At the March 14 joint meeting of the District 65 and District 202 School Boards, administrators presented their plans for the 2016 Joint Achievement Report.

The annual report addresses a specific research question selected by the superintendents that reflects areas of interest to both districts. This year’s report will examine research related to the following question: “What is the academic and non-academic history of students entering high school below the 40th percentile on the MAP reading assessment; what courses do they take in high school; and what are their academic outcomes in high school and beyond?”

District 65 and 202 administrators explained how the two Districts will work together to collect and examine data for the report. Peter Godard, District 65 chief officer of Research, Accountability, and Data, explained they will start by analyzing data they already collect, such as pre-kindergarten activities and household data provided as part of registering for kindergarten.

District 65 School Board member Candance Chow encouraged administrators to “expand beyond our walls” in collecting data. Mr. Godard said data sharing agreements would need to be put in place, but that the report could include information from Cradle to Career partners, surveys and interviews with families and former students.

Anne Sills, District 202 Board member, asked if research would help with “the understanding of what we need from preschools to create a baseline of delivery.”

Mr. Godard said District 65 has already begun collecting information on “what programs kids are coming from” and that the report could help lead to developing some pre-K standards and identify how schools can collaborate.

District 202 Board member Jonathan Baum asked if last year’s and this year’s questions are independent of each other or if the reports would be cumulative. Mr. Godard said that this year’s question expands on what was learned in last year’s report; that the 2016 report would look not just at whether students are “on track” but why or why not. He said research would look at newcomers to the Districts and experiences students brought to the Districts.

We want to look at how the Districts can “interrupt and accelerate” trends that affect reading performance, said Pete Bavis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for District 202.

The Districts want to “leverage change and outcomes at every level” and the recommendation for how to do so will be included in the final report which will be presented at the November 2016 joint District 65/District 202 Board meeting.