Board Briefs:  Fall 2023 Curriculum Workshop

7 board members standing against brick wall

The District 58 Board of Education held a Curriculum Workshop on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023 at Downers Grove Village Hall. View the agenda. View the meeting video. 

Strategic Plan Draft

The meeting began with an overview of a draft of the new Strategic Plan for 2023-28, what superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell called the “north star” for the District. The plan will be presented to the Board for approval at its next business meeting Nov. 13. Upon approval, work on the objectives will begin, with quarterly updates provided to the District's Leadership Team.

The plan builds on the success of the previous Strategic Plan and focuses on five key areas: Focusing on Learning, Connecting with the Community, Securing the Future, Building for Success, and Cultivating Talent.

Strategic Plan Report
Slideshow Summary
(Slides 3-35)

2022-23 Year-End Data and School Improvement

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Liz Ehrhart shared an overview of 2022-23 school year Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing data using the District’s assessment data platform with ECRA. Using students’ prior performance data, ECRA annually creates a personalized projection for each student. 

The projections indicate the expected level of performance for each student on MAP and IAR assessments that will be taken throughout the year. After each assessment, District 58 reviews whether students have met their achievement benchmark (correlated to proficiency on the state assessment/IAR). Growth is determined by the distance between the student’s projected score and their actual score.

Ehrhart shared growth summary and proficiency reports regarding the District overall, schools, grade levels and subgroups. These reports showed how well District 58 students performed on their 2022-23 assessments, as compared to their projections. 

These reports found that students overall showed greater growth on the spring 2023 IAR test than on the spring 2023 MAP test. In addition, students overall exhibited higher than expected growth in Reading/English-Language Arts (ELA). Ehrhart noted that this higher growth was a testament to the School Improvement Plan process, where instructional teams identify needs – in this case, writing – and develop plans to help students in this area. 

A combination growth report measured all IAR and MAP test results for both Math and Reading/ELA. Overall, all District 58 schools are making “Expected Growth” in both Math and Reading/ELA.

The data is used by each school’s Instructional Leadership Team to determine targeted areas for improvement, which will be incorporated into a School Improvement Plan or SIP. Additionally, it is used to determine specific interventions for students, student groupings, review of curricular pacing and any curricular support needed. Each school will highlight its SIP at a scheduled Board “Spotlight”, and will analyze the results of its SIP each June. 

View slides 36-63 to learn more.

Committee Progress Overview

Ehrhart was joined by Curriculum Coordinators Christine Priester, Sandy Cristobal and Eleni Gajewski to provide progress updates on the following committees:

  • English-Language Arts pilot
  • Writing
  • Gifted
  • Dual Language
  • MTSS
  • Curriculum Council
  • Differentiation and Assessment Committee
  • District Equity Leadership Team 

Slideshow (Slides 35-65)

Illinois Report Card and Summative Designations

The 2023 School Report Cards will be released at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 30 at The report card provides extensive data on every public school in Illinois, including a Summative Designation. That designation is based on a variety of factors, including student growth on test scores, proficiency, absenteeism and climate survey results.  Ehrhart outlined how the designations are calculated and weighted and the designation process. The Report Cards will be spotlighted at the Board’s Nov. 13 regular business meeting and posted on the District 58 website on Oct. 30. 

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall
  • Monday, Nov. 27, 3:45 p.m. District Leadership Team, O’Neill Professional Development Center

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Gregory Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Melissa Ellis, Emily Hanus, Steven Olczyk and Tracy Weiner, with Dr. Kevin Russell, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.