After adopting a new mission statement last year, the Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education has decided it’s time to update the school district’s goals.
Last week the school board discussed and decided upon new draft goals to replace ones adopted nearly a decade ago.
The school board is currently seeking public feedback on the proposed new goals, which are posted on the district’s website. The five new goals are broad statements rather than the specific and, it turned out, unattainably ambitious goals the school board adopted in 2013.
The draft new goals are:
Explore how to maximize curricular days to provide new opportunities and social/emotional supports for all students.
Research opportunities and methods to increase two-way engagement with all stakeholders of the RBHS community.
Continue ongoing training and engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Maintain responsible budgeting while investing in staff and programs directly affecting student outcomes.
Advocate to increase the district’s physical footprint to support operations, curricular, and extra-curricular utilization.
The board came up with the new goals following a board retreat held in December with a representative of the Illinois Association of School Boards.
Discussion during the Jan. 11 board meeting mostly centered on the last goal. Initially that goal was to increase the district’s footprint. But school board President Deanna Zalas was uncomfortable with that wording, noting that achieving that goal is dependent on other partners.
For the past several years the district has been talking with the Brookfield Zoo about obtaining ownership or control over the ball fields north of the school and adding more parking. But a tentative agreement was rejected last year after zoo officials said the agreement would result in the loss of too many parking spaces.
Zalas noted that there was widespread agreement among board members that they wanted to get more space but it might not be achievable. But other board members argued that goals are aspirational.
“It’s a goal,” said board member Ramona Towner. “We’re not going to be in front of a firing squad if we don’t get there.”
Board member Lorena Gasca suggested tweaking the language to “advocate” increasing the district’s physical footprint, which satisfied her colleagues on the board.
The proposed goals are nowhere near as specific as the goals the school board adopted in 2013.
They included achieving a school average composite ACT score of 26. The school never came close to meeting that lofty goal. The school’s average ACT score was 22 in 2019, 22.4 in 2018, 22.6 in 2017 and 22.1 in 2016.
The ACT is no longer a state-mandated test in Illinois and has since been replaced by the SAT.
Other goals from 2013 included achieving a 100-percent four-year graduation rate, with 100 percent of graduates matriculating at a college, technical or trade school, or joining the military; having 100 percent of RBHS students who take an Advanced Placement exam achieve a score on 3 or above; having 75 percent of members of each graduating class passing at least one Advanced Placement exam; and having 100 percent of all RBHS students involved in at least one sport or extracurricular activity.
None of those goals was met.