3A: Provide professional development for staff that encompasses who our
students are and enhance our ability to create classroom connections.
4A: Identify current practices in District 50 that address the “whole child” and
research new educational trends to aid in the advancement of these programs
including school start times and the Dual Language program.
Summary of major milestones:
Equity - The Equity and Inclusivity Committee was developed in 2018 to guide the development of equitable and inclusive beliefs and actions for our school community. This lead to training opportunities for staff on the History and Impact of Implicit Bias and changes in policies under students' rights and responsibilities.
Start Times - Another major initiative under this category was researching the impact of school start times on the well-being of adolescents. The Board of Education directed district administration to develop
and implement a new school start times schedule for the 2019-2020 school year. An extensive public information campaign was conducted and a transportation routing plan was developed to support the change.
Recent Accomplishments July - Dec 2019:
- Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center: Woodland signed a Memo of Understanding and entered into a partnership with the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (Center). The Center staff identified two specific objectives for Woodland this year. The first objective was to train two administrators through a Leadership Equity Focused Initiatives training. Dr. Thomas, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning and Mrs. Sanchez Szepesi, Assistant Director of Language Acquisition have attended two of the four days of training clarifying how best to support the district in complex and difficult equity conversations, decisions and leadership. The second objective is to have the district participate in an Equity Context Analysis Process (ECAP). This is a needs assessment that will begin in January and end in May 2020. A video describing the Center can be found HERE.
- Equity Oriented Strategic Planning (SEPA): The Center has also provided Equity Oriented Strategic Planning (SEPA) training for Dr. Casey, Mrs. Drake, Ms. Guiterrez, Dr. Thomas and Dr. VandenBroek. This training brought out three areas the district will pursue to build greater equity within our system.
○ Establish an enrichment support system for higher performing 1st and 2nd grade students who are Black or Latinx to increase the percentage of students qualifying for advanced and challenge services.
○ Woodland will retain 90% of new staff of color.
○ Reduce the number of initial eligibility of students who are Latinx for Specific Learning Disabilities and students who are Black for Emotional Disabilities.
- Diversification of Resources: Woodland has begun to implement a diverse English Language Arts series for kindergarten through fifth grade students. As presented to the Board in May and June 2019, Pearson’s myView/miVision resource is very diverse and better representative of our community. The stories, authors, themes and characters all reflect the demographic composition of Woodland students. Observations of the curriculum materials in the classroom show that students are very engaged with the text. Woodland Middle School has also had teams review novels and print resources in its library to help teachers diversify the books and perspectives our students experience in the middle school. The librarians at all schools have been reviewing books recommended by the Center. This includes books on family diversity, gender expression/identity and immigrant families.
Student Well Being
- School Start Times: The new start times schedule was implemented in August at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
- Continued Outreach: Information and reminders about the new bell schedule were shared with Woodland families throughout the registration and proof of residency process. Additionally, a story about school start times was included in the Village of Gurnee’s Keeping Posted” newsletter that went to all households in Gurnee in August 2019.
- Versatrans My Stop: The Versatrans My Stop App was provided for parents to help with the implementation of the new start times schedule. The app allows users to track their bus to more accurately plan for arrival at the bus stop.
Equity - Woodland is awaiting the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center staff review of the Equity Action Plans developed in May 2019. Using the feedback from this review, the committee will finalize a multi-year action plan for all three areas of focus: students, staff and community. There will also be a continued effort for the Center to train Woodland administrative staff on how to lead equity work. Finally, Woodland will be conducting the ECAP needs assessment through May 2020.
Start Times - Over the next few years, the district will use metrics to measure the outcomes of start times changes such as monitoring attendance rates, academic grades, and health office visits at the middle school as well as gain feedback from staff, parents and middle school students.
Strategic Plan Accomplishments and Coming Attractions Report, Jan. 23, 2020