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State of Rock Island Schools

WVIK Staff
Oberhaus delivers the State of Schools address.

Student achievement and new programs were among the top improvements this past year for the Rock Island and Milan schools. That's according to Superintendent Mike Oberhaus, who gave the annual State of the Schools address today, to members of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

Oberhaus says there is a recent push by the Rock Island schools to prepare students for college and employment at an earlier age. One way they're doing so is by dismissing students from classes four Fridays every quarter, to let them meet with professionals and visit local businesses. 

He hopes the program will encourage students to engage in their own learning.

Oberhaus says his goal is that in five years, a senior at Rock Island High School could graduate with an Associate degree. 

The high school has also added Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses for college credit-- and, a new entrepreneurship program, where students create their own business plans. 

No other school is offering the program in the Quad Cities.

But, while Oberhaus says the school district made progress last year, there are still several challenges ahead. They include improving test scores, which are now below the state average. 

And, the district started this school year with a $1.9 million budget deficit. He says the district should break even at the end of this year, but has to remain frugal.