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Unfortunately, the forecast for tomorrow brings another case of severe windchill.  Additionally the snow this afternoon, combined with high winds has increased the drifting for our rural routes.  We had hoped for school tomorrow, but this has been an exceptional winter already, and many, many of the  districts in our area are siding on the decision to close schools.

School will be dismissed after a half day of attendance on Friday, January 17th for School Improvement Activities by faculty.  Teachers will be involved with enhancing their curriculum work in the Atlas System.

There will be no school on Monday, January 20, 2014 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr Day.

Continued dangerous windchills in the morning, coupled with many rural roads that are drifted over creates conditions forcing another day of school closing.

We hope to be open again on Wednesday, January 8th.  Thank you for your patience.

All schools will be closed on Monday, January 6, 2014.  There will be no practices for sports, and no games or activities will be held on Monday evening.  The potential for dangerous wind chill, coupled with the blowing snow, forces this decision.  We hope to see you all safe and sound on Tuesday!

 

You will see many changes in the Illinois School Report Card format, and there is much information that is not yet available to school communities.  The new school report cards are available here .

You may also listen to this podcast, with some review of the Geneseo District 228 report card for 2013.

illinoisreportcard

The State of Illinois is one of many across the country who are moving towards new curriculum in English, Language Arts, Math, and soon Science based upon the expectations contained within the Common Core Standards.  Here is some information from the Illinois State Board of Education that provides a nice overview to get you started in your learning.

The Common Core State Standards establish clear expectations for what students should be learning in English language arts and mathematics at every grade level from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Spearheaded by governors and state education leaders from a consortium of more than 40 states, the Common Core represents a collaborative effort to raise expectations and improve instruction for all students regardless of where they live and to provide students with an equal opportunity to succeed academically. The Common Core sets high, clear and uniform standards to prepare students for college and the work force.

 

The Common Core standards differ from previous learning standards because of their emphasis on critical thinking and concept mastery. In English language arts, the Common Core underlines the importance of reading nonfiction, using evidence to back claims and expanding academic vocabulary. In mathematics, the standards call for greater focus on fewer topics so that students gain a more comprehensive understanding of key topics. They also emphasize the application of math towards solving real-world problems. The Common Core’s changes will ensure that students not only gain skills and knowledge, but can also apply their knowledge to succeed after high school graduation.

 

Although created by a national consortium of states, the Common Core standards are independent of the federal government. Implementation decisions will remain local and teachers and school administrators will continue to write local curricula and lesson plans for their classrooms. The Common Core standards establish the benchmarks for what students need to learn, but districts still determine the best strategies and content for instruction and curriculum. Teachers will continue to make daily instructional decisions to reach individual students.

 

Illinois adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 after recognizing that it needed to update its existing learning standards. The creators of the Common Core consulted with parents, teachers and school administrators through two public comment periods held in September 2009 and March 2010. After considering public feedback, staff members from the Illinois State Board of Education then submitted their own suggestions to the consortium developing the Common Core standards. Educators across the state have already begun to incorporate elements of the Common Core into their curricula and all schools are expected to fully implement curricula that meet the new standards during the 2013-2014 school year.

 

Illinois is currently in the process of updating its science standards as well. It was one of 26 lead states that collaborated on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which will provide a new way of teaching science and engineering to students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. As a lead state, Illinois helped to write the standards and provided guidance on their eventual implementation. The final draft of NGSS was released in April 2013 and the State Board will review the new science standards for potential adoption later this year. NGSS is similar to the Common Core in that it is rigorous, internationally benchmarked and intended to better prepare students for college and career.

 

Students will ultimately benefit from the Common Core’s consistency and higher standards. Since the majority of states have adopted the Common Core, students who move from one state to another will face the same expectations. The standards ensure that an education in Illinois is on par with an education in other states. The Common Core aligns with international standards as well so that students will be well-equipped to compete in today’s global economy. Because it encourages students to apply and demonstrate their knowledge in real-world settings, Illinois’ students will be better prepared for life after high school graduation.

 

Resources

 

Illinois State Board of Education:

http://www.isbe.net/common_core/default.htm

 

Common Core IL, a project of the Core Coalition:

http://commoncoreil.org/real-learning/

 

Common Core State Standards Initiative:

http://www.corestandards.org/

It looks like this week of school: August 26-August 30th, will be hot with some higher heat indexes than we’ve seen in a few weeks.  I wanted to remind everyone, and particularly new parents, that all of our schools are climate controlled.  Teachers and administrators will also be mindful of the heat as it relates to outside recess and will be sure that children have access to water during the day.

Our coaches are also cognizant of the warm weather and will make appropriate accommodations for the heat.  Hopefully we can get through the first few days and we’ll find some relief a bit later in the week.  If you have concerns for your child, please contact your building principal, but we wanted to remind you that we do have air conditioning and water available in all of our schools!