U-46 recognizes community volunteers

  • On Wednesday, the last day of school before summer break at Garfield Elementary School in Elgin, Principal Tracy Taylor gives a big hug to Curianna Hallom as she leaves the school for the last time as a sixth-grader.

      On Wednesday, the last day of school before summer break at Garfield Elementary School in Elgin, Principal Tracy Taylor gives a big hug to Curianna Hallom as she leaves the school for the last time as a sixth-grader. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Elgin Area School District U-46 recently recognized many community volunteers who gave their time and talent during the 2015-16 school year to support students.

U-46 Citizens' Advisory Council's Enrollment and Facilities Committee Co-chairs Roger Wallace and Carol Dimitroff, and other committee members, were dubbed the 2016 Volunteers of the Year for their work on the district's recently approved elementary school boundary changes.

The committee spent more than two years reviewing elementary school boundaries and enrollment projections to determine the best and most efficient use of the district's 40 elementary schools. It hosted three town hall meetings, sharing proposed changes with U-46 families and communities.

The school board approved the committee's recommendations last December. Boundary changes will primarily impact enrollment at 13 schools, affecting roughly 600 students in the 2016-17 school year.

"We are extremely grateful for the tremendous pool of time and talent offered by our more than 700 U-46 volunteers," U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said. "The E&F committee's work is important, but it's never easy to redraw boundary lines. This group led this effort to completion, allowing us to use our building space more efficiently and provide full-day kindergarten next school year across the district."

Sanders also recognized the Alignment Collaborative for Education, the African American and Bilingual Parent Advisory Committees, the Citizens' Advisory Council, the Clergy Advisory Committee, parent-teacher organization and parent-teacher association leaders, the School Safety Advisory Task Force, and Student Advisory Council.

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ECC named a national semifinalist of college readiness:

Elgin Community College has been selected by ACT as a national semifinalist in college and career readiness.

ACT selected ECC and other semifinalists for the Career Preparedness Award based on student success indicators, including retention, graduation, and four-year college transfer rates (especially for underserved student populations). Other factors included the strength of relationships with local employers and high schools; accessibility of career readiness assessments and career preparation programs; and support structures for students.

ECC was honored for its Alliance for College Readiness partnership that prepares high school students for college, offering open-door unemployment services to more than 100 students each month, and local financial literacy. ACT also recognized ECC's use of nine types of ACT WorkKeys assessments to provide career preparation to students and unemployed community members.

"By building on its partnership with Achieving the Dream, which assists community colleges in prioritizing improvements and tracking results, Elgin Community College is beating the odds," according to ACT. "The college is retaining and graduating its students at rates far higher than the national averages for community colleges."

ACT will select a National Exemplar from among the semifinalists during its National Gala on College and Career Readiness in June.

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