Feb. 6 board meeting discusses student scheduling and statistics


Hamzah Sayyed

After the board meeting staff members talk among themselves.

Hamzah Sayyed, News Editor

A school board meeting was held on Feb. 6 where the school board came together to discuss test and grade-related statistics, and considered new ideas to help benefit overall student performance.

The board also covered some possible changes to help better the school. The first one was the announcements, students have been struggling to hear the announcements due to them either showing up late or being at their lockers or PE.

Director of Student Experiences Ryan Doherty is trying to assist students and improve upon the schedule.

The new idea is to now take the five-minute announcement times and have them during access periods instead of at the beginning of the first block period on Wednesdays and Thursdays. That way students are able to hear the announcements a lot clearer and all be present.

The second consideration is to change the timing for lunch C starting way too late in the day at 1:17 p.m. The main issue this brings is that due to it being so late, some students have already snacked, resulting in fewer kids going through the lunch line.

For next school year, they have now decided by changing the order of the block days on Thursday to 4th period, Access, 2nd period, 8th period then 6th period. Allowing them to move lunchtime by an hour and 20 minutes. Resulting in lunch A starting at 10:25 a.m.

This also ties to other issues with having free periods in the middle day due to some students having both 8th and 4th periods off. They hope that with this switching the schedule around students would have the time to work on stuff in the morning or give them the option to show up to school later in the day.

As of now, the school’s performance refers to the graduation rate, which showed pre-pandemic levels to be 94% success rate along with freshmen’s on-track progression being 96% percent.

“Graduation rates stay strong compared to ninth grade on track. We are looking at that first year of high school and [whether] they [are] getting enough credits to graduate. We’ve spent a lot of time last year and this year making sure that we’re getting as many students on track,” Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele said.

The board also mentioned the chronic absence rate is at 23.3%, in comparison with other high schools in DuPage County with the rate of 29%, and the states average rate of 28.9%.

“That number is higher this year. Absenteeism at school and work and across the country is much higher than it has been in the past and was still lower than other schools in DuPage County and other states; however this number ticked up in the first semester,” Thiele said.

Illinois schools also have set a higher bar with their SAT average score being 540 instead of the base set of 480 that other states use. With this rule intact it makes it seem that D99 and other schools are performing poorly.

“I’ve seen this reported in some sources that everybody below that line is failing, which is not the case everyone below that line isn’t in the top third of test takers,” Thiele said.