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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


District 99 school board recieves their report card

District 99 board of education deliberates items on their meeting agenda

This past Monday, Nov. 6th, Community School District 99 hosted its 19th school board meeting of this calendar year.

The meeting opened with a spell of laughter from the crowd with DGS principal Arwen Lyp danced up to the microphone to introduce representatives from the DGS student council. Lily Kelliher, Grace Rerucha, Juliana Conyer and Isabel Lopez all took the mic in order to highlight some of the happenings around DGS this school year so far.

Conyer and Rerucha opened up the floor to highlight this year’s Halloween Fun Fair and school-wide bingo. Lopez then took a moment to highlight an upcoming STUCO event where they will be working with the foundation Blessings in a Backpack.

“A parent from district 58 [reached] out to student council asking students to help district 58 families in need so we’re going to be making 500 bags with motivational cards to give to them.”

— Isabel Lopez

Up next was DGS student board member Nahla Mokkath highlighting recent exciting events at DGS. Mokkath mentioned the homecoming parade, two DGS cross country athletes who had the opportunity to go to state this past weekend and the homecoming dance itself.

“[Homecoming] went off,” Mokkath said.

DGN student board member Gianna Hunsche followed soon after, highlighting their homecoming, first place win at state for boys cross country and the recent implementation of student choice days over at DGN.

Following presentations from student board members was a presentation on District 99 school reports. The criteria to earn a rating of “commendable,” which both DGN and DGS achieved include no underperforming subgroups, a graduation rate of at least 67% and the prerequisite that we are not in the top 10% of schools in the nation.

One area where this school report card system has changed is in the implementation of the ‘schoolhouse visual.’ This visual is a simple and aesthetically pleasing way to highlight where exactly a school scored in all criteria and how exactly those add up to the percentage rating of a school.

‘Schoolhouse’ graphic of DGS

The validity of this ranking system was questioned by a board member, asking if this report card is truly a fair way of assessing our high school and if policy changes should truly be instituted because of this. Superintendent Hank Thiele then responded.

“It’s ‘yes, and.’ I don’t believe these are all the metrics that indicate if a school is meeting the needs of their students,” Thiele said.

Even the validity of infographics and visuals based off of this report card were looked at, with arguments being made for and against their use. One side argued that these infographics are not genuinely descriptive of the environment in District 99, while the other argued that many people would take these metrics for face value.

Infographic displaying DGS’ overall index score
Infographic displaying District 99 graduation rates

The next action on the meeting agenda was the application for a maintenance grant of $50,000. Board member Jeree Ethridge presented the grant, noting that it had to go through board approval before a formal application was submitted. The board member was then asked what the grant would be used for.

“Probably HVAC projects that we’ll be doing next summer,” Ethridge said.

The grant passed unanimously. Finally, the board entered a closed session for talks regarding “personnel” and “collective negotiating matters.”

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