Instructional Council Notes – October 2016

October 20, 2016

Instructional Council met for the second time this school year on Thursday, October 20th. The meeting was a busy one filled with numerous rich discussions, informative updates and a new curriculum proposal.

Instructional Council approved the high school Publications, Communications, and Theatre proposals heard at September’s meeting. Council agreed that each of these proposals offer many positive things for U-46 students.

The Council heard an update on the K-6 Social Studies curriculum which is being aligned to new IL state standards. This curriculum writing team is comprised of members from 15 elementary schools and teachers who span all grade levels. The new curriculum will be 3 units, one per trimester. The team sent the unit drafts to all elementary teachers, and at the time of the IC meeting had only 60 responses. The drafts had gone out a few days before, and the team is using many forms of communication to insure that all teachers have the opportunity to respond. They will meet on November 9th to review the responses, frameworks, and to unpack the new standards.

The Council also heard and update from the Dream Academy. Last spring, the Dream Academy recruited teachers and over the summer new staff invested 60+ hours in PD that emphasized reaching struggling learners and students who have experienced trauma. Each student at the Dream Academy has a Student Success Plan which meets their individual academic and behavior needs. The Dream Academy uses U-46 curriculum that  is differentiated to meet the needs of the students. Parents also play an important role in students’ success at the Dream Academy and work closely with their student and the staff in various ways. Two touching student letters were shared with Instructional Council that highlighted the positive things happening at the Dream Academy.

The PreK-12 Information and Digital Literacy proposal was brought to Council. The student goals of this proposal are to create responsible digital citizens, promote individual reading growth, enhance inquiry and research skills and to teach students to use technology to share information. This proposal supports the converting of school libraries into learning commons.

Instructional Council will meet again on November 17th.

Submitted by Sherri Hope

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