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Showing posts from March, 2018

Engagement vs. Empowerment

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Much has been made about the difference between compliance and student engagement.  Compliant students typically follow directions and appear engaged because they are "doing" what they are asked.  However, "doing" is a lot different than thinking.

As the D205 utilizes the International Center for Leadership in Education's Rigor and Relevance Framework, a key concept in Quadrant D, the quadrant which reflects the highest level of rigor, is that students have to tap into their creativity and think in complex ways.

George Couros, author of The Innovator's Mindset, takes this concept one step further.  He makes a further distinction between engagement and empowerment.  In his blog The Principal of Change, Couros suggests the engagement occurs when student get excited about "our content, interests, and curricula," whereas empowering students gives them the knowledge and skills to pursue their "passions, interests, and future."

For the past tw…

On Deck

This spring will feature some interesting and important information at upcoming D205 Board meetings.

On April 10, Hawthorne Elementary School and Emerson Elementary School will present on Fountas and Pinnell testing and the implementation of Acceleration Time for interventions and enrichment at the elementary schools.  A technology update with information on the District's Mobile Learning Implementation, including information on the K-2 pilot that is focusing on expanding personalized learning opportunities at the primary grades, is also scheduled.  Finally, the administration is tentatively scheduled to present on preliminary findings of the recent boundaries study.

On May 8, there will be a presentation on special education programming in the District and on outcomes for year two of the instructional coaching program.

The June 19 Board meeting will feature a presentation on the accomplishments related to the District's two Student Achievement Objectives:  Ensure Student Grow…

Every Picture Tells a Story

Over the course of the year Professional Learning Communities, Instructional Rounds, and Dual Language are among the many things I have blogged about.  This week, I am going to use pictures to tell a story, not words.

The District recently produced a PLC video, and at the March 20 Board meeting, Dr. Mary Henderson, Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Leadership Development, will facilitate an update on Instructional Rounds that includes this video.  Recently, four D205 teachers are featured on the national Ellevation website, which focuses on best practices for English Language Learners.

Shout outs to Claudia Valencia, Maritza Santana, Cindy Villalobos, and Elizabeth Kawa, and thanks to all of our teachers for everything they do for students every day!

Enjoy!  D205, I am proud of you!!

D205 to Form Community Advisory Team

District 205 is set to launch a second round of community engagement, focused primarily on developing a Master Facility Plan.  This extensive effort to share information and elicit feedback will kick off this month and continue throughout the spring.  The first step is the formation of a Community Advisory Team (CAT).

The CAT will be comprised of approximately 25 people and is designed to be a vehicle to vet communication, support the District's effort to help the community understand District needs and priorities, and elicit information on what D205 taxpayers consider priorities and are willing to support financially.

Initial draft concepts have been presented at regular and special Board meetings on January 27, February 13, February 24, and February 27 and are available on Board Docs.  These draft concepts were based on findings from Phase I of Focus 205, which included six community engagement sessions, focus groups, an Educational Alignment Study, and a Thought Exchange survey…

When It Comes to the 6Cs, Creativity King

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District 205 has developed an approach to instruction and professional learning to ensure that the 6Cs of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, character and citizenship are at the heart of its classroom practices.  This is intentional to support its vision of all students graduating college, career and life ready.
D205 is fully committed being a National Leader in Future Ready Learning.  A culture of innovation is necessary to accomplish this.  In the fall, administrators began a deeper dive into the concept of innovation and reached consensus that creativity is the driver of innovation.  The District has also identified increasing rigor as an important priority.  D205 participates in the practice of instructional rounds in which teams of administrators visit classrooms to obtain data on how to support the teachers in implementing these critical instructional practices.  The focus of rounds this year is rigor.

The District is utilizing the International Center …