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Local

District receives ‘exemplary’ report card

School has improved testing results, and its funding levels exceed expectations

Sandra Malahy
Superintendent, Lostant Grade School
Sandra Malahy Superintendent, Lostant Grade School

LOSTANT — The Illinois State Board of Education recently released the results of this year’s Illinois Report Card for Lostant’s school, and there’s reason to celebrate.

“Lostant Elementary School received an ‘Exemplary’ rating,” reported Superintendent Sandra Malahy.

Schools earning an exemplary rating are those performing in the top 10 percent of schools statewide and with no under-performing student groups.  

Malahy said the percentage of Lostant students meeting or exceeding the English Language Arts (ELA) standards set by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing were 50 percent, a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Thirty-five percent of Lostant students met those standards in math, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.

Sixty-four percent of Lostant 5th- and 8th-grade students are proficient in science, a 24 percent improvement from last year. Currently the state’s average is 51 percent.

Financially, Lostant is at 107 percent of the financial capacity needed to meet expectations.

“I believe a dedicated staff, highly qualified teachers, supportive parents, a strong instructional program, and making fiscally responsible decisions are the foundation of our “Exemplary” rating,” Malahy said.

Lostant educators return year-to-year at a 77.8 percent rate, which is lower than the state average of 85.2 percent.

Of the school’s $1.9 million in funding, 82.6 percent is locally generated, 13.2 percent comes from the state, and 4.3 percent is federal.

Statewide, those percentages are an average of 68.1 percent local, 24.4 percent state, and 7.5 percent federal.

Ten years ago, 78 percent of Lostant’s funding was local, 19 percent was provided by the state, and 3 percent was federal.

With five days of physical education a week, Lostant students are kept more physically active than the average statewide students who had only an average of three days of physical instruction per week.

Lostant Elementary has an enrollment of 57 students, 45.6 percent of which are in families receiving public aid, living in substitute care, or eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches. This is a 16 percent increase since 2014. Statewide, the current average is 49 percent, a 3 percentage point decrease during the same period.

Of Lostant’s full-time educators, 66.7 percent have a master’s degree or higher, and the average ratio of nine students per teacher is much lower than the statewide ratio of 19:1.

The average educator salary in Lostant of about $46,000 is significantly lower than the statewide average of roughly $65,000.

Lostant Elementary serves students in K-8 grades, and student courses include reading, language arts, mathematics, writing, computers, science, social studies, and physical education. Students who meet academic criteria may also enroll in Algebra I through the Illinois Virtual School.

For more information about the Illinois Report Card results, visit www.illinoisreportcard.com.

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