School Principal Josh Huwig gave a presentation on Yost Elementary School at
the Duneland School Board’s meeting Monday night.
Yost’s scores on the new ILEARN assessment--a replacement for the ISTEP+
introduced just this year--were at or slightly above state averages and on
par with the other schools in the district. Yost also compared well with a
list of similar school districts.
Huwig’s report was
heavily focused on data, both sweeping and specific to Yost since the
Duneland school improvement team is focused on using available data to find
areas of improvement.
Huwig also said
Yost has implemented recess before lunch as part of its goal to make
research-based school improvements. According to Huwig, research shows that
recess before lunch results in kids eating better at lunch, visiting the
nurse less frequently, and behaving better. Huwig said disciplinary
incidents on the playground and in the cafeteria are down and nurse visits
are down since he launched recess before lunch.
Superintendent Dr. Chip Pettit thanked Huwig and the Yost teachers and staff
for their great work with the students. Pettit emphasized the importance of
the school comparison data. “When we look at some of these school
comparisons, we’re not comparing with state averages, we’re comparing to
some of the best schools in the state,” he said. “Another benefit is we can
use that data to then create a network to share best practices.”
In other business,
Pettit recognized CHS faculty, staff, administrator, and student effort in
planning and executing the Dunes Day field trip where nearly 2,000 CHS
students descended on the Dunes and came just shy of breaking a Guinness
World Record for largest field trip.
Pettit said he
observed some student activities at Marquette Park and was “extremely
impressed with the level of student engagement.” He also thanked partners
the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, the National Park Service, Duneland’s HR
team, Biggby Coffee, and Val’s Famous Pizza & Grinders. Duneland HR quickly
processed over 150 background checks for volunteers, and Biggby and Val’s
provided coffee and food for bus drivers.
Pettit also thanked
volunteers at the Homecoming Hustle 5K and thanked the Liberty Elementary
PTO for donating playground equipment to replace dated equipment at Liberty.
The Board approved
on final reading a round of policy updates. Board President Brandon Kroft
said the changes in each of 13 policies were minor and amounted to updating
a word or two here and there.
Duneland parent Joe
Dooley asked what Duneland could do about middle school students arriving to
school 45 minutes early and having to wait until school starts due to bus
routes. Dooley wondered if buying more buses would help.
Pettit and Duneland
CFO Lynn Kwilasz reported the problem isn’t just number of buses, but also
lack of drivers. Kwilasz said getting qualified people and getting more
buses are both concerns because “it’s tough finding people who want that job
in this day and age.” Pettit said the concern isn’t lost on the
Administration: “Anything we can do to minimize the time students are
actually at school just waiting for school to begin is something we’re
The Board made the
following personnel moves: Faith Burnham was appointed driver, and Michael
Rinchak and Tara Sibbrell were appointed custodians, for DSC; Jamie Anselm
resigned as seventh grade A basketball coach.