Report Card: Student Growth, 1st Exemplary School

Report Card: Student Growth, 1st Exemplary School
Posted on 10/30/2019

New designations from the Illinois State Board of Education mark a historic first for Waukegan Community Unit School District # 60, as one of its schools has earned the highest distinction possible on this year’s State Report Card, while the majority of District 60 schools continue to be rated in one of the two highest tiers. 


According to the newest Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) data released statewide this week, 13 of 21 Waukegan schools attained at least “Commendable” designation per ISBE benchmark metrics, including the District’s first-ever “Exemplary” designation by Clark Elementary School.  


The “Exemplary” designation, earned by Clark Elementary, is the highest of four designations an Illinois school can earn. Just 10 percent of all schools in Illinois earn this designation, which recognizes: “a school that has no underperforming subgroups, a graduation rate of greater than 67 percent, and whose performance is in the top 10 percent of schools statewide.” 


Clark’s designation marks the first time a Waukegan school was rated in the top tier since 2002, when No Child Left Behind/ Adequate Yearly Progress began measuring schools.


“We’re extremely proud of Clark School for this historic achievement. The students, staff and teachers deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication toward earning this milestone for our district,” said Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Theresa Plascencia. “As a District we are continuing to see a substantial percentage of our schools reach the two highest tier designations, and this is a testament to the strategic work taking place throughout the district. We hope to see additional improvement in the future, as we continue our work to create a better Waukegan Public Schools.”


This year, 12 schools earned the “Commendable” designation, which is the second highest designation a school in Illinois can earn, and recognizes: “a school that has no underperforming student sub-groups at or below the ‘all students’ group of the lowest 5 percent of all Title 1 schools, a graduation rate greater than 67 percent, and whose performance is not in the top 10 percent of schools statewide.”


Per ESSA’s designation criteria schools are ranked on a number of indicators. Elementary and middle school designations are based on students’ Math, English Language Arts, Science and English Learners proficiency as well as Math and English Language Arts growth. Indicators also include data related to the annual 5Essentials climate survey, and chronic absenteeism rates. 


At the high school level, indicators include: Math, English Language Arts, and English Learners proficiency, graduates rates, freshmen on track rates, college and career readiness rates, and also data related to the annual 5Essentials climate survey, and chronic absenteeism rates. 


In addition to 13 schools designated as “Commendable” or “Exemplary,” another eight fall in Tier 3 ‘Underperforming” category. For the second straight year, no Waukegan schools were characterized as a Tier 4, or “lowest performing” school. This marks the second year in the row where the majority of District 60 schools were rated in the two highest tiers. This is an improvement from previous years, when at one point or another, all 21 WPS60 schools have been considered underperforming according to ISBE.  


Underperforming schools are classified as ones “which one or more subgroup is performing at or below the “all students” group of the lowest 5 percent of all Title 1 schools.” Schools that receive an Underperforming School designation will receive Targeted Support per ESSA guidelines. Supports may come in the form of more intensive curriculum, additional teaching and support personnel, and highly concentrated professional development. Each school will be provided additional resources and supports based on their individual need and plans for school improvement.


A breakdown of designations, as well as District and individual school Report Card data, can be found at www.illinoisreportcard.com


Other highlights of the Report Card include:  - 15 of 22 District 60 schools increased ratings on the 5Essential Survey, and no schools saw a rating decrease
- District students averaged a 2.0% increase in math proficiency on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness
- District students averaged a 3.6% increase in English Language Arts proficiency on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness
- Waukegan High School increased its Freshmen on Track rate by 3.7%, which is a predictor for future graduation 
- The District saw a 2.0 % increase in its high school graduation rate and a 3.5% increase in students enrolling in college within 12 months of graduating 

A full list of the newest designations is below: 


Andrew Cooke Magnet Elementary School - Commendable

Carman-Buckner Elementary School - Underperforming

Clearview Elementary School - Commendable

Glen Flora Elementary School - Commendable

Glenwood Elementary School - Commendable

Greenwood Elementary School - Commendable

H R McCall Elementary School - Commendable

Hyde Park Elementary School - Commendable

John S. Clark Elementary School - Exemplary

Little Fort Elementary School - Commendable

Lyon Magnet Elementary School -Underperforming

North Elementary School - Commendable

Oakdale Elementary School - Commendable

Washington Elementary School - Commendable

Whittier Elementary School - Commendable

Daniel Webster Middle School - Underperforming

Jack Benny Middle School - Underperforming

Miguel Juarez Middle School - Underperforming

Robert E. Abbott Middle School - Underperforming

Thomas Jefferson Middle School - Underperforming

Waukegan High School - Underperforming

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