TOLONO — After three years of failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Unity High School has met its progress goals.
This year, to meet standards, 92.5 percent of all students had to meet or exceed state math and reading goals.
Students in 11th grade took the Prairie State Achievement Exam last April, which tests those students in math, reading and science.
"Everybody's in the same boat, but not only is the boat moving, but we don't know where the boat is going," Morrison said, explaining that the testing process keeps changing.
Morrison said next year the PSAE test scores would be meaningless because they will be "not remotely close to" the testing that will be used then. Ninth-graders will be given "a lot" of tests throughout the year, Morrison added.
To turn things around, a group of Unity teachers and counselors volunteered their time to work with Northern Illinois University, using the Illinois State Board of Education Rising Star program to implement a school improvement plan. The program includes four categories for continuous improvement, eight essentials for effective education, 105 indicators, a continuous improvement cycle and principles of improvement.
Out of 105 indicators, Unity had about 43 that had been either only partially implemented or not implemented at all. A few were selected for implementation this year.
"The school improvement process is continual," Morrison said. "You're always looking to get better."