D219 Annual Review of Programs for 2012-13
The following document is part of an annual review of programs and personnel in District 219. The purpose of this document is to ensure that curricular programs are aligned with the Board of Education’s mission statement and goals, including the Five-Year Strategic Plan, in a fiscally responsible manner. This document is a working draft that should serve as a catalyst for ongoing discussions among Board of Education members, administrators, teachers, parents and students. We welcome input and suggestions from all of our constituent groups, and look forward to insightful dialogue with all parties involved. The Board of Education intends to take action on this year’s plan at the December 12 Board meeting.
New Graduation Requirement
According to Professor Minh A. Luong of Yale University, "Colleges now acknowledge, based on years of experience, that students who demonstrate success in extracurricular activities which give them real-world skills like critical thinking, oral and written communication, and the ability to organize ideas and present them effectively, perform better in college.” Furthermore, “The Wall Street Journal report did specifically highlight a ‘consistent trend’—one that forensic coaches have known for a long time—that dedicated participation in drama and debate has significantly increased the success rate of college applicants at all schools which track such data.”
Unfortunately, D219 does not have an adequately developed forensics, debate and public speaking curriculum for students. In order to promote college readiness, increase standardized test scores and meet NCLB standards, a universal speech and theatre curriculum must be implemented in District 219. The co-curricular nature of this curriculum will not only allow students to enroll in courses that enrich their critical thinking skills, oral and written communication and analytical abilities but it will also give students the chance to implement what they learn in a competitive setting. Finally, several studies show that when underrepresented minorities participate in drama and forensics, their likelihood to go to college and score high on standardized tests increases significantly.
We recommend a new graduation requirement for public speaking in addition to the current four- year English requirement. Courses that will count towards this one semester requirement must require significant time making speeches, forming arguments for verbal presentation, and/or performing. Classes being considered as meeting this new requirement include some theatre courses (i.e., not stagecraft), debate, advanced policy debate, public speaking, advanced public speaking and broadcasting (with required performance component). Some courses can receive dual credit (e.g., fine arts credit and speech credit, or social studies credit and speech credit). In order for a course to be considered as meeting the graduation requirement, a formal application from a department must be drafted for review by CSSI and the administration including revisions to the curriculum guide, as necessary. The administration wants departments to discuss what courses from their departments might fulfil this requirement. This requirement will not add to the total credits students need to graduate. This requirement will begin with the class of 2016.
Recommendation: D219 adopts a policy to include one semester of Public Speaking, beginning with the class of 2016. This requirement may be met by and course designated as “fulfills the Public Speaking requirement” in the student course book.
D219 has a history of commitment to diverse course offerings in non-core academics, particularly in AS&T. However, the district cannot support non-core subjects with more resources than the resources dedicated to courses necessary to ensure students can read, write and do math well. Class size and teacher load in classes mandated with improving reading, writing and math performance should not be significantly higher than the class size and teacher load in elective programs. This is not the case currently in D219, where electives are very often more generously staffed than classes where teachers are primarily responsible for teaching reading, writing and math. This must change, and the following suggested efficiencies in AS&T seek to better balance the district’s resources.
Consumer Education: In some other school districts in Illinois, the following courses satisfy requirements for consumer education: AP Economics, Business Management, Consumer Math (full year required), Economics, Financial Management, Introduction to Business (major or elective credit; full year required), Professional Development and Internship (full year required), and Special Education: Pre-Voc. The administration recommends that we consider revising the following courses to meet the consumer education requirement in D219:
- Business & Technology
- Sports & Entertainment Marketing/Advertising
- Financial College Accounting
- Managerial College Accounting
- Business Strategies & Entrepreneurship
- Consumer Education
- AP Economics (Micro and/or Macro)
Consider offering consumer education to freshman students, including in the summer.
A second way to achieve efficiencies in consumer education is to offer a shortened consumer education class of less than one semester, i.e., nine weeks, or a single semester off-lab hybrid schedule. Under this model, a teacher can teach four consumer ed classes throughout the school year and it would count as a .2 FTE. Only nine weeks are required per the School Code. This model gives the students nine weeks when they are not in a prescribed class and can take advantage of D219 academic resources such as the literacy centers, the IRC, etc.
Recommendation: Open Consumer Education to sophomores. Allow incoming sophomores and juniors to take Consumer Ed in Summer School.
Economics: Should Economics be placed in the AS&T department in our business course sequence (pending certification requirements)?
Recommendation: Economics should remain in the Social Studies Department, due to certification issues.
Other questions/suggestions for the AS&T department:
Broadcasting and Advanced Broadcasting: make the cap a minimum of 24.
Recommendation: cap at 24.
Investing: change name to Finance and incorporate investing, and it can count for consumer ed.
Recommendation: change course name to Investing and Finance; cap at 30. Will not count for Consumer Ed credit.
Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting: make the cap 30, not 25.
Recommendation: keep at 25 (grade weight 5 course).
Sports and Entertainment Marketing/Advertising: replace with Marketing.
Recommendation: No change
Fashion Workshop: replace with single Fashion course with differentiation for all types of fashion.
Recommendation: keep current practice with concurrent sections in the same class for grant purposes.
Change cap in Fashion courses to 30. (The administration will ensure there are 30 machines.)
Recommendation: Cap at 24.
Review Advanced Web Design - is it current?
Course is current and up to date.
Increase class cap for Foods. Merge International Foods into other culinary courses.
- Restructure the current Culinary sequence to the following:
- Chefs (1 semester)Gourmet & International Cuisine (1 semester)
- Commercial Foods (year-long course)
Due to current lab space and configurations as well as lab management and safety concerns, it is recommended that the class cap remain at 24.
Consider increasing cap in Industrial Arts (Auto, Engineering, Computer Repair) to 30.
Recommendation: increase Computer Repair & Networking cap to 30
Autos: more dual credit and seminar structure for higher and more specific topics (as done in theatre).
- Incorporate Autos, Transmissions and Drive Systems within other courses.
- Incorporate Autos, Electrical, Audio and Air Conditioning Systems within other courses.
Recommendation: due to lab management and safety concerns, it is recommended that the class cap remain at 24.
Restructure Automotive sequence to the following:
- Automotive Fundamentals (year-long course)
Automotive Systems & Diagnostics - Seminar (year-long course); This seminar class will be rotated yearly to align with dual credit college curriculum coursework and align with NATEF/ASE requirements.
Computer Repair and Networking, increase cap to 30.
Recommendation: increase Computer Repair & Networking cap to 30
Project Lead the Way: cap at 30.
These courses are Grade Weight 5; it is not recommended to increase class size. Keep at 24.
Review Cosmetology program.
Review throughout 2011-12 school year.
In accordance with Board Goal #1, D219 seeks to advance students into the most rigorous coursework possible. In addition, under Board Goal #2, the administration believes courses should be aligned to College Readiness Standards and Common Core State Standards. The rigor of Advanced Placement courses meets these goals. Furthermore, we know our own D219 data system and placement procedures cannot possibly disaggregate students to 4+ tracks, which is the current sequencing. Therefore, the administration wants the department to discuss having two tracks, regular (minimum college readiness) and Advanced Placement.
Our suggestions include eliminating the following courses:
- Honors ALC. (Students will then choose between the regular track or AP.)
Honors College Prep (rationale same as above).
This issue will be tabled and reviewed with the 2013-14 Annual Review of Programs and Personnel. A proposal has been made by the English Department to eliminate these two courses in 2013-14, but more time is needed to consider this issue. We will encourage more students to take the AP level.
Basic ALCUSH (eliminate in 2014-15) (listed in Social Studies as well).
This is planned.
Basic Sophomore English, eliminate in 2013-14.
This is planned.
Basic Freshman English, eliminate in 2012-13.
This has been presented to CSSI and will be in place in 2012-13.
Fine Arts classes are difficult for students to enroll in because most are singletons (i.e., only offered one period) and require numerous prerequisites. D219 has a history of commitment to diverse course offerings in non-core academics, particularly in Fine Arts. However, the district cannot support non-core subjects with more resources than the courses necessary to ensure students can read, write and do math well. Class size and teacher load in classes mandated with improving reading, writing and math performance should not be significantly higher than the class size and teacher load in elective programs. This is not the case currently in D219, where electives are very often more generously staffed than in classes where teachers are primarily responsible for teaching reading, writing and math. The following suggested efficiencies in Fine Arts seek to better balance district resources.
In Theatre, Music and Art:
The administration would like the department to discuss using a seminar approach to their elective offerings. For example, in theatre, the department could have a course titled “Theatre Seminar” with a different focus each semester, e.g., stagecraft, acting, directing, etc. Throughout a student’s four years, she will study all the theatre disciplines. This will allow for more students to take theatre as there would be no singletons and no pre-requisites, and it will allow for class size to be more in line with that of the core subject areas. One course, for example, Theatre Workshop, could be the one entry level class that must be taken before entering the seminar electives.
Proposal: We endorse the new Theatre/Debate requirement. We recommend Theatre Workshop to fulfill this requirement for all general education students. This course teaches the use of both vocal and physical presentation, with a distinct emphasis on audience response. A focus on collaboration and creativity make this course a unique fit in preparing students how to effectively present themselves, their ideas, and abstract concepts in a public setting.
Proposal: We recommend Theatre Workshop count toward the proposed Theatre/Debate coiurse requirement, with a second-semester option of Acting strongly encouraged for a full-year theatre introduction. These courses should be scheduled as a full-year course, offered the same period both semesters.
After completing Acting, students could enter a repeatable sequence of Advanced Theatre Studio (our name for Theatre “seminar”), with a wide range of topics in theatre design, technology, and acting including a variety of eras, styles, and genres. This is the option for Years Two through Four of a four-year theatre curriculum.
For students focused toward a future in theatre arts (for the “AP”-level drama student) the rigorous courses of Directing and Play Production should be offered in alternating years as a single-semester option in their junior/senior years. This level of course would require two semesters of Advanced Theatre Studio and teacher recommendation. These courses would provide students with authentic theatrical experiences to challenge them as theatre artists of the future.
Foreign Languages and ELL
Eliminate or make changes to the following courses:
- Should we continue to offer low-enrollment Hebrew courses?
Recommendation: Continue to allow students to enroll in all Hebrew courses, cancelling courses after enrollment when less than 15 students are enrolled.
Student enrollment as of November 14, 2011:
2011-2012 Enrollments Hebrew 1-2 6 Hebrew 3-4/31-41 14 Hebrew 5-6/51-61 13 Hebrew 7-8/71-81 7 Adv Hebrew Topics 23 Totals 63
- All Foreign Language courses should be capped at 30.
Cap introductory foreign language courses at 30, knowing that we staff at 85%. Honors courses are not, due to contract.
- Consider combining Honors and AP foreign language classes whenever possible.
We do this in most classes, with the exception of Honors and AP Spanish, due to high enrollments.
- Why are there so many tracks in Spanish?
Consider enrolling students who take Spanish 11-21 directly into Spanish 3-4.
Recommendation: eliminate Spanish 11-21.
Math is continuing the three-year plan for the elimination of level two courses, thereby guaranteeing rigorous curriculum for all students. For the 2012-2013 school year, the proposal will be to eliminate Geometry 10-20 and implement Geometry 12-22 with an extended period for students who are not meeting college readiness benchmarks.
The Geometry Extension course has been proposed and will go before the Board of Education in November.
Investigate hybrid or technical options for students who need to recover credit.
This has been tabled for the future.
The administration has questions regarding the following courses and makes the following recommendations:
- Cap Adventure Ed at 40.
Recommendation: Adventure Ed has already moved to 36 this year. It is recommended to leave the cap at 36.
- Limit the number of PE electives for more efficient staffing.
Martial Arts has been eliminated; many courses were eliminated/combined 2-3 years ago.
- Eliminate redundant course codes for PE Leaders.
Recommendation: Leave course codes as they currently appear. There are two course codes for PE Leaders; 1 is the sophomore & junior course for leaders to prepare, one for seniors/juniors who are the PE Leaders
- Why are there FIVE different course codes for Junior/Senior PE?
Plan to reduce to 2 courses and 2 codes for 2012-13.
- Cap Lifeguarding at 40; consider offering before or after school or in summer school.
Recommendation: per the Red Cross standards, we must have a limit of 32. Leave the cap at 32. We only run 1 section at West; North has not run due to low interest. This is the only singleton in PE. Depending on enrollments, this class may be cancelled.
As part of our Five-Year Strategic Plan, science will continue to review the scope and sequence of courses, particularly multiple entry points that do not lead to college readiness for students. Final recommendations from the science department are due no later than September 30, 2012 for roll-out in the 2013-2014 school year. Consider changing the prerequisites for AP Physics to allow for a summer prep course, similar to AP Chemistry.
- Why are 4-5 sections of AP Chem supported at NW and 1 section supported at NN?
- there are more students enrolling in STEM inquiry and research at North than West.
- we expect to see an increase in STEM enrollment at West and a decrease in AP Chem (same teacher teaches Honors Chem and STEM at West)
- Climate issue at North - seniors do not tend to enroll in AP Chem, and prefer AP Environmental
- We have worked to increase number of sections in Honors Chem at North. This year, there are 5 sections, and we anticipate greater AP Chem enrollment at North next year.
- We will address these issues through the Director of Science.
- Can students enroll in AP Physics directly without the current pre-req enrollment requirement in Honors or Regular Physics?
- We would need to offer an AP Physics prep in the summer for this. We plan to propose this for summer 2012.
In accordance with Board Goal #1, D219 seeks to advance students into the most rigorous coursework possible. In addition, under Board Goal #2, the administration believes courses should be aligned to College Readiness Standards and the Common Core State Standards. The rigor of Advanced Placement courses meets these goals. Furthermore, we know our own D219 data system and placement procedures cannot possibly disaggregate students to 4+ tracks, which is the current sequencing. Therefore, the administration wants the department to discuss having two tracks: regular or minimum college readiness, and Advanced Placement. Our suggestions for 2012-13 include eliminating Honors US History and offering only AP US History and regular US History.
This issue will be tabled and reviewed with the 2013-14 Annual Review of Programs and Personnel. A proposal has been made by the Social Studies Department to eliminate these two courses in 2013-14, but more time is needed to consider this issue.
In addition, the administration has questions regarding the following:
1. Why is American Government and Politics running at one school only?
2. Why is History of Africa/Latin America running only at one school? The Board wants parity between the schools in terms of offerings.
Questions 1 & 2: We propose that a minimum of one section of both American Government and Politics and History of Africa/Latin America be run in each school each year, on a semester rotation. If student requests are low, we will run other electives, such as Sociology & Psychology at over 85% (will not increase FTE).
3. Why is Regular Economics running only at one school?
We recommend eliminating the current regular Economics course due to its history of low enrollment.
4. Should Economics, AP and Regular be “moved” to the Business department?
No. Economics is a Social Science according to ISBE certification rules.
5. Should we add AP World History as an option for our most prepared incoming 9th graders?
Yes - doing this through new course proposals; already approved by CSSI. We recommend a 3-week summer prep course to help prepare the students for the rigors of an AP level course.
Explore expansion of co-facilitation model in select general education courses in lieu of current co-teaching model.
Data is currently being analyzed and will be reported out at a later date. The Special Education department will make recommendations once the data analysis is complete.
- Make summer school a third term of the school year. Add course offerings by increasing the number of hours for summer school and increasing courses that receive graduation credit.
- Consider increasing Virtual Hybrid classes for summer school.
- Idea: Offer nine weeks (or possibly even eight weeks) of a class for two hours a day to qualify as a semester. (This might allow us to use summer school as a place for a core class, offering students a similar experience as if they took the same course during the typical school year).
- Question: In terms of scheduling, do we want all courses to be offered for two hours a day for the full summer instead of having some offered for four hours for half the summer? (Think of summer as one term, not two.)
All of these points are ongoing discussions, and no decisions have yet been made.
The role of a library has changed from a traditional locus of information to a space for collaboration, assistance and electronic access to information. To support this change, more and different types of support personnel are needed. Although the role of the certified librarian (and head librarian) is important, the need to have all certified librarians has decreased and limits our ability to open the hiring field to applicants who have been working in public libraries outside of schools for most of their careers. As our current certified librarians retire, the replacements may or may not be certified. D219 will maintain a minimum of one certified librarian in each building for those times when the librarian is actually teaching a class.
Reduce school-certified librarian to one in each building. Replace with non-certified librarians.
This is currently happening.
Staffing needs will be determined between November and December.
It is always an option for the Board to limit the number of classes a student can take. This would definitely limit the number of electives a student can take and would decrease the number of elective sections offered.
Credit recovery options: The majority of failures in most courses occur due to failure with a relatively small set of skills and knowledge in a course. In order to provide these students with an extra chance to successfully master the college readiness standards for these courses, certain students close to passing a course will have the option to take an incomplete grade for a class and take a multi-week evening and weekend course; this credit recovery course will provide the student with opportunities to work on deficient skills and knowledge in preparation for taking the final exam at the end of the multi-week course.
Seminar models for electives. Every department should explore a seminar model for all singleton classes.
The seminar model is in place in a number of courses, such as STEM, band, choir, orchestra, dance, autos, theatre, and other elective rotations.
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