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Minooka’s ranking among Illinois high schools improves

Based on test scores, Dist. 111 placed 99th out of 689 schools

MINOOKA, Ill. — Minooka Community High School’s ranking among Illinois schools took an 18 percent jump for 2012, according to the annual report from the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times’ exclusive rankings are based on average scores on state achievement testing.

Minooka was listed as 99 out of 689 ranked schools, putting the district in the 14th percentile. In 2011, Minooka High was in the 32nd percentile, with a ranking of 206 out of 638 ranked schools in the state.

“That’s impressive for any school to make that kind of progress,” said Minooka High Superintendent Jim Colyott Thursday night.

Minooka had 2,541 students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 during the last fiscal year.

Comparatively, Morris was ranked at 241, Coal City at 165, Wilmington at 307, Joliet West at 474, Plainfield Central at 364, Plainfield South at 448, Plainfield North at 117, and Plainfield East at 284.

Colyott looked at the district’s feeder schools and found that out of 1,423 schools, Channahon Junior High ranked 272 (19th percentile); Minooka Junior High ranked 309 (21st percentile);  and Troy Middle School ranked 669 (47th percentile).

Looking at where students are coming into the high school district and then a few years later shows a lot of growth, Colyott said.

“We are thrilled with the growth our students have had,” he said.

Relocating families consider schools a top priority for an area, Colyott said. They look at Illinois State Board of Education School Report Cards and the media for information.

Transportation facility

The village of Minooka board of trustees approved an amended annexation agreement last month that allows Minooka High School and Minooka Grade School to occupy the former 84 Lumber site for a joint transportation facility.

With that step out of the way, closing on the property is planned to take place on Nov. 7, said Minooka High Superintendent Jim Colyott.

“All the documents are signed as needed and we are ready to move forward,” Colyott said.

No decisions have been made on the specifics of the building renovation, according to Colyott.

A joint meeting between the districts, bus drivers, mechanics and transportation employees will be held shortly after closing to share ideas and get input on the districts’ needs for the building.

Chess Club

Minooka will no longer be one of two high schools in its conference to not have a chess club.

Karen Buchanan, co-curricular committee and board of education member brought the proposal to the school board on Thursday night.

The board approved the club on a two-year probationary period.

A group of 21 students originally approached administration about forming the club, said Minooka High Principle Darcie Kubinski. Now there are 35 members.

“It’s a great turnout,” Kubinski said.

Students had to find a faculty member willing to sponsor them, and educator Mark Brown stepped up, Kubinski said.

The club will meet between November and March, twice a week. This year they will attend one conference meet, which will help them plan and practice for the future.

Their only need, said Buchanan, is eight chess boards, which will be paid for out of the student activities’ fund.

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