Late Starts a 'Significant Change' Requiring Discussion: D181 Superintendent
District 181 Superintendent Renée Schuster submitted the following letter to the editor regarding professional development that goes with the implementation of the district's new Advanced Learning Plan.
Editor's note: The following letter from District 181 Superintendent Renée Schuster regards the professional development element of the new Advanced Learning Plan and the eight late starts that have been proposed for next year to accomodate it.
Dear District 181 Community,
In February, our Board of Education unanimously approved the Advanced Learning Plan. We will move forward, together, in providing the best possible educational experience for all District 181 students.
The Advanced Learning Plan has impact beyond those students we have traditionally called our advanced learners. Students in all schools, at all grade levels, and of all abilities will benefit from the phased-in changes that will be made over a number of years. This plan is rooted in (1) The New Illinois Standards in the Common Core, (2) national best practices, and (3) the advanced learning evaluation conducted by the University of Virginia. Our Advanced Learning Plan follows Board directives and is the culmination of discussion that has occurred in our District over the last two years. As we continue to prepare for a new state assessment in 2014-15, we are confident that our commitment to excellence is helping to prepare students for the future.
I encourage residents to make themselves familiar with materials we have made available throughout this process; they are available on our website at www.d181.org > Academics > Advanced Learning.
Staff professional development is an integral part of the plan and is an area we will need to strengthen. The plan calls for restructuring the use of collaborative staff time through a combination of means, including use of late start school days. Late start days provide more time for teacher collaboration and job-embedded professional development. The Advanced Learning Plan includes eight late start days that would align with Hinsdale Central’s already-established late start schedule.
The implementation of late start would be a significant change, one that requires thoughtful discussion. Between now and the Board’s vote to finalize our 2013-14 calendar, we want to spend time discussing this change with our community.
The Advanced Learning Plan and each of its components provides us an exciting opportunity to shape the future of District 181 and raise achievement for all students. I look forward to providing further updates as we shape that future together.
In the meantime and as always, I welcome your call or e-mail.
Dr. Renée Schuster