District 203

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Career, also known as PARCC, has replaced the ISAT and PSAE tests this year.

PARCC is administered to students in grades 3-11, and so far, there has been a positive response in the first few weeks of testing.

“Students appear to be more engaged in the activities of the test than with previous state tests with some even commenting that they found it fun and most completed it in less than the allotted time,” said Tim Wierenga, Assistant Superintendent for Assessment at District 203.

The biggest difference is the amount of time it takes for students to take the test. The estimated completion time for both the component and subject areas is just over nine hours, which raised concerns with some parents about instructional time being taken away.

At the meeting, the board also approved a new science curriculum. Starting in the 2015-2016 school year, students will take chemistry in their first year of high school, which will be followed by biology in grade 10 and physics in grade 11. This meets the new mandated Next Generation Science Standards.

And finally, a yearlong study of the district’s demographics show that there will be a 5-8% decline in enrollment for the next five years, due to the rise of people aged 60 and older. Those numbers could change if families with preschool aged children continue to move into the district.

Also on the agenda was the 2014 debt service tax levy which the district voted not to abate, which means property owners will be helping foot the bill.

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