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Front Page: Superintendent

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Letter to Parents

November 26, 2008

November 19, 2008


Dear Parents and Community Members,


            The new school year started in August and we’re halfway through the second quarter already!  Many have commented that this was the smoothest start to the school year that we’ve had in many years.  The new Cahokia School of Choice is operating at full capacity.  And with that addition, the Cahokia School District #187 offers more choices for children in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 than any other district in the area.  We have an Early Childhood Center; six kindergarten through grade 5 elementary schools; a sixth grade center; the middle school for grades 7 and 8; the Estelle Sauget Academic Center; the Cahokia School of Choice; and the Cahokia High School.


            All of our elementary schools are achieving Adequate Yearly Progress on Illinois State Assessment Tests (ISAT) with the exception of one.  Our regular education 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are meeting as well.  Our district has come a long way in regards to achievement since the 2000-2001 school year!  We are still working on new initiatives to improve achievement at the middle and high school levels daily.


            This past spring, the Illinois State Board of Education “certified” the Cahokia School District #187 as in financial difficulty.  However, we still continue to make excellent progress in this area.  Since 2004, the district has paid down approximately $5.5 million on the budget deficit in the four major operating funds and we hope to have a balanced overall budget at least by the end of fiscal year 2010.


            The Cahokia School District #187 and the Board of Education continue to get many questions regarding the future of the Fort Bowman Academy Charter School.  As a charter school, Fort Bowman must have an agreement with the Board of Education in order to operate.  Fort Bowman’s current agreement with the school district expires at the end of this school year.  Prior to the start of the next school year, a new agreement between Fort Bowman and the Cahokia School District must be reached in order for Fort Bowman to continue to operate.  Fort Bowman must submit a charter renewal application to the Board of Education no later than January 1, 2009.


            As of this date, Fort Bowman has not submitted a renewal application even though the Board of Education has asked them to submit an application as soon as possible.  The Board is aware that parents of students currently attending the charter school are anxious to know the status of Fort Bowman for the next school year.  The last charter agreement negotiations were not completed until late in the summer of 2006, leaving many parents uncertain as to whether Fort Bowman would continue to operate.  The Cahokia Board of Education does not want this situation to occur again.


            Although the Cahokia Board of Education has invited Fort Bowman to apply for renewal, the Board has extreme reservations of the operation, management, and performance of Fort Bowman.  These reservations were generally expressed to Fort Bowman in an August 26, 2008, letter from the school district.  The Cahokia Board of Education takes its role in relation to Fort Bowman very seriously and will do everything in its power to resolve this matter with as little disruption to the students and parents within the Cahokia School District #187 as possible and in a timely manner.


            Please take time to access the Cahokia School District’s new website for more information on the district and links to individual schools at www.cahokia187.org.  Thank you for your commitment to making the Cahokia School District #187 the best public school for education of students.  I wish you and your family a blessed, joyous, and safe holiday season.





Jana L. Bechtoldt, Ed.D.




2008 ISAT and PSAE Results


                        School                                      Reading            Math

                        Centerville                                50.9                 74.3

                        Huffman                                   58.7                 80.8

                        Fort Bowman   Academy          55.6                 54.1

                        Lalumier                                   66.2                 90.4

                        Maplewood                              74.8                 91.3

                        Morris                                      74.2                 90.2

                        Penniman                                 68.6                 92.1

                        Wirth Middle School                  65.2                 66.8

                        Cahokia High School                 20.3                 23.6


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