Additional Academic Assessments Describe student academic assessments, if any, that are in addition to state academic assessments used icon

Additional Academic Assessments Describe student academic assessments, if any, that are in addition to state academic assessments used

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City of Chicago SD 299

District Title I Plan

Section I-A. Additional Academic Assessments

Additional Academic Assessments - Describe student academic assessments, if any, that are in addition to state academic assessments used:

  • To determine the success of children in meeting standards and to provide information on the progress towards meeting standards.

  • To assist in diagnosis, teaching, and learning in the classroom in ways that best enable low-achieving children to meet standards and do well in the local curriculum.

  • To determine what revisions are needed to projects so that such children meet state standards.

  • To identify effectively students who may be at risk for reading failure or who are having difficulty reading, through the use of instructional reading assessments.


CPS implements the Dynamic Indicators of basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)and its Spanish version (IDEL) to measure reading readiness in phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral fluency. All schools must implement this assessment in grades K-2.

The EXPLORE ® assessment measures general student knowledge aligned to ACT. The EXPLORE program is designed to help 8th and 9th graders explore a broad range of options for their future. EXPLORE prepares students not only for their high school coursework, but for their post–high school choices as well. It marks an important beginning for a student’s future academic and career success. Data is used to determine school and student academic needs. This information is shared with program and school staff to be used to design and implement supplemental academic support services to students.

PLAN is an assessment used to measure general student knowledge aligned to ACT. Subjects include reading, English, math, and science reasoning. This exam also includes a student interest inventory and background survey. All schools must implement this assessment in grades 10 or 11.

Learning First Reading and Math Benchmark Assessments is a low-stakes standards-based assessment program administered system-wide in grades 3-8. This assessment is used to measure the Illinois learning goals in reading and math throughout the year and provide ISAT predictive information. Students take three different multiple-choice assessments in the fall, winter, and spring. While each assessment is unique, all measure student performance on the same Illinois Learning Standards that define what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. These brief 45 minute assessments will provide stakeholders at every level with critical information that will enable them to: (1) regularly monitor student progress against state standards throughout the year; (2)identify more precise learning needs; (3) guide instruction; and (4) Target interventions. Professional development and analysis of results are provided as part of the assessment program.

WorkKeys is 1.5 hour assessment that measures students’ ability to apply basic knowledge in context. Studentsare measured on their skills in reading for information and applied math. All schools with grades 10 or 11 administer the exam.

The ACT assessment is used to measure general student knowledge. Students are administered a practice test in reading, English, math, and science reasoning in the 11th grade. The exam is approximately 4 hours long, one hour for each subject.

Limited Testing of Eighth-Grade Students: Scores from the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) are used within the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for a variety of purposes in addition to school accountability. In particular, national percentile scores from a student’s seventh-grade ISAT test may be used to determine eligibility for a variety of high school programs or for selective enrollment high school applications. For students who did not participate in ISAT testing as seventh-graders or who did not receive a score, CPS will offer a limited opportunity in the fall for eighth-graders to obtain a comparable test score. Students eligible for testing are only those eighth-graders who do not have ISAT scores (either CPS or non-CPS; however, students should be residents of Chicago ). Students who took a nationally-normed achievement test such as TerraNova, Stanford 10, California Achievement Test, Kuhlman-Anderson, Woodcock-Johnson, or Wechsler Revised Achievement Test as seventh-graders need not be retested. National percentile scores from those tests may be used for selective enrollment applications or for other program eligibility.

Section I-B. Other Academic Indicators

Other Academic Indicators - Describe any other indicators that the district will use in addition to the academic indicators that the State uses to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), if any.


The School Improvement Plan for Advancing Academic Achievement (SIPAAA) is the biannual planning process for the Chicago Public Schools. Both the planning and approval processes are mandated by Illinois state law. The SIPAAA process conforms to these guidelines while encouraging meaningful reflection, analysis, and priority setting by school-level teams. The SIPAAA will guide discretionary funding allocations and programmatic decisions. Information provided through the SIPAAA will be used by the district to gauge academic success.

There are six essential steps in SIPAAA planning: (1) gather input from faculty and other stakeholders; (2) revisit the school vision and mission and revise as necessary; (3) analyze the school’s data around student outcomes, academic progress, student connection, school characteristics, instruction, instructional leadership, professional capacity, learning climate, and family and community involvement; (4) name up to four school-wide priorities and indicators of success; (5) detail all activities for each priority, naming a person responsible; and (6) budget Supplemental General State Aid and NCLB Title I funds for each activity as needed.


One of the primary causes for student failure in school is poor attendance; thus, daily attendance is essential for student success in school. The Attendance Improvement and Truancy Intervention Program is designed to motivate and support the students, parents, staff and community to increase daily attendance in order to enhance the academic success of students.

The Attendance Improvement and Truancy Intervention unit operates under the direction of the Office of Elementary Areas and Schools. It oversees the implementation of the Chicago Public Schools Attendance and Truancy Initiative. Supporting CPS goals to reduce student absences and chronic truancy, and formulated upon Board Policy, The Office of Elementary Areas and Schools has published the Guidelines for Improved Student Attendance and Truancy Prevention. Included are procedures for the development of a successful student Attendance/Truancy Program, and the essential levels of support for improving students’ Average Daily Attendance (ADA) in every school. The guidelines were developed based upon the input of CPS administrators, principals, School Attendance Coordinators, and Area Attendance Administrators.

As we continue to implement academic initiatives to raise student achievement levels, daily student attendance must be considered by all schools as fundamental to the success of these initiatives and student academic progress. Additionally, increased ADA in all schools positively impacts the quality of education CPS can provide our children. Increased student attendance results in increased state funding provided through the ADA funding formula. Thus, such needed additional revenues can provide millions of dollars to improve educational programs within our schools.

All schools must incorporate the Guidelines for Improved Student Attendance and Truancy Prevention into the attendance component of their SIPAAA. The attendance regulations that are prescribed by state law and mandated by Board policy require every school to implement the practices and procedures contained within the guidelines.

Section I-C. Educational Assistance to Students

Educational Assistance to Students - Describe how additional educational assistance will be provided to individual students assessed as needing help in meeting State standards.


Chicago Math and Science Initiative (CMSI): CMSI is a comprehensive program that will transform the way mathematics and science are taught and supported throughout the Chicago Public Schools — from the classroom, to the school, to the areas, to the whole district — and thus transform our students’ achievement in these essential subjects.

To support improved math and science instruction and system-wide coherence in NCLB Title I schools, several activities are implemented. These include: (1) provide professional development support for elementary schools to implement high quality, standards aligned math and science curricula selected from four district supported math and four district supported science curricula; (2) create and support processes that enhance professional interaction among math and science teachers; (3) develop a comprehensive student assessment system that is aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards and CMSI supported curricula; (4) create science resource centers to support and provide easy access to high quality science instructional materials for grades K-5; (5) develop strategic external partnerships and funding to provide additional support to schools; and (6) foster increased awareness for math and science improved communication with parents, teachers, and the public at large.


Chicago Reading Initiative (CRI) - The Chicago Reading Initiative (CRI) will undertake many efforts to improve reading. One of the most important steps that it has taken to ensure that all students learn to read well has been the adoption of a common framework for instruction. This framework is significant because it imposes high-quality standards on the teaching of reading, while preserving the professional choices and flexibility teachers must have if they are to best meet students’ learning needs.

NLCB Title I funds are used to provide additional support to NCLB Title I schools. To achieve this goal, funds are used to provide: (1) literacy intervention specialists to schools on probation status to assist classroom teachers with implementing best practices; (2) literacy coaches to work with probation and challenge schools participating in the Core Reading Materials Adoption Program; and (3) Area professional development support.


The Office of Instructional Design and Assessment has three core functions: (1) introduce, implement and support at scale district endorsed curricula in Reading, Math, Science, Arts and Social Studies; (2) administer current elementary benchmark assessments; (3) facilitate the evolution of the benchmark assessment program with the goal of increasing the instructional value; (4) support cross departmental work between all OIDA departments.

NCLB Title I funds are used to support the following activities within OIDA: (1) extend the curriculum and assessment initiatives to fully address the needs of special populations including special education students, English language learners, and other student groups; (2) provide professional development opportunities to schools that are adopting core reading, math and science materials to enhance universal instruction; (3) coordinate work across curricular areas to ensure coherence with area structure and provide high quality differentitated support to NCLB Title I schools; and (4) implement middle grade initiative to improve coherence of support provided to these crucial grade levels.


The Department of Dropout Prevention and Recovery (DDPR) was established in January 2004 with the overarching goal of reducing the number of students who are leaving Chicago Public Schools without a diploma. The DDPR is divided into 2 branches: prevention and recovery. The prevention component of the DDPR focuses on keeping students in school, while the recovery component focuses on re-engaging students in school as they return from either dropping out or from the juvenile justice system.

Evening High School: NCLB Title I funds are used to support this program. Information about the program is disseminated to all CPS high schools, charter schools, libraries, social service agencies and other stakeholders. NCLB Title I students are identified for services if they are off track or experiencing unsuccessful completion of coursework in the regular day high school environment. This program is also available to students that are inactive to complete coursework in order to attain a high school diploma. Selected students are provided an opportunity to earn high school credits to meet graduation requirements. The program is located in several sites with courses offered in the evening and on Saturdays.


NCLB Title I funds are used to provide professional development to 500 teachers in 25 selected NCLB Title I schools that are in need of improvement. Specific teacher support activities include (1) 60 hours of professional development in their content area; (2) Low-ratio coaching for teachers that include model lessons, co-teaching, and content support; (3) common planning time to support development of lesson plans and to be reflective of student learning and teaching practices; and (4) networking opportunities so that teachers can learn from others who are teaching within the same content area. The professional learning communities - both within and across schools - will serve as another means of enhancing teacher capacity.


Additional professional development opportunities are provided to all NCLB Title I high schools. These services are provided to: (1)improve high school content area test scores; (2) develop effective high school curriculum, instruction, and assessment tools and materials; (3) develop strategies to increase the number of students with access to Advance Placement course offerings; (4) offer proffesional development programs for high school instructional personnel; (5) align curriculum, instruction, and assessment within CPS high schools with Illinois Learning Standards, College Readiness Standards, and Work Keys skills; and (5) ensure vertical alignment of curriculum with elementary schools.

^ Section I-D. Professional Development for Teachers and Principals

Professional Development for Teachers and Principals - Describe how the district will coordinate programs under Title I and Title II to provide professional development for teachers and principals, and, if appropriate, pupil services personnel, administrators, parents and other staff, including district level staff.


The Chicago Public Schools is comprised of 21 Area Instructional Offices - 17 elementary school Areas (1-4, 6-18) and 6 high school Areas (19, 21, 23, 24: Small Schools, and Military). The Areas incorporate two key educational teams, instruction and management, which work together to serve and support local schools, their students and their communities.

Area Instructional Offices (1) provide professional development and supervision to principals and their schools as determined by local school data analysis and Chicago Public Schools instructional initiatives; (2) monitor instructional practices that lead to improved student achievement; (3) confirm the development and support of new teachers; (4) provide technical support in the alignment of SIPAAA goals to budget allocations; (5) monitor and evaluate principal performance; promote positive working relationships with local school councils; and (6) serve as a liaison between area/ schools and curriculum offices

The Area Instruction Officer supports, develops, coaches, and supervises principals in providing instructional leadership in area schools. They allocate area instructional support resources to schools based on school performance and need. The AIOs also work with the Local School Councils and other CPS departments to identify, prepare, place, and retain great principals in area schools.


The Teaching and Learning Department was created at the start of the 2006-2007 School Year in an effort to provide comprehensive curriculum support to the Area Instruction Offices, CPS principals and teachers to ensure that all high school students experience a rigorous, relevant, and engaging curriculum that will prepare them for both postsecondary education as well as employment. To that end, TAL is composed of content area managers in English, Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, and Social Science as well as managers for academic programs such as Advanced Placement courses, Global Classrooms, and College Bridge. TAL is engaged in the following activities: (1) organization of curriculum-focused professional development programs; (2) support of high school literacy teams; and (3) coordination of instructional improvement efforts.


Alternative Certification Program: The Alternative Certification Program is designed to recruit, educate, develop, and support effective, professional teachers for the Chicago Public Schools. The program is intended to attract college graduates, many of who have had successful careers in other professional fields, into teaching in the urban center of Chicago.

GOLDEN Teachers Program: The GOLDEN Teachers program supports newly hired CPS teachers by hosting new teacher orientation, coordinating mentoring for first-year new teachers, providing targeted workshops on content and pedagogy, and managing school and system-wide efforts to bring new teachers into the system. The GOLDEN Teachers staff and liaisons support first-year teachers, second-year teachers, and mentors.

The CPS Student-Teaching Initiative is designed to attract pre-service teachers by offering support through the final phases of the traditional teacher certification process. Under the guidance of an experienced cooperating teacher, student teachers improve their instructional strategies, assessment practices, and classroom management skills, thereby engaging students and fostering a life-long learning philosophy. A newsletter, professional development events, and a useful Web site for student teachers are some services of this innovative program.


Effective leadership is at the core of improving and sustaining the quality of education for all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. This improvement is guided by the CPS theory of change which identifies the school as the unit of change and the principal as the leader of that change. The mission of the Office of Principal Preparation and Development is to develop and ensure high-quality principal leadership in every school. The scope of work involves four responsibilities: (1) identify and develop aspiring principals to meet the challenges of a CPS principalship; (2) develop and support new principals; (3) provide continual development opportunities for experienced principals; and (4) recruit principals in and out of Chicago.

Chicago Public Schools Competencies

The CPS Principal Competencies are the district’s leadership framework. Aligned with national standards, these five competencies identify what CPS values in a leader. Furthermore, the CPS Principal Competencies present a holistic approach to instructional leadership by: (1) developing and articulating a belief system through voice and actions; (2) engaging and developing faculty to assess the quality of classroom instruction; (3) facilitating and motivating change; and (4) balancing management.

Through research, committee work, focus groups, and a Blue Ribbon Task Force of civic and educational leaders, the Office of Principal Preparation and Development facilitated the development of the CPS Principal Competencies. These competencies provide a clear description of instructional and managerial leadership in CPS. The Competencies do not replace but support a standards-based leadership model.

The Office of Principal Preparation and Development is highly committed to carrying out the responsibilities that identify and support principals who improve student achievement by: (1) promoting the CPS Principal Competencies as the district’s leadership framework; (2) managing the CPS Principal Eligibility Process; (3) building a pipeline of high-quality principals; (4) supporting leadership development through collaboration with three principal preparation programs; (5) providing coherent professional development opportunities for CPS principals that target school improvement; (6) partnering with CPS offices and Area Instruction Officers to ensure principals are supported as instructional leaders; and (7) supporting Local School Councils during the principal selection process.

^ Section I-E. Coordination with Other Education Services

Coordination with Other Education Services - Describe how the district will coordinate and integrate services provided with other education services such as:

  • Even Start, Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First and other preschool programs, including plans for the transition of participants in such programs to local elementary school programs; and

  • Services for children with limited English proficiency, children with disabilities, migratory children, neglected or delinquent youth, Indian children, homeless children, and immigrant children in order to increase program effectiveness, eliminate duplication, and reduce fragmentation of the instructional program.


Head Start Child Development Program Provides services to preschool children and their families who have incomes at or below the Federal poverty level. Services for children focus on education, socio-emotional development, physical and mental health, and nutrition. The program includes a strong parent development component and is Federally funded through the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services (CYS). Head Start income guidelines are established each year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Proof of income is required prior to completing the application process. Children with diagnosed disabilities are given priority for enrollment regardless of income.


The Chicago Early Reading First Grant (FY 2005-2008) in the amount of $3,214,793 is intended to improve children’s achievement in language and literacy development and ease the transition to kindergarten. The project is operating in ten Head Start classrooms located in 4 elementary schools (Dvorak, Fuller, Hay, and Lafayette). Each classroom is a full school day program and has 20 children each room.

To meet the project goals, the Early Reading First program model adopted by CPS includes five major components: (1) implementation of a comprehensive, research-based curriculum with intensive development of language and literacy skills; (2) a three-year professional development model that links knowledge with practice and support; (3) implementation of a comprehensive differentiating assessment system; (4) facilitation of a seamless transition to kindergarten; and (5) the provision of literacy and language development resources.


Illinois has awarded Chicago Public Schools a $18.8 million Reading First grant that supports expanded reading programs at 60 Chicago Public Elementary Schools, focusing on K-3 student literacy learning and teacher training to improve Adequate Yearly Progress for low-performing schools. The focus of the Illinois Reading First grant is to support schools in implementing a comprehensive reading program rooted in scientifically based reading research and aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards. Reading First impacts classroom instruction by: (1)providing high-quality professional development; (2) improving the selection and quality of classroom reading materials; and (3) impacting students’ after-school reading habits. School support and teacher training will improve Adequate Yearly Progress for low-performing schools.

The overall goals of the Reading First program are to: (1) apply research-based strategies to improve reading instruction and student literacy achievement; and (2) provide professional development in research-based instructional and assessment strategies to improve classroom instruction; and (4) select and develop effective, research-based instructional and assessment tools to improve diagnostic and classroom instruction.


The Office of Language and Cultural Education (OLCE) also believes in the importance of investing in the professional development of its teachers. OLCE offers a broad array of workshops, conferences, cultural/language immersion programs and exchanges, as well as instructional materials for teachers to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the world. OLCE is committed to creating a teaching force able to prepare and expertly assist students through the complexities of the global arena.

The Office of Language and Cultural Education believes in the importance of cultivating a true appreciation for cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity in Chicago Public Schools students. We encourage students to view culturally inherent differences as building blocks rather than barriers and offer challenging opportunities to explore and grow both academically and socially. Partnering with local and international organizations, our goal is to build a citizenry open to new thoughts, ideas and experiences, ready to operate and succeed in major global arenas – economic, political and social.


The purpose of the Department of Education To Careers is to help students plan and prepare for their futures. Students have access to the Choices Planner website to develop their individual career and postsecondary plan: Students are then encouraged to follow their plans by participating in over 50 high school ETC programs.


Chicago Neighborhood Learning Network (CNLN) - The Chicago Neighborhood Learning Network (CNLN) is a partnership among schools, community members and neighborhood organizations. Funded by a U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant and administered by the Chicago Public Schools Office of School & Community Relations, the network offers free computer classes and free Internet access for parents, children and the community.

eLearning: The Office of Technology Services eLearning exists to carry out the vision, goals, and mission developed by the CPS eBrigade. The eLearning web site provides one-stop shopping for information about eLearning’s projects and programs to administrators, teachers, parents, and students. The site is organized so that visitors will find the information they need quickly and easily—whether that information is a strategy to enhance teaching and learning, research to support effective educational practices, or access to a professional development opportunity.


In the Department of Libraries and Information Services, the staff works at both the system level and in individual schools to help librarians, teachers, administrators, and community members to improve their library programs as part of its "Children First" education plan. The departmetn assists schools in developing and improving library programs that are integral to teaching and learning; and to provide support for: (1) effective teaching; (2) curriculum integration; (3) professional development; (4) collection development; (5) library automation; (6) use of online resources; (7) coordination of library technology with other technology in the school; (8) grant applications and implementation; and (9) coordination of school and public library resources and services.


The programs and services provided by the Office of Specialized Services are designed to ensure that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment and to provide health-related services to all Chicago public school students. These programs and services are directly related to the core functions of the department. Below is a directory of the programs and services categorized by the core functions that support schools in providing high-quality education for students with disabilities.

The Office of Specialized Services coordinates a wide variety of support services for all students in the Chicago Public Schools, including special education and related services for approximately 58,000 students with disabilities and students receiving related services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The core functions of the department are: (1) to support schools in providing high-quality education for students with disabilities and (2) to support schools in meeting students’ social/emotional and physical health needs. Services provided include specialized educational services, low-incidence programs, health services, health education, social/emotional services, and professional development and training. These services are instrumental in ensuring that all students graduate prepared for employment that promotes productive, independent living.

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