2022 Illinois Report Card ranks Tri-Cities schools either ‘commendable,’ or ‘exemplary’

Geneva High School.

Most Tri-Cities area schools in the 2022 Illinois School Report Card scored “commendable” or “exemplary” marks – the two highest designations – in the Illinois State Board of Education’s annual evaluation released Oct. 27.

According to the report card, student growth slowed during the pandemic, but is showing signs of a strong rebound by outperforming pre-pandemic growth. The report card examined growth from the previous academic year and measured school performance based on academic indicators such as growth in math and English, proficiency in math and English, science proficiency and graduation rates for high schools. The report card also measured school quality and success indicators such as chronic absenteeism and a climate survey.

Each school was given a summative designation from among four categories: “exemplary,” which means the school is among the highest 10% of all schools; “commendable,” which means the school does not meet the criteria for the “exemplary” designation but ranks above “targeted” and “comprehensive”; “targeted,” which means the school would reach the “commendable” or “exemplary” designations but has “one or more student groups on par with the lowest 5% of schools”; and “comprehensive,” which means the school is among the lowest-performing 5% of all schools.

All of the schools in Geneva School District 304, St. Charles School District 303, Kaneland School District 302 and Batavia Public School District 101 received either “exemplary” or “commendable” designations. Some schools in other Kane County districts, including in Elgin and Aurora, received “targeted” designations.

Middle school nameDistrictSummative Designation
Sam Rotolo Middle School (Batavia)BPS 101Commendable
Geneva Middle School NorthD304Commendable
Geneva Middle School SouthD304Commendable
Kaneland Harter Middle SchoolD302Commendable
Thompson Middle School (St. Charles)D303Commendable
Wredling Middle School (St. Charles)D303Commendable
High School nameDistrictSummative Designation
Batavia High SchoolBPS 101Commendable
Geneva High SchoolD304Exemplary
Kaneland High SchoolD302Commendable
St. Charles East High SchoolD303Commendable
St. Charles North High SchoolD303Commendable

In the St. Charles school district, four of the district’s elementary schools – Bell Graham, Corron, Norton Creek and Munhall – are designated as “exemplary.” The other schools in the district received a “commendable” designation.

Christine Igoe, the district’s assistant superintendent of educational services, said the district’s results mirrored statewide results.

“We didn’t really hit a return to proficiency levels, but we did see significant growth, both at grade levels and individual student growth,” Igoe said. “So we are happy to see that it appears that the things we have done and put in place have put us on the right track. But, of course, we would like to see a return to those pre-pandemic levels.”

In the 2020-21 school year, the district implemented a new assessment program called i-Ready.

“We use our data to really get a good understanding of where our students are within the standard and then we really worked with teachers so they could understand that here’s the grade level standard, here’s where your student is and how do you continue to teach to that grade level standard and kind of support students along the way,” Igoe said.

Officials plan to make a presentation to school board members about the results at the board’s Nov. 14 meeting.

“We’re happy to see that we have some growth in the number of students that are proficient,” she said. “We’re happy to see that our individual student growth outperformed what was expected by the state, so those are all good things. And we’ll continue to really work on helping kids kind of move through that process. Our goal is to not only get back to our pre-pandemic levels, but to exceed those.”

Kaneland Superintendent Todd Leden said the Illinois School Report Card is just one way to measure the success of the district’s schools. He said district officials will present a more detailed report at the Nov. 14 school board meeting.

“Kaneland uses multiple measures to assess our academic performance and success of our students. We are in the process of reviewing both information sets [Kaneland Indicators of Success and the Illinois School Report Card],” he said in an email. “The state report card has numerous data points, therefore, we will share a variety of data points from our Kaneland results. ... We are reviewing the state report card information and we will take time to celebrate our successes, as well as take time to work on opportunities for growth.”

Batavia Superintendent Lisa Hichens said the Illinois School Report Card is important for the district’s reputation and they are proud of the results the district schools received.

“Our ultimate goal is to help students thrive once they have graduated, and our data shows many strengths related to post-secondary preparation,” she said in an email. “There has been a significant increase in the percentage of college- and career-ready students and more than 75% of the Batavia High School Class of 2022 enrolled in one or more of our 12 dual-credit courses last year.”

Hichens said while they are pleased with the results overall, there is room for improvement in the district

“There are also areas where we can do better and teams of professionals throughout the organization are working to improve our systems so that each and every student is growing in an environment where they feel safe and confident in their future,” she said.