Forest Park, IL...
Faculty and staff in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 came together on Wednesday, August 14, at Proviso East High School to begin the 2013-14 school year at District Institute Day.
During the session, which also included a welcome from Board of Education President, Mr. Daniel Adams, and District 209 Superintendent, Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, faculty and staff learned about the state of district, teaching to the Common Core Standards, and other district initiatives.
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent, spoke on the year’s theme of "We’re all in this together." She said that the district has to have a "culture shift" toward accentuating the positive and teamwork together. She referenced how the district came together in March and April in preparation for the ACT/PSAE. That resulted in higher participation rates and scores, particularly at Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School.
"You're going in the right direction," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "The culture shift is that everybody will know something positive is going on in District 209, be a part of it, and celebrate it."
Dr. Bobb Darnell, the keynote speaker, spoke on "A Cure for the Common Core: Shrinking the Change." He said that teachers would not necessarily have to change their lesson plans, but should work on new ways to reach students with new terms and concepts using grouping.
"That's what we have to do – get kids to take small bites," Dr. Darnell said.
Faculty and staff said that the District Institute Day sessions made certain that they were ready for the first day of classes on Monday, August 19. Many commented on the positive and upbeat feeling that surrounded the room and were encouraged that the spirit of teamwork might continue.
Mr. Andre Zabrodsky, a Proviso East math teacher, said that he appreciated hearing news about the district and sitting down with fellow teachers to discuss the Common Core Standards.
"I thought it was very encouraging seeing the positive results for East and West," he said. "The efforts we made seem to be making headway."
Ms. Michelle Duckins, a Proviso West chemistry teacher, said that she appreciated being able to meet with other teachers.
"It was very beneficial to be able to collaborate with our teammates," she said.
This was an encouraging start to what should be a great year!