841 West End Court, Vernon Hills, IL, 60061 - (847)990.4200 | Learning for All, Working Together and Doing Whatever It Takes!

Learning / Assessments

Student Achievement — Are We There Yet?

At Hawthorn, “Learning for All and Working Together to Do Whatever It Takes” is more than a motto. Our teachers and administrators are constantly striving to find ways to effectively reach each learner.  Staff development in differentiating instruction, implementation of the Response to Intervention model and engaging use of technology and 21st century tools are just some of the ways that we are working to address the needs of every child.

Achievement Driven by Data

Hawthorn is making great strides in our efforts. The recently released 2012 ISAT data showed many improvements.  However, it is important to remember that our focus has shifted to the new Common Core State Standards, and the new ISAT test which reflects these new standards will not be out until 2015.  We are proud of our achievement on the ISAT test, but remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that our students are going to meet the challenges of the future.

For more information on Hawthorn’s ISAT results, please visit the site for the Illinois Interactive Report Card http://iirc.niu.edu/.  Here you can access our scores by school, as well as compare Hawthorn with other districts in Illinois.  Information is also available there on how our schools are graded based on these assessments.  If you would like more information please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or consider attending our Parent University session in September of 2012 entitled “How our schools are Graded.”

Perhaps more important than the mandated ISAT testing and reporting is our own system of ongoing assessment and evaluation. Through tools such as Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments, Hawthorn Common Assessments, and a variety of other resources, we are able to move beyond point-by-point classroom assessments to actually track learning for each student over the course of their school experience. This data-driven approach offers teachers “real time” information to help clarify where students need additional support, and where they are excelling.

When Have We Reached Our Goal?

All students are unique, so how do we determine goals for each student? Achievement is ongoing — as students learn, the bar continues to move up. How do we account for that continuous learning as we quantify achievement?

Achievement Definition

Hawthorn has developed a definition and process for identifying achievement and how our classroom instruction is affecting achievement. It takes into account both externally driven assessments (that is, the state’s mandated ISAT testing results) as well as our own ongoing internal assessment resources (such as MAP testing data, local assessments or IEP goals).
  Each student is measured by what their data indicates they will most likely do at Hawthorn, and how they actually perform on our assessments.  This way, we can measure not only how well students are doing, but how well we are doing as an educational system.

Learning is More than Goal Setting

As we talk about meeting District achievement goals, it is important to remember that our efforts at Hawthorn move beyond “meeting the goals.” It is true that measuring against goals is critical in order for us to determine where we succeed and where we need support. But our larger purpose takes us well beyond those benchmarks to ensure that all of our students not only have the basic skills and knowledge needed for success, but that they also reach their full potential as lifelong learners.

Questions may be directed to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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