Round Lake Area Unit District 116 has produced a video updating the community about the middle school's academic restructuring.
Consistently poor performance on the state's annual report card and failure to meet federal No Child Left Behind guidelines are driving District 116's need to start the restructuring for the 2013-14 academic season, officials said.
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District 116 officials were criticized by several parents about a lack of public communication on the restructuring when the plan became known early this year. In that vein, district officials are releasing periodic video updates about the program.
Round Lake Middle School is the focus of the current update. District 116 has eight school buildings and about 7,300 students.
Jeff Prickett, principal of Round Lake Middle School, said one improvement through the restructuring is that all teachers and students are now on the same page for English language arts materials. He said Pearson Education Inc.'s language arts series is being used throughout the middle school.
"It is probably the best language arts series that I have seen in use," Prickett said during his video segment.
Pearson Education notes that some of its authors and experts helped develop the common core standards.
All Illinois school districts are required to tailor curriculum to common core standards starting with the 2013-14 academic year. The standards are clear benchmarks for what pupils should learn in each grade -- from prekindergarten through senior year of high school -- in mathematics and English language arts.
District 116's executive director of teaching and learning, Keely Roberts, said a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade curriculum committee made recommendations on the common set of language-arts materials for Round Lake and John T. Magee middle schools. She said more classroom time is being spent on language arts.
Initiatives such as frequent student monitoring and common textbooks in all grade schools are part of District 116's plan to elevate student achievement.