Members of Community Education Council 18 (CEC 18) met virtually Monday evening, September 19th via Zoom, for the first time this school year.
District 18 Community Superintendent Celeste Terry was in attendance and took the opportunity to share her primary goals for the year with those present. She explained that her number one goal is to increase literacy, which is measured by the English Language Arts Proficiency score, which was 43.7% last year, and to improve reading levels in each grade. While Terry said that scores are up and that schools are already on the right track, an extra emphasis will be placed on phonics, sight words, decoding and spelling and that the use of literacy coaches will also be helpful.
The superintendent said she also aims to improve the district’s math proficiency score, which was 30.9% last year, develop a district-wide comprehensive assessment plan to monitor school progress more closely and ensure that all schools are providing students with effective social emotional supports. She discussed her dedication to special education initiatives and said she is working to ensure that all schools are staffing certified special education teachers and providing students with all of the services they are entitled to, with a district-wide goal of at least 90%.
Terry explained the importance of family engagement, partnerships with parent and community groups, and her passion for bringing families back into schools with events like science fairs, spelling bees, debate leagues, art nights and middle school fairs. She said that she strongly encourages schools to make the first day of school a big event and that many did this year with DJs, marching bands, and police and fire vehicles with sirens. She also hinted at big plans for a massive graduation parade this year.
The next meeting of CEC 18 will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 3rd.