A Message of Thanks from Bloom 206
Happy New Year! Bloom Township High School District 206 would like to send out a special thanks to the students, parents, teachers and communities for playing a valuable role in our many successes.
Among these successes is a budget surplus in two of the past three school years, an important sign that even with funds being cut all over the state, our district continues to operate well. In fact we are entering our fifth consecutive year without borrowing to meet operational needs, and our financial profile score from the Illinois State Board of Education has improved from “early warning” to “recognition” status, the highest grade a school district can receive.
These financial achievements did not come at the expense of good education.
In fact we’ve taken tremendous steps toward expanding our educational offerings. Our new reading department has developed several programs including Honors Reading, College Prep Reading and Support Reading courses. We’ve increased student reading and mathematics instructional minutes by 8,000 per school year in past two years, and the Bloom 206 Advanced Placement Program has expanded to 14 AP classes with 768 students enrolled, the largest we’ve ever had.
And these improvements have yielded incredible results.
Not only has Bloom 206 increased its graduation rate to the highest in more than 15 years, but we are now among the highest ranking in Illinois in vocabulary mastery. Our ACT scores, on average, are the highest in the past ten years, and our Early College Initiative programs have increased to more than 125 seniors receiving college credits in high school. The District has graduated multiple Gates Millennium Scholars and Golden Apple Scholars in the past five years and has seen our students earn more than $13 million in scholarships annually.
These kids are brilliant.
Our technical programs have also grown, with industry certificates coming out of 12 career programs, including a new Certified Nursing Assistant program that allows our students to receive CNA training at Prairie State College. We’ve also received accolades for our support of industrial jobs, including proclamations from two governors for being the first high school to host a National Manufacturing Day event.
How have we managed to do all this? Mindful spending and an active pursuit of grants have been a contributing factor. We were awarded the $6 million federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) from the State of Illinois as well as the $1.08 million Educational Secondary School Counseling Grant (ESSC) from the U.S. Department of Education.
But it wasn’t just grants that allowed such achievements. We’ve seen an amazing increase in parent engagement at our schools in recent years, with families attending more than 20 of our parent workshops, nine of which offer bilingual instruction. We’ve also seen great support for our district’s annual Parent University conference at Prairie State College over the past two years.
It is through the brilliant minds of students, the unyielding support of families, the hard work of teachers and the support of our community that we have had such astounding success in recent years. Again, we want to thank the Bloom 206 family for helping us build a bright future for our young people.