On the heels of receiving news that seven of its schools received recognition as being amongst the best in Illinois, School District 170 has enhanced its commitment to providing students with every opportunity to maximize their learning experience by implementing a Comprehensive After School Tutoring Program.
Designed to support students in a safe, supportive, and familiar environment for learning, the program, made possible through the use of monies made available as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSERIII) Fund, began this month and will run through May 2022.
“It is imperative that we provide our students with a viable support mechanism that maximizes the learning dynamic,” said Mary Kay Entsminger, the Central Office administrator overseeing this initiative.
“Such a procedure is vitally important in the areas of Reading, Writing, and Math, and we will focus this after-school activity on those subjects.”
Students enrolled in the program will receive instruction in learning loss areas identified by the iReady assessment.
The i‑Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that provides a complete overview of student performance. More than 14,000 schools use the assessment tool to provide safe and reliable learning assessments. Studies show that elementary level students who use i-Ready show more significant improvements in Math and Reading than those who do not.
“Selecting students in alignment with the i-Ready platform we actively use for assessment and instruction allows teachers to address areas of deficit after school hours in a way that does not interfere with the continuity of instructional timelines,” said Grant School Principal Marco Pellillo.
“Students learn through direct instruction, group, and independent work with student assessment data used to catalyze this targeted instructional program,” he continued.
Garfield School Principal Diane Kostovski also extolled the benefits of the program, saying, “The after-school program is a wonderful opportunity for students to participate in an extended school day and receive enrichment for Reading, Writing, and Math. We have ten classrooms hosting the tutoring program in grades K-5, and students attend up to three days per week.”
“The students are engaged in curriculum-aligned instruction as well as hands-on learning centers to reinforce concepts. We look forward to seeing the continued positive benefits of this valuable program!” she added.
The tutoring program is offered two to three days per week at each school. Before the program started, building principals provided a professional development session regarding housekeeping issues such as lesson plan submission, taking attendance, and submitting timesheets. The district provided schools with all necessary learning resources as well as attendance and lesson plan templates.
“Reports have shown that tutoring programs help students develop essential learning skills that enhance the possibility of achieving success throughout his or her entire life,” Enstminger concluded.
“It is our sincere belief that this unique learning experience will promote a positive attitude towards learning, improve students’ self-esteem and confidence, and encourage self-paced and independent learning.”