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Fenwick then and now 

Students 200,  2 classes, 60 sophomores, 100% male 
Faculty 14, 12 Dominicans 
Sports 3  
Curriculum 14 (# of subjects)
Clubs 5 
Student hometowns approx. 10
Tuition $150 
Classrooms 17 
Size 88,500 sq.ft. 

Students  1,152, 4 classes, 140 freshman, 5% male, 44% female
Faculty 119, with staff 6 Dominicans
Sports  28
Curriculum  104 (# of subjects)
Clubs  38
Student  hometowns 64
Tuition  $8,150
Classrooms  47
Size  469,000 sq.ft.
Source: Fenwick High School


OPRF roof project hasn't peaked, but here's a peek
The last of 110,000 clay tiles came off the Oak Park and River Forest High School roof, as the $6.2 million project hit approximately the one-third completed point, Assistant Superintendent for Operations Jack Lanenga said back on Oct. 1.

"We did this at the right time," Lanenga said, standing atop a roof peak that workers were quickly trying to waterproof that Friday morning. He pointed to a few areas of rotting wood in the underlying roof structure as evidence of their good timing.

The project will replace nearly every portion of the 331,000-square-foot roof, using a range of materials, from copper flashing to gravel to new clay tiles. Lanenga said copper and clay were expensive, but that nothing else is as long-lasting.

The only area not being replaced is a patch replaced recently at the top of the fieldhouse roof.

The project is under its initial estimated budget of $8 million, although the district sold life safety bonds for the entire amount, Lanenga said. Because the district is at its bonding capacity until 2016, payment of the debt will come from operating expenses, said Cheryl Witham, OPRF chief financial officer.

Lanenga expects the roof to be completed by July 2005.

D97 Supt. Connie Collins, briefly

• Grew up in Gary, Ind.

• Earned bachelor, master's degrees at Indiana Univ. at Bloomington.

• Speech pathologist for 26 years,
 including four at Chicago Public Schools, starting in 1975. Worked for schools in or near Houston, Nashville and Bloomsburg, Pa., while relocating with husband's jobs.

• Finished Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University in 1993.

• Served as teacher, Supervisor of Special Education, Director of Special Education and principal for Kentwood (Mich.) Public Schools, 1991-98.

• Became assistant superintendent for Grand Rapids Public Schools, overseeing one-fourth (21) then one-half (39) of the schools in Michigan's second-largest school district, 1998-2002.

• Served as superintendent at Zion Elementary School District 6, with 3,000 students, seven buildings, and 300 employees, 2002-present.


District 90 tops state on scores
Final 2003 ISAT scores released have officials at District 90 positively aglow. Dist. 90 again ranks first among all 892 Illinois grade schools, with scores that Superintendent Marlene Kamm called "way, way, way above state averages."

"We have very few students who do not meet state standards," Kamm told the Dist. 90 school board.

"Even our Special Ed students are doing tremendous jobs," said Kamm Tuesday.

Kamm emphasized that those individuals who did not meet standards are being identified and targeted for extra help.

Those kids will then be assisted as needed.

That's not the case with the vast majority of River Forest elementary and middle school students, however. District 90 students scored in the 90 percent range in nearly every subject and grade category.

Lincoln third graders scored highest, with better than 90 percent meeting or exceeding standards in all three categories, including reading, math, writing.

Lincoln and Willard third graders had the strongest showing"93.6 percent meeting or exceeding state standards in reading. Their math profiency was even better, with 97.9 percent of all Lincoln third graders above standard, and 95.2 percent of Willard students above standards.

The only notable exception to the plus-90-percentile excellence were eighth graders. Roosevelt Middle School eighth graders scored over 90 percent in reading and science, but under that in math (88.2) writing (81.4) and social science (84.7).

When that fact was brought up by a parent at Monday's board meeting, Kamm and some board members noted that they were aware of the fact, and that it was not just a local phenomenon.

"Unfortunately, that's a problem we've seen over time," said Board President Sally DelBaccaro. "Eighth graders aren't approaching the tests with the same level of commitment."

"If you look at the state data, that's pretty much the trend across the state," she said. Part of the problem is the fact that by the time eighth graders take the ISATs, they are beginning to shift their focus from grade school to high school.

"There's absolutely no accountability for eighth gradrers," said Kamm, noting that their scores aren't even published until they've moved on to to high school.

"The scores have no meaning for them."

The school board's education committee will look into the scores in greater detail at their Nov. 2 meeting. At that time, officials will also receive longitudinal data, allowing them to assess progress over the past few years.

"We don't just file these results away in a drawer," said DelBaccaro. "We look at each student not meeting or exceeding standards."

"We're concerned with disaggregating the data, looking into other subgroups," said Kamm, who added that the Education Committee and school staff would be looking at the results "on a very individualized basis, student by student."




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