Unit 4 news: annual report, earlier date for physicals/immunizations, more

School has already started for students at Kenwood and Barkstall – everyone else is around the corner (August 19th). As the new school year kicks off, there may be some items of interest.


Most importantly, the deadline for physicals and immunizations has been bumped earlier in the year. NOTE: there is a free (for physicals) clinic TODAY! From board member Kathy Shannon’s Unit 4 facebook page:

This year’s deadline is much earlier–your children in Unit 4 MUST have required physical and immunization records turned in by September 1! There’s still one free clinic this summer:

Physicals & Immunization Clinic Saturday, July 25 at C-U Public Health District (201 W. Kenyon Rd.) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Schools Physicals: Free
Vaccine Cost: Billed to Medicaid, Health Alliance, and Insurance (must bring insurance card)
Uninsured and Underinsured: $23
Must bring child’s immunization records
For appointment, call C-U Public Health District: 217-531-4317



Dr. Wiegand has released her annual report:


It is 12 pages packed with a number of positive things going on in Unit 4 schools, from U4 Innovate to the Art Society at Stratton, from Early Childhood and the International Prep to Novak Academy, with a snapshot of the budget, grants, faculty/teacher achievements and graduates.


The Education Equity Excellence Committee (EEE, or Triple E) is looking for some new folks:


The purpose of the EEE Committee is to support the Board of Education’s goal of providing an educational system that meets the needs of all students and leads to the attainment of educational excellence by all students, including students of diverse backgrounds.  Additionally, the Committee will foster two-way communication and collaboration between the District and its stakeholders.



As the new members of the board explore how to better “do” board meetings and fulfill their roles, keep your eyes for small changes here and there. A few weeks ago they posted a draft of the agenda. This week I found a document that lists out board meeting agenda items for the coming year (mostly recurring items that are already known):




2014 Annual Report

Unit 4 has posted their 2014 Annual Report, as well as sending it home via “snail mail”. I would assume all student households received a copy of this full-color, 12-page spread.


There are always two sides to a coin. The Annual Report does a fantastic job highlighting the progress and many successes of Unit 4; it delivers a bevy of facts, accomplishments and progress reports with a flair of enthusiasm and unabashed pride. And with good reason – there are many awesome things happening inside Unit 4! There is a even a nice full-page layout that gives a broad overview of the 2014 budget (tip of the iceberg, I know Pattsi).


What I did not find were answers to many questions I have been asking of late. In Tom’s Mailbag, here on this blog, and in personal email to Stephanie Stuart, I have asked about the 57 “outcome measures” put forth by the Great Schools, Together (GST) initiative. As the Annual Report boldly proclaims, “[o]ur District continues to use the Great Schools, Together strategic plan to guide our annual goals and initiatives.” Yet it is hard for an observer like me to see how the Strategic Plan is accomplishing this “guidance”. Yes, I agree that the GST Strategic Plan lends some buzzwords and gives us a vague notion of goals that we are loosely following, but it hard to get more concrete than at. At least, from my point of view.


Another thing, which I have pointed out before, is the graduation rate. Yes, it is fantastic that we are making progress. However, having said that, we have already missed our goals set forth by the very same GST Strategic Plan we are following. Even as recent as the 2012 update to the board, we missed last year’s goal for African-American graduation rates. While I understand nobody wants to put that on the front page, what are we doing about it?