Dear Parent(s) and Guardian(s),
As you may know, the State of Illinois released its newly updated Illinois School Report Card on October 31, 2018. This report card is aligned with our nation’s federal education law, ESSA. In order to assess each school’s progress toward meeting ESSA goals, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) measures the performance of all students, as well as specific student subgroups, across a variety of academic and school quality indicators. This data is used to generate a school’s composite score. Schools are ranked based on their composite scores, and this comparative ranking is a school’s “official designation” for the school’s report card.
This year, Aspen School earned a Tier 2 designation. This means that our performance, as measured by the Illinois ESSA Plan, has no underperforming student subgroups.
We value each of the measures included in the Illinois ESSA Plan, and will continue to use these scores to ensure the success of all students. We also recognize that this system weights PARCC assessment data more heavily than the other academic indicators. At Aspen School, we use a variety of measures to determine how well we are meeting the academic needs of our students. We also consider each student’s progress in daily learning activities and projects, as well as classroom-based assessment measures to develop a more complete picture of our academic performance. In addition, we strongly value the development of the whole child. Our students’ social and emotional growth, participation in, service-learning efforts, and other positive contributions to our school community are all essential components of our success at Aspen.
During the 2017-2018 school year, 96% of our Kindergarten through 5th grade students met their individualized goal setting targets in reading, math and/or personal goals. We increased the overall percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards as measured by PARCC and decreased the achievement gap in most areas. Students had the opportunity to participate in Student Council, Aspen Broadcasting, and our lunch helper program. We implemented the Second Step Social Emotional Learning program and had over 30 students participate as Aspen ACE Team members where they could show leadership as trained peer mediators, morning hallway greeters, or school beautification team members. All students participated in our Aspen’s All-Star reading initiative program, which encouraged students to read in a variety of different ways and display acts of kindness at home and at school. Aspen recognized twenty 5th grade students who received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and fourteen 5th graders who received the Presidential Award for Academic Achievement. Staff and parents worked together to provide students the opportunity to participate in the Girls on the Run Program, where running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build
confidence through the accomplishment of competing in a 5K run. Our band and orchestra programs continued to showcase the talents of 4th and 5th grade students and our annual Art Fair showcased the work happening in art classes throughout the year. Our Aspen Family Partnership Council continued to offer family events focused on building community through activities like our Annual Back to School Family Dance, Bingo Night, and special presentations as well as working together with staff to provide another Family University.
This year, we are most excited to continue our work focused on helping 100% of our students reach their individualized learning targets in reading, math and/or personal goals. At Aspen, we believe in SOARing above the line (Safe, On-Task, Act Responsible, and show Respect) and will continue to explicitly teach Social Emotional Skills to our students through our Second Step Program. Many of our classrooms are co-taught with special education teachers and/or English Language teachers so ALL students at Aspen are fully included with their same-age peers. To this end, we are excited to be participants in the Nora project which aims to promote connections between students and their peers with disabilities. We have also welcomed a new committee to the Aspen Family Partnership Council focused on making sure all of our families, regardless of native language, feel they are connected to and can communicate successfully with the school. 2018-2019 will mark the first year that the Multilingual Family Alliance joined AFPC. We also welcome the new Aspen Chorus, providing students another opportunity to participate in the fine arts and look forward to our students participating in our Read for the Win reading incentive program.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You are also welcome to visit our district website at http://www.hawthorn73.org/hawthorn-information/essa for additional information and resources to support your understanding of the Illinois ESSA Plan. We are looking forward to a successful year of growth and learning for all students at Aspen.