FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the annual Illinois Report Card (IRC), which provides a detailed look at each school’s progress on academic achievement, school culture and climate, and financial investments. In the Freeport School District, the IRC is used to guide continued improvement efforts as the district works to advance student academic growth, close the achievement gap, and ensure equitable resources and opportunities for all students. It will also help facilitate dialogue across various stakeholder groups as the district engages in developing its strategic plan for 2020-2023.
One component of the IRC is the summative designation, a descriptor of how well schools are meeting the needs of all students. This designation is based on eight indicators of academic success and school quality. For school year 2018-2019, two schools in the Freeport School District – Jones-Farrar IB World School and Freeport High School – have each improved their designation from Underperforming to Commendable. Four other schools in the district maintained their Commendable designation, one remains as Underperforming, and two schools are still designated as Lowest Performing. The Underperforming school will receive targeted support and the Lowest Performing schools will continue to receive comprehensive support for two more years from their IL-EMPOWER partner, the Urban Learning and Leadership Center, along with district level support.
“Though we are pleased that two of our schools received improved designations this year, the data makes clear that we have to be strategic and purposeful in crafting our next level of work in order to improve academic outcomes for students and meet our goal of preparing all students for success in college and careers,” said Superintendent Anna Alvarado, EdD. “With the support of the FSD Board of Education, we are committed to continuing to work and build strong partnerships with our principals, teachers, and the rest of our FSD family and community to improve our schools.”
School Improvement Teams in each school will play a critical role in advancing teaching and learning by monitoring their academic priorities and creating school environments that reflect a responsive approach to the social emotional needs of students. Meanwhile, the process of developing a new district strategic plan for 2020-2023 will include a focus on investing in early childhood education, prioritizing attendance, and aligning the way the district allocates its evidence-based funding to support meaningful professional development for teachers and staff.“
All this work will not happen in the absence of strong instructional leadership in every school,” said Superintendent Alvarado. “Therefore, investing time and leadership development in our principals and assistant principals will play a key role in continuous improvement. Additionally, accountability for results will begin at the central office level. Our work at the district level should reflect the needs of our school community and we will continue to ensure that decisions are being made in the best interest of students.”
Freeport School District has been fortunate to see increases in funding under the State’s evidence-based funding model, including $1.3 million in new funding over last year. This has enabled the district to hire additional school staff to help address the social emotional needs of students and to upgrade curricular materials.
Freeport School District is committed to keeping the community engaged through opportunities to learn more, give input, and become involved. At the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting on November 19, 2019, Superintendent Alvarado will host a State of the District address to share more information on our current and future state. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Freeport Middle School Conference Center. To view the complete Report Card, as well as a list of all schools and their designations, visit www.illinoisreportcard.com.