Danville District 118 school board members will consider Wednesday whether to approve a proposed plan to improve student achievement at Danville High School.
The proposed plan for transformational change at the high school is part of the application process for a $6 million federal school improvement grant administered through the Illinois State Board of Education.
Superintendent Mark Denman said the proposed plan, which was presented during a public study session earlier this week, has been revised.
“We’re incorporating things that we’ve heard,” he said. “We’ve made some revisions and additions based on suggestions from the board and the community.”
Some of the changes include a mentoring component and the creation of an advisory council of continuous improvement.
During the study session, some school board and community members questioned how a proposed 30-minute intervention/enrichment period would work.
“The team feels the 30-minute period is the best way to meet those objectives,” Denman said.
This is the first time that DHS has been eligible for the grant. Eligibility for the grant is based on a school’s performance on the Prairie State Achievement Exam. The district must apply for the grant by the end of the month.
The competitive school improvement grant would infuse $6 million over three years to improve teaching and learning at DHS.
While there are no plans to dismantle the house structure implemented a few years ago at DHS — which has been credited for increasing graduation rates and attendance rates — student achievement still needs to be improved, particularly on the Prairie State Achievement Exam.
The district’s proposed plan for transformational change at DHS includes:
- Extend learning time for all students;
- Interventions and supports to improve learning and achievement of standards;
- Collaboration with a lead partner;
- Incentives for teachers and staff;
- And includes student growth in teacher evaluations.
The plan proposes to improve student achievement by implementing curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards, develop and implement common assessments schoolwide and develop academic and behavioral interventions.
The grant requirements include:
- Implementing a staff evaluation system for principals and teachers that includes being evaluated on student growth.
- Implementing a system of rewards, including $500 and $1,000 bonuses for DHS teachers if school goals are met. They are: 55 percent of DHS students meeting or exceeding standards in reading/language arts as well as math in 2014, 70 percent in 2015 and 85 percent in 2016. The first-year goal for attendance is 92 percent in 2014, increasing to 96 percent by 2016, and a 10 percent decrease in behavioral incidents each year of the three-year grant.
- Creating common assessments schoolwide to drive instruction.
- Implementing a summer school program to help struggling eighth-graders before they start ninth grade at DHS.
- Creating a safety/enrichment period.
- Implementing a “double dose” of math and literacy classes for ninth-graders.
- Implementing a senior seminar based on math career skills and literacy career skills.
The proposed changes at DHS outlined in the plan include:
- Implementing 30 minutes of intervention/enrichment period
- Extending the school day by 15 minutes, which would be combined with the current homeroom period to create the intervention/enrichment period.
- Implementing staff evaluations that include student growth.
- Tapping instructional leaders that are trained in heavy coaching.
- Designating a literacy coach.
- Designating a math coach.
- Hiring a behavioral interventionist.
- Hiring a transformational officer who would work in collaboration with the principal.
If awarded, the grant would fund several new positions at the high school to implement the transformation model, including the transformation officer, behavioral interventionist, a data analyst and lead teachers. In addition, the Consortium for Educational Change — a nonprofit partner selected by the district — would guide the district through the process of including student growth in teacher evaluations and would provide a full-time position onsite at DHS to support the reform efforts.
Also on Wednesday, school board members will:
- Recognize a DHS graduate who has made a significant donation to support the improvements at the high school’s track facility by granting them naming rights. The community athletic facility will be renamed at the meeting.
- Hear an update on pre-kindergarten registration. Denman said about 200 children have been registered for kindergarten so far.
Pre-registration was held during parent-teacher conferences on March 21 and 22, but parents can register at the home school their child will attend at any time.
Children are eligible for kindergarten if they turn 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2013. Parents are asked to bring a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, up-to-date physical and immunization records and proof of residency.
- Consider approving increases in various fees for the 2013-2014 school year.
Denman said the proposed fee increases include selling locks for lockers for $4 rather than $3; issuing DHS student parking permits for $9 rather than $7; and increasing the price for a full-priced lunch by 10 cents.
The price increase will not affect the cost of breakfast or reduced-priced lunches. Those prices will stay the same.
Under the proposal, a full-priced lunch will increase to $1.95 from $1.85 at the elementary schools, to $2.05 from $1.95 at the middle schools and high school, and to $2.70 from $2.60 for adults.