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The Minooka Community School District Board was informed of updates regarding the district's strategic plan during its Nov. 21 meeting.
The update specifically related to the third goal of the district's strategic plan, which focuses on building a strong work environment. According to the district, the Minooka Community School District aims to foster a supportive and productive environment with an emphasis on professional development. Teachers are offered courses, university cohorts, workshops, sessions, and instructional coaches.
In addition, district teachers are offered the ability to take Minooka PLACE courses, which can earn them graduate credits through a partnering university. In the Fall 2022 semester, teachers were offered six different courses, which saw seven to 46 participants each, and awarded each attendee 2-3 graduate credits. The courses are led by district staff members and are created specifically for the district, though college credit is still given through the partnering college.
The board heard that the district also ensured that training sessions and a refresher course were available in August prior to the beginning of the school year. Since then, the district's instructional coaches have been supporting teachers as they transition into a literacy-focused curriculum, which focuses on the science of reading and is heavy on phonics learning. Workshops and training sessions in this area and others are continually available throughout the school year.
"The instructional coaches did a survey in October to find out other professional development that our teachers may be interested in," said Interim Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kathleen Cheshareck. "And so they've been working to provide that during lunchtime. They're doing PI and PD (Program Improvement and Professional Development) in the month of November. The topic is 'Student Engagement.' So teachers actually have signed up to spend two or three sessions during a lunch period and the coaches are providing them with PIs during that time."