Grade-level learning expectations
Community Consolidated School District 89 sets high standards for academic achievement at all grade levels. The learning expectations are based on Illinois Learning Standards adopted by the Illinois Legislature. All CCSD 89 students are expected to work toward mastery of these standards. To accomplish this goal, students at each grade level must build on the concepts and skills previously learned. Daily curricular plans, instructional strategies and assessment of student work are designed to help students make progress and meet or exceed the learning standards.
Parent awareness and support for the grade level expectations contribute to establishing an effective partnership between the home and school. Parents with questions about their child's program are encouraged to contact their child's teacher or principal for more information.
Addressing student differences
Children enter school with different abilities and different learning needs. The Learning Expectations describe what an average learner is likely to accomplish by the end of a specific grade level. Not all students progress at the pace of a typical learner. Teachers recognize the need to modify, adapt or enrich the learning experiences of those students who are developing knowledge and skills at different rates. CCSD 89 also provides support programs to address the diverse needs of students beyond the general classroom program of instruction. These programs include Reading Recovery, English as a Second Language, Challenge, Literacy Skills, and Special Education.
Assessing student performance
Classroom learning experiences are designed to help students make progress toward meeting CCSD 89 grade-level expectations and the Illinois Learning Standards. Students receive teacher feedback on the accuracy and quality of their work in a variety of ways. The most common methods include numerical scores ("raw scores" indicating the number of correct items or the percentage correct) and rubrics (scoring guides) that describe key traits of an assignment. One example of a rubric is the 6+1 Trait™ Writing rubric that identifies ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation as the key traits of a quality piece of writing. Teachers refer to descriptions of each trait when reading a student's essay and assign 1-5 points to papers that closely match the descriptions.
Communicating student results
Each school and teacher has a system for communicating with parents about instruction and the behavioral and academic progress of students. School and classroom web pages, newsletters, and other print materials are sent home to give parents an ongoing stream of information about current topics of study and classroom activities. Teachers rely on phone messages, e-mail and personal notes to convey information about individual students. The comments and scores on graded work help parents gauge how well their child understands assigned tasks. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled each November and at other times upon request. Student report cards, sent home at the end of designated reporting periods at each grade level, summarize a child's performance in the classroom and in any support program in which he/she participates. These reports align with grade-level expectations and state standards.