So, if you are not pleased with how it's going, be sure and let them know. The following is excerpted from an Jan/Feb 2012 article on the Illinois Association of School Boards website entitled "Reading: Pumping up the Basics"...
The reason why the BOE meeting schedule was changed (from the article)
In order to keep track of the curriculum changes that are being implemented, the District 150 board has modified its meeting schedule. While the board still meets twice a month, one meeting is devoted to business with a 10-minute slot allotted for teacher or student presentations. The other meeting allots from 30 minutes to two hours for individual program presentations and discussion topics. These in-depth explanations also give the community the transparency and information that they have been asking for.
The District’s literacy plan is COMPLETE (from the article)
With the beginning of the 2011-12 school years, District 150 embarked on an orchestrated quest to pump up its reading scores on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT). The multi-pronged approach is supported by teachers and tutors in the classroom all the way up through the superintendent and the school board.
“We really want the board to see how this is working; Becky (Lindholm) and Shameika (Sykes-Patterson) can go through programs with them and not be concerned about the amount of time allotted.” Board President Butler
The basics of the change involve a daily dedicated 90 minutes of reading instruction throughout the elementary grades and an additional 45 minutes of grouped reading work every day. While the 90-minute reading block was in place before, it has now become sacrosanct. No student can be pulled out of that 90-minute reading block — not for speech, not for band, not for anything.
Superintendent Lathan knows that in order to make a difference, the district — from the board down to the teachers — must follow the plan that has been created. “This has to be done with fidelity,” Lathan said. To achieve that fidelity in the classroom, the district is providing professional development for teachers and principals on the new balanced literacy program, doing walk-throughs in classrooms to observe progress and implementing coaching where help is needed.
The district’s ambitious three-year strategic plan shows much work remains to be completed by 2014. But the important strategy of creating a new literacy program is checked off as complete. Read complete article here…