District 69 offers extensive programs to support learning and development. In addition to our standards-based curriculum we offer many additional supports to students based on need.
Effective for the 2011-2012 school year, District 69 will no longer be administering the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test) to our students. It is our belief that assessments which measure progress, growth and mastery of skills and standards are more beneficial in the design of student instruction and learning environments. The assessments we will use for the 2011-2012 school year are as follows:
Treasures Formative Assessments – Grade K-5
Prentice Hall Formative Assessments – Grade 6-8
Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) – Grades 3-8
Curriculum Based Measurement, Reading – Grades K-8
Curriculum Based Measurement, Math – Grades K-8
District 69 publishes a series of pamphlets detailing the learning objectives for each grade, kindergarten through eighth. The pamphlets are distributed to parents at the curriculum nights held in September at each of the district schools—Madison, Edison and Lincoln.
These documents are available by accessing the links listed below.
In compliance with Illinois School Code (23 IL Admin Code 228.15), all parents/guardians of students new to the district will complete a Home Language Survey. When this survey indicates a language other than English is spoken in the home, the district is required to screen the student (within 30 days of enrollment) for English proficiency.
Parents/guardians will receive notification regarding their child's English proficiency and the recommended programming and placement. All parents/guardians of ELLs receive annual notification of enrollment in Bilingual/ELL programs. Parents/guardians who do not wish for their child to be enrolled in Bilingual/ELL programs must provide a letter stating the refusal of services.
All students who are ELLs must take the ACCESS test annually (in January). This test is designed to measure students' proficiency and progress in English. Students must score a minimum of 4.8 (of a possible 6) on the ACCESS in order to exit ELL programs.
Students who are eligible for English language instruction services (English Language Learners, or ELLs) have the following options:
Kindergarten and 1st grade: Sheltered bilingual classrooms for Spanish speaking students.
2nd -5th grades: Sheltered ELL classrooms for students of various linguistic backgrounds.
K-5th grade: Newcomer programming (students are in general education classrooms, but receive pull out English language instruction from an ESL teacher).
6th-8th grades: ELLs are placed into 1 of 4 categories (level 1, 2, 3 or 4). ELLs at levels 1 and 2 receive 2 periods of English language and literacy instruction, 1 period of ESL Social Studies and 1 period of ESL Science. ELLs at levels 3 and 4 receive 2 periods of English language and literacy instruction and are placed in general Social Studies and Science classes.
Each of our 3 buildings is equipped with full time Arabic and Assyrian speaking teacher aides to assist students who need linguistic support in Arabic and/or Assyrian in order to be most successful.
Before District 69 introduced full-day kindergarten in 2007, Dedee Goldsmith resisted the idea. “I understand the benefits of a full-day program and I see that it probably meets the needs of most children and their families better than half-day. I also realize that it helps make our district more competitive. I just like spending time with my kids.”
Her older daughter, Limor, attended the half-day program two years ago and Goldsmith wanted to continue the same schedule when Maya, her younger child, entered kindergarten this year.
But now that Maya is in Jennifer Robinson’s class at Madison School, Goldsmith sees her daughter flourishing in the full-day program.
“I have to admit, I miss having her here during the day,” Goldsmith said. “But Maya comes home every day excited about what she did and what she learned. She loves it. She wants to tell me all about it. After only a couple of months, she was at a place academically and developmentally that her older sister didn’t reach until the end of kindergarten or even the beginning of first grade.”
Robinson sees similar things happening in all her students. “The amount of independence they have already is far different from last year. In the half-day program, students had basically two hours in school. When you figure in the time spent in specials and transitioning, there wasn’t a whole lot of time left for classwork.” This year, kindergarten students have much more time to work on reading, writing and “real math.” As a result, they are making academic progress more rapidly.
“Last year I had 24 children in the morning and 24 in the afternoon—48 different kids, families, report cards and assessments. It’s hard to give them all the attention they deserve. Now with 20 students for the full day, it’s wonderful. All the teachers have more time to deal with the kids we have. That means more opportunities to spot academic issues or fine motor issues than last year. It also enables us to build a better bond and a stronger relationship with each student.”
Early on, eight kindergarten classrooms filled to capacity with students from diverse backgrounds for the entire school day brought certain logistical challenges—lunch, recess, trips to the bathroom. But the new students adapted quickly and learned the school routines.
“Even with all that logistic impact, full-day kindergarten is absolutely the right way to go,” said Madison principal Lisa Halverson. “It gives us an opportunity to make an earlier impact—academically, socially, emotionally—and that’s our job. Next year our first-grade teachers will see a real difference.”
District 69 is committed to hiring and retaining the best teaching professionals for our students, providing high quality and meaningful professional development, and maintaining our focus on the growth and success of every student.
Lincoln Junior High