District 69 board receives IASB recognition
Updated: October 28, 2012 6:34AM
SKOKIE — Skokie-Morton Grove Elementary District 69 Superintendent Quintin Shepherd said school-board members have been making an extra effort to go beyond their monthly meetings, put in extra time and work to improve the district.
The board was honored for that last week by the Illinois Association of School Boards, which awarded it the School Board Governance Recognition.
The award, delivered at the annual IASB dinner, was the culmination of a two-year process that included several undertakings by the board, as well as development of a comprehensive application.
“The board is committed to improvement,” Shepherd said. “It’s a constant improvement process.”
Shepherd said less than 1 percent of districts in the state have received the Governance Recognition.
“Three years ago when I came here the board was at the end of a self-evaluation process,” Shepherd said.
One of the things that came out of that was a desire to become more professional through the recognition process.
“The board was committed to improvement. We were wanting to get to a point where we were good enough,” to apply for the recognition, Shepherd said.
Among the requirements of the IASB are that the district develop a mission statement, vision statement and goals, that it conduct regular reviews of policy, that it connect with the community and keep community members informed, and that board members implement a Board Development Plan that includes attending IASB workshops.
Shepherd said that during the two years the board worked on the recognition project it accomplished all of that and more.
But beyond improving the knowledge of board members, Shepherd said, the process during the past two years is translating into real classroom improvements.
The board, he said, created the new Students Achievement Committee aimed at improving students’ test scores and other indicators of students performance.
Shepherd said creation of the new committee was part of an overall process of evaluating and revising the board’s committee structure.
“Because of the committee we now have a student presentation at every meeting,” Shepherd said. “Also our scores have been going up.”
The district has been using its student assessment as a “flashlight” to illuminate the way students are learning and the way teachers are teaching.
“We’re trying to hold ourselves to even higher standards,” Shepherd said. “That’s a good thing.”