Naperville School District 203 administration provided an update on the academic and social-emotional well-being of students at last night’s school board meeting.
Data shows overall achievement and growth for K-8 students are “well above average” compared to national averages, according to district administration. MAP Growth results show reading and math numbers are generally moving back up to pre-pandemic numbers.
The median reading percentile of kindergarten students show an increase from 76 in spring 2021 to 85 in winter 2022. Eighth grade went from 67 in spring 2021 to 72 in winter 2022. The median math percentile of second grade students show an increase from 68 in spring 2021 to 77 in winter 2022. The median was at 68 in spring 2021 for fifth grade, compared to 76 in winter 2022.
“I’m confident that when we come back and take a look at this data, whenever we happen to do that after the spring administration, you’re going to see continued growth back to what we experienced before the pandemic,” said Patrick Nolten, superintendent for assessment and accountability.
The district also conducted a 2021 Panorama Student Perception SEL survey. Students in grades 3-12 were asked about different topics including teacher-student relationships, school climate, sense of belonging, and school safety. In addition to those topics, sixth through twelfth graders were also asked about diversity & inclusion, cultural awareness & action, and rigorous expectations.
Numbers show teacher-student relationships ranked 76% favorable for students grades 3-5 and 67% for grades 6-12. School safety ranked at 73% overall, but it still raised some concerns for administration.
“Some notable revelations from the fall 2021 desegregated data by student groups in grades 3 through 5 reveal that English learners, students who receive free and reduced lunch services, African-American/Black students, Hispanic/Latino students, and students who receive special education services feel between 5-10% less favorable about school safety compared to the average,” said Rakeda Leaks, executive director of diversity & inclusion.
For six through twelfth grade, school safety ranked 72%, while 48% of students feel a sense of belonging. “In fall 2021, there was a noticeable decline in students perception about school safety compared to spring 2021,” said Leaks. “Sense of belonging and school safety are areas that district and school administrators are monitoring closely.”
Overall, data shows African-American/Black students, Hispanic/Latino students, multiracial students, and students who receive special education services generally reported less favorable perceptions about each of the SEL topic areas compared to the overall average.
“The most significant difference is the negative 14 percentage point gap between African-American/Black students perceptions about diversity & inclusion compared to the overall average,” said Leaks.
Some next steps the district is looking at to address their concerns include prioritizing topics and plan supports at the district level, support schools to set goals and priorities at the school level, and looking at what works well at a set of schools.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.