District 63: Success Without Boundaries
Teaching excellence based on each student's needs • A focus on the whole child • A multicultural perspective that celebrates diversity and enhances education • An integral part of Maine Township, building strong partnerships that benefit students, families, and the community.East Maine School District 63 offers a rich learning environment to more than 3,400 students in Des Plaines, Niles, Morton Grove, Glenview, and Park Ridge at five elementary schools (K-5), a preschool, and a middle school (grades 6-8). Committed to providing all students with the specific opportunities they need to succeed and thrive, District 63 schools and afterschool programs foster each child’s academic, social, emotional, and behavioral growth and achievement.District Highlights and Offerings
- Differentiated instruction - because every student has different strengths and learning styles.
- An outstanding music program, eight sports offered at Gemini, after school activities ranging from chess and science clubs to drama, and a Gemini Club led by Maine East's esteemed Schuler Scholar Program.
- Parent involvement and family activities: PTOs, movie nights, picnics, book fairs, literacy nights, and more.
- Expanded Learning at D63, offering before- and after-school programming as well as engaging options for winter, spring, and summer break.
- A Family Resource Center that provides a wide range of classes and programming for D63 families and parents.
- Skilled support for English language learners. By 6th grade, English language arts test scores for ELL students exceed state standards. D63 offers dual language classrooms, ELL summer school, native language support for students, Spanish-for-Spanish-speakers, and sheltered classrooms. For parents, the District offers free ELL classes — with free childcare provided.
- A full range of special education services. More than 98 percent of our special needs students are successfully served within District schools, but the District offers programming for multi-needs and ASD students, primary and intermediate life skills classrooms, and an extended school year (ESY) summer school.
- Kindergarten readiness summer school for at-risk students.
- Strong community partnerships with area businesses, social service agencies, and local government.
- First Steps Preschool, which offers a community preschool, as well as programs for at-risk and special needs children. Construction on our new First Steps early learning center is underway; the facility will open in 2020.
- Our Expanded Learning Program, which offers exceptional enrichment activities for students, including before and after school programs; winter, spring, and summer break programs; a Basketball League; and open gym nights.
Student AchievementState Summative DesignationsIn 2019, all of our D63 schools received "commendable" summative designations on their State Student Report Cards.All schools are exceeding expectations; scores continue to be above state averages, and there are no underperforming subgroups. It's important to note that internally, D63's own standards don't change. The District has high expectations and standards for every grade level.Interpreting State Summative Designations: A Moving Target
These designations can be difficult to interpret because they take into account a range of factors - and those factors change each year making comparisons challenging. Here is a partial list - with some key information - of the criteria that go into the summative designation "pie":
- Test scores: D63's test scores are relatively the same as they were in 2018. However, the test itself has changed every year for the past several years - making comparisons of limited value. The 2018 designations were based on the PARCC test - whereas the 2019 designations were based on the new Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR).
- Science proficiency: new this year. Including this target in the "pie" reduced the proficiency percentage assigned to both English language arts and math, giving each less weight - again, making any 2018-2019 comparisons difficult.
- School climate: new this year. Summative designation criteria now include data about the school climate: effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment, and ambitious instruction.
- Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) proficiency targets: new "cut off" scores are defined every year - making the definition of "proficiency" a moving target. These targets are often unrealistic, depending on the population measured.
When students stay in the District, they excel. Nearly 80 percent of D63 students live in homes where two or more languages are spoken - creating a rich, multicultural environment that enhances our students' education. However, this means that in the early grades, standardized tests (MAP, IAR) designed for English-speaking students can't accurately measure D63 student progress. By 6th grade, English language arts test scores for ELL students exceed state standards. As students master English, the rate of change is exceptional - a testament to D63's teachers and educational program.
To find out more about our schools, visit their websites by clicking on a school picture: