educational services for grades 6-12 – and Sarah Mumm – director of educational services K-5 – outlined gains in the Prairie State Achievement Exam and the ACT.
Juniors’ ACT scores in English, math, reading and science improved by 9, 4, 18 and 13 percent, respectively, compared with the previous year. The number of students who met or exceeded state standards for ACT scores varied widely, however.
According to district data,
75 percent of Kaneland students met or exceeded standards last year in English, while 41 percent met or
exceeded standards in
Sugar Grove resident Kristi Lockhart, a parent of a second-grader and fourth-grader in the district, said she liked the idea of having a State of the District meeting, but said a lot of the information was “too top-surface.” She said she would like to have seen a more tangible comparison of the key areas discussed Monday.
“Frankly, I was shocked by the ACT scores,” she said. “... I’d like to know what it was before. I don’t think it’s fair to say, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so bad.’ I feel like a big part was missing.”
Mumm noted that the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes increased by 52 percent from last year.
Fran Eggleston, director of special services for the district, said looking forward, the district will continue to focus on implementing its bullying prevention plan and providing a social-emotional support structure for students.
Mumm added that district officials plan to start work this winter on a labor agreement for salary only as the current contract, which froze teacher salaries in the 2010-11 school year.
Superintendent Jeff Schuler said the district has geared up its community relations efforts in the last year, rolling out a mobile application and developing new social media strategies through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Although the State of the District presentation is only in its second year, Cheryl Krauspe, the school board’s president, said she wished more people would have attended. Administrators said the presentation would be posted online later.
“I wish the place were packed [Monday],” she said. “We want [the community] to know that we’re moving in the right direction.”