Illinois State Report Card 2023
Each year, the State of Illinois releases a state report card that covers a variety of academic and school climate metrics to help paint a picture of teaching and learning in schools across the state.
9th Grade On Track:
The State Board of Education defines ninth graders as “on track” as those who have earned at least five full-year course credits (10 semester credits) and have earned no more than one semester “F” in a core course (English, math, science, or social science). Course credits from summer sessions are not included in this calculation. Experts view this indicator as a key predictor of high school success.
In 2019-20, School District U-46 implemented Freshman Success teams at each of our five comprehensive high schools. These teams include administrators, teachers, counselors, and support staff from the school. They meet at least once per month to review 9th grade data and determine areas to address as it relates to instruction, curriculum, climate and culture, family connections and grades. The teams aim to ensure 9th graders make a successful transition from middle school to high school, and that we continue to develop and offer systems in place to support students, staff, and families when needed. We are continuing that work this year with the investment and addition of a new high school role; the Assistant Principal of Freshman Success, at each of our five comprehensive high schools.
In 2022, 88.2 percent of U-46 freshmen ranked as “on track” according to this metric compared to the state’s overall average of 86.6 percent.
Advanced Placement Classes:
- Across our five high schools, we have used the AP Potential tool from the College Board to identify students prepared to succeed in AP classes and tests and we then encourage students to enroll in AP courses.
- We have an open enrollment policy for AP courses, and any student who is interested can take a course.
- The District covers the cost of the first AP exam annually for every U-46 student, and our schools who receive Title 1 funds cover the cost of all AP exams for all students.
- The District provides each AP teacher with the opportunity to conduct Saturday review sessions with their students (above and beyond the school day)
- We ensure that all AP teachers attend a summer institute every three years, which includes 3-4 days of professional development over the summer.
- AP teachers attend at least one full-day of professional development annually.
- AP courses prepare students for the rigor of college.
- Dual language programming has led to more students taking the Spanish AP exam. The District covers the cost of all students in Dual Language who would like to take the Spanish AP exam.
- We have expended out dual credit offerings for the early college program (from 45 - 100 seats).
- We had 68 Dual Credit graduates in the Class of 2023, compared to 44 Dual Credit graduates in the Class of 2022.
- We are now offering in-high school dual credit courses where students are able to take dual credit courses through Elgin Community College taught by our qualified high school teachers.
- We have had an intentional focus on strengthening our CTE curriculum to gain accreditation by national organizations in order to ensure students are getting access to high quality, rigorous programming that will result in an industry-recognized credential.
- We continue to work on developing programming that will increase the number of pathways that we offer so that students who participate can earn industry credentials and/or dual credit in partnership with Elgin Community College.
- Four Pathways currently lead to an industry credential: Automotive, Welding, Healthcare Science, and Precision Manufacturing. BEACON Academy graduates also receive an Adobe credential. Students progress through three courses (one per year in their sophomore, junior, and senior year) in order to gain the instruction and hours so that they can obtain the credential.
- All students completing a full pathway are eligible to test for a credential. Each credential is earned from a nationally recognized accrediting body that ensures the level of knowledge and skill meet the demand of current industry practices. In 2022-23, over 150 students earned credentials in Automotive Technology, Healthcare Science, Precision Manufacturing or Welding Technology.
Seal of Biliteracy:
U-46 issued a special honor to 404 Class of 2023 graduates who have earned the State of Illinois Seal of Biliteracy, showing that they’ve demonstrated proficiency in one or more languages besides English. Another 308 students earned the Commendation, given to students who have demonstrated significant progress toward achieving a high level of proficiency.
The percentage of students identified for gifted programming in U-46 ranks higher than the state average overall and for every ethnicity, except American Indian and Pacific Islander. We attribute these gains to the following programming components: talent development, universal screening and the use of building norms.
Talent development at all Title 1 Schools permits us to support all learners by providing access to direct instruction in critical thinking skills before we identify students for gifted services. Universal screening at 2nd and 6th grades is systematic screening where all students are considered in the candidate pool. Thus removing a barrier of prerequisites to be tested for gifted programming.
The District’s universal screening process was reinstated in 2013. The use of local norms at the building level is a way for us to honor the talent and abilities present in all populations.