Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Charter Oak School a Diamond in District 150's Rough

This post was written in September of 2009, but I felt it should be reposted today. Charter Oak parents and children, past and present, stand with Principal John Wetterauer through this difficult time. We apologize to him on behalf of Superintendent Grenita Lathan. We hope the Board will be able to see through the ruse and place Principal Wetterauer back where he belongs - continuing to run Charter Oak as a Blue Ribbon school, where he knows every kid's name like they were his own.
 September, 2009

There's a lot to complain about these days in District 150.

But as I referenced in a previous blog, parents need to become more involved in their child's school in order for it to succeed.

Charter Oak Primary School teachers, staff and parents have seen the fruits of their labors and definitely have something to cheer about these days.

The 2009 ISAT scores were recently released. The ISAT (Illinois Standards Achievement Test) measures individual student achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards and is administered yearly to students in grades three through eight. The results give parents, teachers, and schools one measure of student learning and school performance to determine their AYP, or Adequate Yearly Progress.

This year, Charter Oak ranked second only to Washington Gifted Middle School in Math and Reading ISAT scores, with a 91.2% Reading score (up 5.7% from 2008) and a 97.6% Math score (up 3.2% from 2008).

One must note that the makeup of Charter Oak students is quite diverse. According to the District Dashboard, 46.1% of Charter Oak students are "economically disadvantaged", compared to 14.5% at Washington Gifted and 29.7% at its closest "rival" in testing, Kellar Primary School.

This is a HUGE coup for Charter Oak, and a true testament to the leadership of Principal John Wetterauer and his dedicated teachers and staff. The children at Charter Oak are from all races, all walks of life, and all socio-economic backgrounds. The fact that they have come together to make such a statement in a fledgling school district is a success beyond measure.

Charter Oak School is definitely a diamond in the rough. In addition to its outstanding teaching and administrative staff, it has an incredibly involved PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), which I have seen firsthand make a true difference in my eight years there. These parents - and the countless volunteer parents who may not necessarily be on the board but serve their school in various ways - have made huge strides in improving the educational opportunities of these students.

Laptops and projectors for 2nd-4th grade - all part of the Smart Board system they are working toward. A new computer lab. A new playground. A computerized Accelerated Reading (AR) program and incentives. Classroom supplies for teachers. The list grows and is attended to by this group of people who have made the decision to be a driving force in their child's school.

I have seen firsthand that involved parents CAN make a difference. Teachers who care CAN make a difference. An administration that puts the child FIRST can make a difference.

Let Charter Oak Primary School be a positive example for what the whole of District 150 should - and can - be.

Click on the link below to see District 150's Adequate Yearly Progress standards chart from 2003 - 2009:

AYP Progress Chart

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