D118 school board hears math, discipline plans

Feb. 24—DANVILLE — The Danville District 118 School Board on Wednesday approved a contract with an independent math consultant for the rest of this school year to improve more student math scores.

Curriculum Director MaryEllen Bunton said their first goal is to get to where 80 percent of students are above the 20th percentile in math scores, to at least handle grade-level content.

Bunton said about 60-70 percent of kids in kindergarten through eighth grade are at about that level, "which is huge," Bunton said.

These levels are about where the district was at before covid hit, she said.

In Illinois Assessment of Readiness scores, three Danville schools didn't make improvements in math, and four made improvements, Bunton said.

School Board Member Darlene Halloran said she has concerns in not seeing more increasing scores, with some still decreasing.

The district has one math coach, Angela Wilson. A new agreement with math consultant Karen Irving would have another individual in the schools. Irving had been working through a different contract with the district last year and this year. The Eureka math program for kindergarten through sixth-grade students reorganized the professional development support program, Bunton said.

The contract is for $54,000. Grant funding is covering the cost.

Bunton said they are getting ready for state assessments, and teachers aren't giving up and are working hard with students. They expect scores to continue to improve with the math consultant's support, Bunton added.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, the board had a first reading on keeping Northeast Elementary Magnet School on the traditional calendar schedule for next school year, not a balanced calendar where students start in July, due to construction on the addition to the building and moving in prior to the school year.

School district officials said there will be more going on to finish the project inside the current school, where it would be disruptive. There also have been issues with delays in materials and workmanship, according to school district officials.

In other business the board approved:

* An agreement with Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation for future employee physicals at $65 for pre-employment physicals for those without insurance.

* A discipline improvement plan. The school district had 1,777 suspensions in 2023 or a 37.6 percent suspension rate. While the district doesn't have the worst expulsion record in the state anymore, Superintendent Alicia Geddis has asked the Illinois State Board of Education for additional support to face the challenges of "gross insubordination, violence, threats, disruptive behavior, gross disobediences and misconduct and how it affects student outcomes and their ability to be successful in school."

* Settlement agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 399, AFL-CIO. Grievances were filed due to remote learning days in January. The agreement reads, "Compensation — Inclement Weather Maintenance, warehouse and custodial employees who report to work and complete their full shift on days when school buildings are closed due to inclement weather and where only maintenance, warehouse, and custodial employees are expected to report to work in-person shall be paid for the day and credited one vacation day, not to exceed five days per year. Employees who report to work on such days but are released early by the Custodial Supervisor, Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds, Director of Buildings and Grounds, or Director of Operations shall be considered to have completed their shift."

* Dismissal of five educational support personnel.

* Danville High School graduation for the Class of 2024 at 10 a.m. May 25 at Danville Stadium due to the football field construction. The backup location is the DHS gym. Students receive eight tickets each for the event for friends and family.

* North Ridge Middle School Step Up ceremony on May 28 for 8th graders going to DHS next school year, at the DHS auditorium.

* Sending 75 employees to the AVID Summer Institute training in Dallas, Texas for $150,000.

* Field trips for the DHS and North Ridge Jazz Bands to Six Flags Great America, North Ridge 8th Grade Field Trip to Malibu Jack's indoor theme park in Lafayette, Ind., and DHS show choirs trip to Avon, Ind.