The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 22, 2013

D118 board looks at changes

New plan part of application process for grant

DANVILLE — 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.

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