Last week, letters were sent to parents offering the chance to transfer their students to Pioneer Elementary School.
Superintendent Jim Mitchem and Valley View School District 365U officials will hold a community forum Thursday night to explain the letters, the state of Valley View schools and the transfer process.
The Federal No Child Left Behind Act requires all school districts in Illinois to offer parents the choice of transferring their children to another school in their district if their home school does not meet or exceed the state standards on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test for several years in a row.
Because this year’s required “benchmark” of 85 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards on the ISAT is a benchmark widely recognized as a challenging moving target for all students taking this standardized assessment to achieve, many school districts in the state are in the process of sending out letters offering school choice to parents. Such letters were sent to parents and guardians at B.J. Ward, Independence, Irene King, Tibbott, Salk, Oak View, Skoff and Wood View last week offering “qualified” applicants the opportunity to transfer to Pioneer Elementary School, which exceeded state standards on the ISAT.
"So that you may hear all the facts and make an informed decision," parents should attend the forum as Valley View officials "explain the letters, examine the vastly improved performance of students at ALL of our schools and answer any and all questions you may have."
The forum will be held at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Elementary School, located at 1470 Raven Drive near the intersection of Weber and 111th Street in Bolingbrook.
The deadline for applying for student tranfers has been extended to Tuesday, Aug. 21.
If a parent or guardian wishes to have a child considered for a transfer, forms must be filled out and returned to Brigitta Altmann, 755 Dalhart Avenue, Romeoville, IL 60446 by Aug. 21.
Requests will be considered on a space-available basis utilizing stringent guidelines including eligibility for the Federal Free or Reduced Breakfast and Lunch Program, as well as a student’s ISAT and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) performance in both reading and math.
“The fact that a school has been placed on academic status does not mean that school is a failing school,” said Venus Smith, VVSD’s Assistant Superintendent for grades PreK-5. “Quite the contrary. All eight VVSD schools currently on academic status are showing remarkable progress in a variety of areas and are outstanding educational facilities.”
For instance, Smith said, the overall student body at all eight schools met or exceeded state standards in math and many of them registered strong gains in reading.
“In this case, patience is a virtue,” Smith said. “The social and educational advantages of keeping a child in his or her home school are significant.”
Parents who would like more information on a school’s ISAT scores, including programs that have already been put in place to continue the significant district-wide ISAT gains currently taking place, are urged to contact their home school Principal.
Specific school-by-school and district test scores are available by going to the Illinois Interactive Report Card website: http://iirc.niu.edu/Default.aspx
Those wishing more information on the transfer process may contact Brigitta Altmann at 815-886-2700, Ext. 499.