2022 in OSD308: 146 high school students named state scholars, seven schools earn state’s exemplary rating

File photo: Oswego High School students head to class during a passing period at the school.

It was another year of academic excellence in 2022 for Oswego School District 308.

Seven district elementary schools achieved the coveted “exemplary” rating in the 2022 Illinois Report Card from the State Board of Education, placing those schools in the top 10%.

The elementary schools include Boulder Hill, Churchill, Homestead, Hunt Club, Prairie Point, The Wheatlands and Wolf’s Crossing.

Other schools in the district, including both high schools and all five junior high schools, received the “commendable” rating. The district’s four-year graduation rate is 95.7%, exceeding the state average by 8.4%.

Also, 75% of district graduates are enrolling in college within 16 months of graduation, exceeding the state average by 10%.

Meanwhile, the district announced that 64 students from Oswego High School and 82 students from Oswego East High School, all from the Class of 2023, have been designated as Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

During 2022, the district placed a growing emphasis on promoting equality and diversity in the classroom, including training sessions for the faculty.

With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, the district has grown more diverse over the past two decades.

A total of 56% of the district’s students are white, 22% Hispanic, 9% African American, 7% Asian and 5% multiracial.

The Oswego School Board took steps in 2022 to maintain the district’s school buildings.

Early in the year, the board approved an $18 million bond issue to finance a six-year building maintenance plan.

The District 308 board voted Jan. 24 to sell the bonds, allowing the school administration to move ahead with a six-year capital improvement program.

The effort is designed to allow the district to catch up on some deferred maintenance and to make scheduled repairs as they come due.

The district owns and operates 22 school buildings and many are in need of new roofs, heating and air-condition units, parking lot repairs and other basic infrastructure projects.

The $18 million in revenue from the bonds will be directed into the district’s working cash fund.

For the typical home valued at $300,000, the bond sale will result in an additional $54 per year on the owner’s property tax bill over the life of the six-year repayment period, Petzke said.