Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 Superintendent Andy DuRoss capped off his first year at the helm Thursday by introducing the new tradition of an annual State of the District report.
DuRoss said the past year demonstrates the district's total focus on its students, and well reflects the contributions of its staff.
"Without your work and dedication, none of this would be possible," DuRoss told district employees.
Though a year's worth of activities were summed up, the freshest news to school board members and the public involved the positive result of tests showing individual students' progress from fall to spring.
With the help of his associate and assistant superintendents, DuRoss reported the strongest fall-to-spring progress the district had ever seen in reading and math skills.
According to Measures of Academic Progress testing, 79 percent of students met their individual growth targets in math this year, and 64 percent did so in reading.
Twenty of the District 54's 27 schools met the district's goal of being in the top 10 percent nationwide in reading and math.
Assistant Superintendent of District Improvement Karen Hindman said District 54 even ended up in the top 5 percent for reading nationwide.
Associate Superintendent Nick Myers said such progress is among the reasons District 54 has been identified as a national model in the implementation of Common Core educational standards.
"Our junior highs absolutely knocked it out of the park this year," Myers said.
Board Member Peggy Brothman said the best thing about the MAP assessment is it shows the progress of individual students, unlike other standardized tests that only compare one year's class to those before and after.
The report strove to look as much to future improvements as to the past, and Assistant Superintendent of Business Operations Ric King reported on the construction progress of the Early Childhood Center expected to open just outside the administration building in the fall.
Board President Bill Harper said he appreciated hearing a review of the year, but felt its greatest value was in the public's ability to see the district's progress reported in that way.