November 17, 2015 Board of Education Meeting Highlights

Freeport – At its regular meeting held Tuesday evening at the District Administration Building, the Freeport School District Board of Education:

Discussed some potential changes to the high school course catalog. These changes will provide more career-based course offerings to our students. Four new courses were proposed, including “Heritage Learner’s Spanish”, “Work Based Learning”, “Careers”, and “Future Educator Work Based Learning”. Meanwhile, the updated catalog has also been aligned according to 16 career clusters, allowing students the option of selecting a major
emphasis to focus on in their studies. These changes will help students to see connections between their high school experience and their future employment opportunities right here in Freeport. This item will return to the Board for action at its December 15th meeting.

Learned about the findings released so far on FSD’s 2015 School Report Card. Data in the report includes student and teacher demographics, enrollment, district-level financial information, Illinois 5Essentials Survey information, graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment, and the percentage of freshmen on track. In particular, Freeport School District is seeing good growth in the graduation rate area, as the 4-year graduation rate has increased from 80 to 82% and the 5-year graduation rate has increased from 80% to 85%. Data involving student academic growth and achievement has not been released yet. Once the PARCC results are available and districts have had time to review their data, the Report Card will be updated with district- and school-level scores. There will be a comprehensive report at the December 15th board meeting regarding the PARCC assessment scores.

Discussed first quarter data on the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS) in FSD schools. PBIS is a prevention-oriented approach for assisting schools in organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions, improving the implementation of those practices, and maximizing academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. The data showed that most FSD sites experienced a decrease in discipline referrals when PBIS was consistently implemented compared to the same time period last year. Several schools experienced decreases of 35% and more, with one school experiencing a 60% decrease in discipline referrals. The district will continue to examine the implementation of PBIS and other behavior supports in our schools.

Appointed Brian Lamm to the position of Taylor Park Elementary School Principal. Lamm will begin his new role on November 30th, succeeding Toni Holmes, who resigned from the position for personal reasons. Lamm has over 15 years of experience as a Freeport School District educator. He comes to Taylor Park Elementary School from his current position as Assistant Principal at Freeport Middle School, and previously taught at both Freeport Middle School and Lincoln-Douglas Elementary School. The appointment of Lamm follows a hiring process conducted by an interviewing committee comprised of teachers, staff, a parent and administration. A meet and greet with Lamm is set to be held on Monday, Nov. 23rd at 4:00-5:30 PM at Taylor Park Elementary School.

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