It was back-to-school time for some parents and interested residents Saturday morning at Illinois Valley Central High School.

Without knowing what to expect as a response to the first "State of the District," IVC Superintendent Chad Allison told the group he was pleased with 115 residents signed up for the morning.

"Overall, we're doing better than the state overall and we're continuing to improve," Allison said.

To start out the event, Aramark, IVC District 321's food supplier, freely provided an idea of what students can eat for breakfast.

The adults chose among the egg and cheese bagel or biscuit, sausage links or bacon, tater tots, as well as packaged items, such as a cinnamon pastry, muffin and more, and little cartons of orange or grape juice.

The group then headed to the auditorium as Allison gave an overview of the district.

Many of the slides he showed the adults are available online.

The new superintendent showed the residents the district's strategic planning, which can be found on ivcschools.com. He told them he was not "recreating the wheel" but was continuing with what parents and community members set up a few years ago.

He highlighted various aspects of the district's report card, which can be found at illinoisreportcard.com and then search for IVC District 321.

It gives an overall look at the district and each school as well.

Allison highlighted the fast facts, which includes items such as spending per pupil, enrollment, test scores graduation rate and more.

A new listing is student growth, which Allison highlighted the district's reading score of a 107 compared to the state's 102. In recent years, school officials have focused on bringing up reading scores.

He also went through a few test scores, explained them and looked at the money spent per pupil: $5,046 (instructional) and $8,700 (operational).

With state spending on education continuing to be downgraded, the amount of money spent per student has declined to what is was three years ago.

"We're doing better than the state academically and spending less than others in the state," Allison said.

Allison recognized that finances are a "challenge" for the district, like all others across the state. The district is receiving less money than it did in 2005.

"We're doing the very best we can," Allison said.

While talking about school finances can be disheartening, Allison ended on a high note.

"I can tell you we have a ton of things to be proud of," he said, beginning with what he called "IVC Pride."

He showed slides of the facilities, including improved security, academic achievements, student success and students helping others.

"We have phenomenal kids who come from phenomenal parents," Allison said.

He ended on giving some information about the IVC Educational Foundation and Parent Teacher Associations.

Allison said the district's "ultimate challenge" is in preparing students for the future.

He highlighted a book by Tony Wagner called "The Global Achievement Gap," which lists seven survival skills students need to compete in the world.

"I think you could find every single one of them in the strategic plan from 2011-12," Allison said, adding that students need to be prepared for a changing world.