Lake Zurich school report card: 5 of 8 schools reach targets
Jaime Johnson removes some of the lettering on a bullentin board from last school year as she prepares her fifth-grade classroom at Isaac Fox Elementary School. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 9, 2012 8:36AM
LAKE ZURICH — Five out of the eight schools in Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 made Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to the 2011-12 school report card released by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Dr. Terry Mootz, the district’s director of data and assessment, said that due to the complexity of the analysis, however, a school that fails to meet requirements should not necessarily be branded as a failing school.
“It is essential as a learning community that data from multiple sources be reviewed to provide a holistic picture of school improvement,” Mootz said. “While state test data is one indicator of student learning, the district realizes that it must continue to seek out additional tools to measure student learning and program success.”
Mootz cited tests like the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE), the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) and the Illinois Alternate Assessment as additional tools for gauging student progress.
“Data from multiple assessments should provide an encompassing picture of student achievement,” said Mootz.
As an example, Mootz cited Lake Zurich High School, which also did not meet all requirements for AYP but the high school was recently designated one of the nation’s best high schools by two national publications.
The Chicago Sun-Times’ school report card analysis ranked LZHS 37th out of 689 high schools in Illinois.
Mootz said those are indicators that a multi-faceted approach to student assessment is necessary.
“It’s always a challenge to determine what information is directing schools to actions,” said Mootz.
Under the AYP requirements, each individual student body and every one of its subgroup populations must reach the designated safe harbor target.
The three District 95 schools that came up short include Sarah Adams Elementary, Lake Zurich Middle School North and Lake Zurich High School.
At Sarah Adams, 54.3 percent of the school’s disabled student population met or exceeded state reading standards. The safe harbor target was set at 63.6 percent.
The Middle School North campus failed to meet AYP’s safe harbor targets in four categories. Those include Hispanic students in reading, Hispanic students in math, disabled students in reading and disabled students in math.
At LZHS, the overall student body didn’t reach targets in reading or math, the white student population didn’t meet reading standards, and low-income students didn’t hit the standards in reading and math.
In addition to LZHS ranked 37th statewide, Isaac Fox Elementary School also made the Sun-Times’ top 100 school at 86th out of the 2,202 elementary buildings in the state.
For two years in a row, Isaac Fox students have met or exceeded composite standards at a 96 percent clip.
To ensure all district schools hit the mandated targets, Mootz said each school brought together a team of teachers and administrators for two days in the fall to complete data analysis to identify problems and determine what actions should be taken for the next school year.
Mootz said the primary aim of these assessments is to streamline the learning process in a way that would most effectively benefit students.
“This follows the logic that when true learning has occurred, it will manifest itself in performance,” Mootz said.