Superintendent's Message

Illinois Report Card

November 2019

Dear Thornton Fractional 215 Family,

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently released our annual School Report Card at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The Report Card shows how well our district and more importantly how your child’s school is progressing on a wide range of educational goals. We are proud that both TF North and TF South are identified as commendable schools, according to Illinois State Board. The designation, commendable, means we have zero underperforming student groups at or below the “all students” group in the lowest-performing 5% of all schools. Additionally, our four-year graduation rate stands at 84%, which is well above the 67% threshold.

Two notable highlights include an increase of our students’ participation in early college coursework such as Advanced Placement (AP) and dual credit courses. Specifically, more than 40% of our students took one or more AP class and/or one or more dual college credit bearing course(s). This is an increase of more than 6% from last school year. This progress reflects the investments we have made and continue to make in exposing our students to more rigorous courses and classwork early and often. Additionally, our five-year graduation rate is 94% and 6% higher than the state’s average.

We are proud that during this 2019-2020 school year, our Board of Education approved our district budget. Thus, we were able to utilize our Evidence-Based Funding dollars to hire additional classroom teachers as we expand our AP course offerings. Moreover, we are in the midst of overhauling our curriculum by relying on the expertise and time of our teachers and consultants. Our teachers, administrators, and staff, in partnership with you, are continuing to focus on elevating student performance across the board, from assisting our students in persisting through ninth grade to excelling on the SAT state assessment, which serves as a gateway to many institutions of higher learning. There is room for improvement and we continue to look for ways to make sure our students persist through grade nine, on time and graduate college and career ready.

We welcome this opportunity to dive into our data and talk about additional improvements and investments we can make to support all of our student scholars in reaching their goals. Our schools are strongest when we all work together.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

Educationally Yours,

Teresa A. Lance

October 2019

 

Dear #TeamPhenomenal215 Family,

It is my hope that the school year has been a positive one thus far! As we move into October, I want to share with you a priority on which I continue to focus: the importance of listening to student and parent voices.

Research is clear that student voice matters. Consider the research of John Smyth, who explored the positive contribution of student voice in an article entitled, "Educational Leadership That Fosters Student Voice." Smyth explains that inattention to soliciting the voice and input of students to improve curriculum and teaching and learning is one the most important concerns in education today.

Because we know the importance of student voice, our Board of Education held listening sessions with our students last year and will engage in a similar format this year. We’ve asked students, parents, and staff to participate in our Thought Exchange program, and many have also taken the time to email me or contact me via Twitter. In addition, I am holding two "Soup with the Superintendent" events this school year, which provide an opportunity for parents to dialogue with me in a relaxed setting. Although registration is full for the October event, we do have another event planned for later in the school year. AND, you can frequently catch me at school events!

We are still evolving, but in the end we recognize the importance of hearing from students, parents, staff, and community members.

Educationally Yours,

Teresa A. Lance, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Thornton Fractional 215