Partnership school named at school board meeting

By Libby John

The DeKalb/NIU partnership school was officially named Paul T. Wright Elementary School at Monday’s school board meeting.

Wright was a former Illinois senator and Malta resident who donated his land to build the school.

The winning name came from Malta fourth grader Henry Deng.

“Mr. Wright wanted children to have a good education,” Deng wrote in his essay. “Having the school named after Mr. Wright, it will help us remember the wonderful thing he and his family did for our community.”

About 60 entries were submitted to the contest.

Scott Kubelka, principal of Wright Elementary School, gave an update of the school at the meeting.

A majority of the students at the school live about 1.5 miles away and they will be bused to school, he said.

With before- and after-school programs, the school will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Buses for students probably will run at the beginning and end of school, Kubelka said.

A construction update on the school building projects was given by Les Shaw, director of buildings and grounds. He said all projects remain on track and on schedule.

DeKalb High School principal Larry Stinson went over student activities in a mid-year report for the school.

The Prairie State Achievement Exams show that DeKalb High School students are above the state average, said Mary Hawley, assistant principal of curriculum for the high school.

ACT scores are equal to the state average, she said.

Hawley went over a new system in which students wouldn’t be promoted on the number of years they were at the school, but on their credits.

School board member Suzanne Lambrecht said the district should look for ways to help students before they get into high school.

Hawley said some things the school is looking to improve on are in its teaching, professional development and parental involvement.

She also said the school is looking at graduation requirements for the next school year.