Dunlap discusses test results, awards

Chelsea Peck

Test results, the future and application approvals were discussed in length at the Dunlap District 323 school board meeting Oct. 13.

Lonna Anderson, executive director of curriculum, highlighted the district’s Illinois Standard Achievement Test and Prairie State Achievement Examination scores.

“We want to show the big picture, and we always have to go back to No Child Left Behind, which shows us where we need to be performing at. For Illinois for 2010, our minimum meets and exceeds for our district should have been 77.5 (percent),” she said.

“Our district is performing at 94 percent math and reading is at 93 percent. This is up from last year  when our district reading score was 92 percent.”

The district is also keeping track of students’ performance from third to eighth grade.

“We took our 2010 eighth graders and back tracked their scores to third-grade,” Anderson said.

“The same group of students were at 92 percent meets or exceeds in third-grade. By the time they got to eighth-grade, they were at 96 percent.”

Anderson said the ISAT science scores were “off the charts.”

“We had all-time highs. We hope that continues with the new science resources at the elementary level,” she said.

The district’s PSAE scores put Dunlap up high.

Two times as many Dunlap students scored in the meets or exceeds category compared to the state of Illinois.

Chris Friedman, high school assistant cross country coach, approached the board with a concern about Dunlap Middle School’s cross country team.

“Currently at our middle schools, sixth-graders are allowed to participate in sports, but when we get to the end of the season, whether it’s a Regional or Sectional, they’re not allowed to participate on the team,” Friedman said.

“This is a rule that came about a couple years ago and is specific to our district, not an IESA policy.”

Friedman said this year’s girls cross country team had only five runners for Sectionals because two of their runners were sixth-graders.

He asked the board to put the decision in the coach’s hand and to get rid of the policy.

“Our coaches can be trusted to make those decisions. I ask the board to look at this policy again. My recommendation would be for the sixth graders to participate fully,” he said.

“Put your trust in the coaches to be able to make those decisions.”

In other action and discussion, the board:

• approved the Safe Routes to School resolution. Lisa Parker, assistant superintendent, approached the board for approval of a resolution for the village of Dunlap’s Safe Routes to School grant application.

• congratulated Mandy Ellis, special education teacher at Wilder-Waite Grade School, for being named the recipient of the Forty Leaders Under Forty award.

A banquet is Nov. 4 for all recipients.

• completed contract negotiations between the Dunlap Education Association and the board of education for July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013.

Some changes were made to the contract such as: specific language, extracuricular schedule, health care and worked hours.

• and discussed the anticipation of Netherland visitors Nov. 10.

“Many of our schools are signing up to demonstrate and showcase some of the wonderful things they are doing with continuous improvement, school leadership teams and many of the other effective practices that are happening,” Superintendent Dr. Jay Marino said.

The next meeting is at 7 p.m. Nov. 10.