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Making the grade

Published: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 3:50 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 3:58 p.m. CST

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a multi-part series on the 2011 Illinois Report Card.

Area schools have received their report cards, and the results showed how our students are doing in math, reading, science and writing.

But the report cards contain more information than how the students are doing. The 2012 Illinois School Report Cards also provide information on area classrooms. School report cards show the results of how students are performing on standardized tests, but those numbers don’t take into account how classrooms differ from each other, how some classrooms are crowded while others have almost too much space.

How did your school district’s classrooms measure up last spring?

Student/teacher ratio — elementary

Looking for a lot of one-on-one attention for your child? Move to the Ohio Elementary School District, where the ratio of students to teacher was only 7.2 to one, the lowest in the county. The ratio was closely followed by the 8.9 to one in Dalzell.

All but one of Bureau County’s schools were less than the state average of 18.9 to one. Only the Spring Valley Elementary district, with a ratio of 20.8 to one, was higher.

Average class size —

elementary

Most often the smallest schools see the greatest variety of class sizes. Dalzell ranges from two students in the first grade to nine in the third grade. Another small class was the seventh grade at Leepertown with two students.

On the other end of the spectrum are the schools with big classes. The largest classes in the county were the fifth grade classes at Ladd, with an average of 29.0 students per classroom. Other big classes were DePue’s eighth grade with 27 students, Spring Valley Elementary’s eighth grade with 25.7 per classroom, and Spring Valley’s third grade and Ladd’s seventh grade, each with 25 students per classroom.

Also, the report card showed LaMoille’s fifth grade with 26 students; Spring Valley’s seventh grade with an average of 25.3 students per class; and DePue’s seventh grades and LaMoille’s third grade, both with an average of 25 students per class.

Across the state, the average class size ranges from 20.9 for kindergarten pupils to 22.8 for fifth-graders.

Student/teacher ratio — secondary

The smaller the high school, the lower the student to teacher ratio. Ohio High School with its 38 students, had a ratio of one teacher for every 8.7 students, up from the previous year’s one per 4.85 students. LaMoille with its 78 students had a ratio of 10.3 students per teacher.

Hall High School had the highest ratio in the county with 18.2 students per teacher, which was still less than the state average of 18.8 students per teacher.

Average class size —

secondary

Ohio High School had the smallest average class size at just 8.7 students per class, followed by LaMoille with an average class size of 10.3 students. Only Princeton and Hall high schools exceeded the state average of 19.2 students per class with an average class size of 20.9 at Princeton and 19.7 at Hall.

Graduation

All of the high schools in the county are above the state graduation rate of 83.8 percent except for Bureau Valley High School with its 81.1 graduation rate. Boys at Bureau Valley particularly struggled last year with only 74.4 percent of all males graduating.

Statewide, only two out of every three students with disabilities graduate, or 66.2 percent. Bureau Valley and Hall both fall below that rate with 58.8 percent at Bureau Valley and 64.7 at Hall.

For students who are economically disadvantaged, Bureau Valley and Princeton High School fall below the state average of 75.1 with Bureau Valley at 61.8, and Princeton at 72.3. DePue leads the group with 100 percent of its economically-disadvantaged students graduating.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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