MINOOKA — Despite student increases in all areas of the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE), Minooka Community High School did not make AYP as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Schools are required to have 85 percent of students who take the exam as juniors reach Adequate Yearly Progress in the curriculum areas of math and reading this year. In math, 67.9 percent of Minooka students made AYP, and in reading 64.1 percent made the grade.
“We have made significant increases in school improvement, but we still didn’t make AYP,” Minooka High Superintendent Jim Colyott said Thursday night.
While all the data on Illinois schools has not yet been published, only eight schools made AYP last year, Colyott said.
The scores put the district on academic watch status, year one.
With 11.5 percent of students in some level of special education, the district is not going to meet AYP, Colyott said.
“AYP is going to be redefined,” he said.
The district fared better than the state, said Bob Williams, director of curriculum and instruction.
In reading statewide, 51 percent of students met AYP and 52 percent met AYP in math. In science, 52 percent of students met or exceeded AYP compared to 70 percent at MCHS, Williams said.
“The state has flat lined around 50, while Minooka High School is growing,” Williams said.
PLAYING AT HOME?
Tom Doud and Greg Paul, co-owners of Channahon Lanes, asked the board of education why the girls’ bowling team is still traveling to Town and County Lanes as their home venue when there’s a bowling alley right in town.
“This is the last straw,” said Doud, who has tried to bring the team back to Channahon Lanes for several years.
The last time the girls’ team called Channahon Lanes home was during the 1998-99 school year, which was the same year that Doud and Paul purchased the business.
The bowling alley needed a lot of repairs and updates, and Doud understood why they left Channahon that year.
But all issues were corrected by the new owners; in fact, the boys’ bowling team has called Channahon Lanes home since 2003.
“Ever since then, we have been trying to get the girls’ team back to our facility,” Doud said.
Each year it seems to be a different issue. One year it was a contract with the other venue, another that the conference was too big.
“Once we get something rectified, it’s something else,” Doud said.
Channahon Lanes has held several national competitions as well as the girls’ invitational several times. “We run a phenomenal tournament,” Doud said.
The only problem for the coming season, which begins in November for the girls, is six practice days, which conflict with matches with the boys’ team. Four of those could be easily rectified by reducing the number of practice lanes or changing days, Doud said.
Moving back to Channahon would save taxpayer money since a bus wouldn’t be needed to transport the team to Joliet, Doud said. This year, it is planned to have the bus stay in Joliet and wait during practice rather than parents picking up their students afterward, as in the past, increasing travel costs. Board President Chris Kobe said the matter will be discussed in co-curricular committee.
“This is a topic we have asked about,” Kobe said.
Doud said he would like to see the issue taken care of before the start of the girls’ season.
ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
Minooka High School may soon have an athletic hall of fame to recognize teams, athletes and coaches who exemplify the Indian tradition of excellence.
Athletic Director Bob Tyrell presented to the board Thursday night the organization’s bylaws and mission statement.
MCHS Instructional Leader and coach Bert Kooi put a lot of work into the program, researching other schools and helping create the bylaws, Tyrell said.
If the program is approved by the board, anyone in the community could nominate an athlete, team, coach or an individual, such as a fan or booster club member, who has made an outstanding contribution to MCHS athletic programs, according to specific criterion.
Nominations would be reviewed by a committee, made up of MCHS coaches and other pillars of the community, Tyrell said.
“The bottom line for the group is to recognize Minooka High School in a very positive way and to recognize these great athletes,” Tyrell said.
It is the hope of the organization to hold an awards ceremony each spring. Money would come from fundraisers and possibly support of MCHS alumni.
“We would love to (have this) in position for the springtime to bring in our first class to recognize,” Tyrell said. “We are very excited. With your blessing, we would love to move forward.”
• The board recognized seniors Charles Tierney, National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, and Andrew Finney, National Merit Commended Student.
• The board heard a presentation by the guidance staff, as part of the bi-monthly departmental presentations.
• Board members took part in a role play exercise, portraying either a student with a problem or a member of the guidance staff helping to solve a solution. All three scenarios were taken from real life scenarios.
“We never know what our days will hold,” counselor Angie Ferro said.