Student scores focus of IVC

Chelsea Peck

IVC Homecoming fun begins Oct. 12

The Illinois Valley Central District 321 Board of Education focused on achievement test results and plans for improvement at the Sept. 28 meeting.

Assistant Principal Dustin Birkel discussed last year’s Prairie State Achievement Examination results with the board.

Illinois sets the bar each year for the Annual Yearly Progress for high schools, which Illinois Valley Central High School did not meet.

The goal set by the state was 77.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards. IVC posted 50.8 percent in math and 52 percent in reading.

“We need to remember that even though we did not meet the state’s benchmark, IVC High School’s scores are still in the top third of scores in the state of Illinois,” Superintendent Dr. Nick Polyak said in a press release.

IVC is not alone, as more than 80 percent of high schools in Illinois failed to reach the target last year.

“We need to identify students, we can call them bubble students, and what we need to do to give them the help they need to really push them up,” Birkel said.

IVC plans to concentrate on ways to identify struggling students and test problems that are giving their students the most trouble.

“We took that PLAN test, which is the ACT predictor that the current juniors took last year and we broke it down question by question and identified where our kids struggled the most. We got that in the hands of the teachers and the students,” Polyak said. “It showed them that this is the type of questions as a district that we struggled with. If we can get them to now answer that type of question, we’ll get them to move that percentage up.”

Birkel, along with a group of teachers, are analyzing data from last year’s tests to identify ways to meet Illinois’ standards.

The high school’s goal this year is for juniors taking the PSAE and ACT to meet or exceed 70 percent.

In other action and discussion, the board:

• discussed the finance committee report. Overall, the report showed a deficit of $656,000.

• heard from the high school student body president Bill Allison about upcoming events.

Homecoming 2010 is the week of Oct. 12, since there is no school Monday. The homecoming parade will be at 2:45 p.m. Oct. 15. The theme being Spooktacular: A Haunted Evening.

Class competitions will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 and skit night/pep rally and bonfire will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 14. The homecoming game against Spring Valley Hall starts at 7:30 p.m. with the homecoming dance at 8 p.m. Oct. 16.

• approved payment of the monthly bills

• approved the 2010-11 applications for recognition of schools

• approved personnel contracts for Linda Proctor and Carolyn Crose as part-time aides for South School and the high school, respectively

• approved the resignation of Jeff Roberts, part-time custodian at the high school

• discussed another opportunity for Coffee with the Superintendent. On Oct. 13, Polyak will be at Happy Thought Coffee from 8 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

• discussed a speaker, Ron Bachman, who talked to the sixth- through ninth-grade students about bullying Monday.