Valley View School District 365U will hold a school board meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at its Administrative Center at 755 Dalhart Ave. in Romeoville.
has touted itself as "excellent," Superintendent Jim Mitchem told reporters Friday, while its students' results were less than.
No longer, Mitchem said.
"We will no longer use excuses or socioeconomics, race, home life, or any other factor we've been able to use to say it's not our fault that students don't learn," he said. "We've simply eradicated that perception from the culture of our district."
The district pointed to student gains from the first year of Mitchem's "New View" program, both in the classroom and in test scores from 2011. Those gains will continue, officials said.
Valley View's first all-day kindergarten class will set a benchmark for future student achievement, Mitchem said.
"They will indicate we are achieving the same levels as the highest-performing districts, despite our demographics," he said.
At the same time, "it's a moral imperative," officials said, to meet the first through twelfth graders where they are and get them to the district's new standards.
Any course with curriculum not at grade-level has been eliminated. Seventy percent of middle school students will use an online-based supplement called Odyssey instead of attending "career" courses, such as art, music and family sciences.
Depending on their need, middle school students will use Odyssey three to five days a week. The decision to pull students from arts and musics classes .
"A lot of stuff we're doing is not popular with people," Mitchem said. "It's nonsensical to focus on careers or it be such a significant issue to pull them from courses that will support them in establishing a career when they can't read or do math."
Officials incorporated Compass Learning’s Odyssey program to "fill the gap" as changes are made to align the district’s reading curriculum with new standards, according to Rachel Kinder, assistant superintendent for curriculum for grades six to 12.
"It's a necessary evil at this point," Kinder said Friday.
Kinder said in the spring Odyssey will cost $51,000 per year for the next three years, down from Compass Learning’s original quote of $60,000.
Hardware and infrastructure improvements needed for the Odyssey program, including 325 computers, 28 laser printers, furniture and electrical infrastructure, were expected to total a maximum of $390,650. Those updates would also be used for other purposes, officials said.