Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment

District 53 is committed to a culture of excellence in education through continuous improvement, innovation and professional development. Our District encourages creativity and lifelong learning in our students by helping them to strive to be the best they can be every day and taking ownership and pride in their work.

Parents with questions or comments related to the education at Butler SD 53 are asked to email Matters pertaining to individual students should be addressed to the child's teacher.

Instructional Blueprint

The Instructional Blueprint is a vision for academic excellence and the foundation for curricular and instructional goals. It was developed by a team of staff, faculty, parents, Board and administrators in the fall of 2013 to outline the instructional philosophy, instructional goals and next steps for curricular changes. It is based on the mission and vision of the District. Its goals are to provide:

  • A curriculum that is progressive and meets real world needs and also is reviewed, evaluated and fine-tuned regularly.
  • An instructional strategy that engages and motivates students and helps them to individually achieve their highest academic success.
  • State-of-the art technology that enriches the learning environment and provides students with 21st century skills through a variety of tools: whiteboards in every classroom, iPads for K-3rd grade students and a laptop for every junior high student.
  • Technologies, curriculum and methodologies that help students to become problem-solvers and prepare them for a world in which innovation, creativity, autonomy and individual and group research is prized.

District 53’S Commitment to Whole Child Learning

District’s 53 has a strong commitment to whole child learning. At its Sept. 17 meeting, the Board of Education heard a report on the tenets of whole child learning and how the schools support social, emotional, health and physical education for students.

“We want to build a solid foundation for a whole child and wellness foundation for all learners – students and staff – so each will succeed and thrive in our ever-evolving world,” said Superintendent Dr. Heidi Wennstrom at the Board meeting. She noted the five tenets of the whole child in Butler District 53:

  • Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
  • Each student learns in an intellectually challenging environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
  • Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
  • Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults
  • Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment in a global environment

While the District’s test scores and educational system earned us national and local recognition, “Butler 53’s educators understand that the world our students live in is ever evolving and that flexible skills sets and healthy environments will be necessary to truly create pathways for optimal success,” she said. Click here for more information on the whole child initiative in District 53. 

Whole Child Commitment in District 53

Student Achievement Data

The District uses a framework of data to provide a picture of student achievement. This framework includes results of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, NWEA MAP test and 5Essentials survey. These results are reviewed and analyzed each year to better inform the District, families and our community about school performance and climate. They are also used to evaluate practices and support instructional decision making. Each year, the District develops its Annual Student Achievement and Growth Report, which analyzes the data results and recommends goals for the future. PARCC results and 5Essentials are also included each year as part of the Illinois State Report Card. 

Achievement and Growth Presentation

2018 Report Cards

2017 Report Cards

2016 Report Cards

2015 Report Cards

2014 Report Cards

2013 Report Cards

2012 Report Cards

School Improvement Data

School Improvement data is contained within the 5 Essentials Survey, which is given by the state to parents, certified teachers and middle school students. It reflects the State Board’s goals for all schools to be safe, healthy and nurturing learning environments and for every student to be ready for college and career. The results are being used to help us identify strengths and areas for improvement in school climate and learning conditions.





Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards are learning goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful, while also helping parents understand what is expected of their children. The CCSS are more rigorous and robust than the Illinois Learning Standards that were previously in place. The standards are intended to better prepare students for success in college and careers, to compete in an increasingly global economy, and to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. In District 53, we have made improvements in the last few years to align our curriculum to the new Common Core Standards in math, language arts and science. 

Butler 53 Assessments

Assessments are a way to measure student progress and instructional effectiveness. In District 53, students in Grades 2 through 8 take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. Students in Grades 3 through 8 take the Illinois Assessments for Math and ELA (PARCC) and the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) in Grades 5 & 8.

MAP measures growth of student, projects how well students will perform on high-stakes tests, informs educators how to differentiate curriculum, evaluate programs and structure curriculum.

The tests are given on computers and reveal precisely which academic skills and concepts that a student has acquired and what they are ready to learn. The test is adaptive, meaning that based on your child’s responses, it adapts to each child’s instructional level. Because the tests are reliable and accurate, they are used by teachers as one of many means to determine a child’s precise learning level. The District uses other data to help guide educators in monitoring student progress and delivering curriculum and instruction that meets each child’s needs.  

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam recently replaced previous Illinois standardized tests for Math and ELA. This exam is aligned to the Common Core State Standards in Math and ELA. It not only evaluates a student's progress but also provides better information for teachers and parents to identify where a student needs help, or is excelling, so they are able to enhance instruction to meet individual student needs.

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