ESSA Every Student Succeeds Act

Chicago Heights School District 170 has announced that several members of its staff have been selected to serve as presenters at the prestigious 2018 ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Conference being held next week in Chicago.

Shannon Vera, CHSD170's Bilingual Director, SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observational Protocol) Coaches Diane Kostovski and Katie Kvasnicka, Jennifer Gorton, the district's Parent Academy Director, and Karen King, Emy Flores and Elizabeth Briones, members of the Parent Academy team, will be making presentations during the event.

Kostovski, Kvasnicka and Vera's presentation, entitled, "Building Oracy with English Language Learners!" will help educators make their classrooms come alive with language building activities. The session will build the teacher's toolbox with interactive strategies that engage students in academic conversations and lead to increased achievement. Attendees will learn how to support language learners through focused instruction and meaningful interaction

"We hope that our participants will leave the session with practical ideas that they can immediately implement in their classroom and schools to support their ELLs in developing oracy (the ability to express oneself in and understand spoken language) through meaningful opportunities to interact with the content and with one another," Kostovski said.

The presentation by Gorton, King, Flores, and Briones, entitled "Take Your Parent Engagement Programming Beyond Family Reading Nights!" will provide a framework for family engagement that welcomes families into classrooms on a monthly basis to work and learn with grade-level teaching teams.

Parent Academy Workshop sessions empower families with specific standards-based curriculum content, instructional strategies and learning opportunities to best support their students' continued academic and social growth both in the classroom and at home. The session will share the "nuts and bolts" of implementing Parent Academy Workshops along with family participation and student achievement data that highlight the many successes of the program.

"Impactful and meaningful family engagement is at the crux of a great school community, so of course we are thrilled to be presenting at ESSA," Gorton said in discussing the presentation."

"We are all very proud of the work we are doing in Parent Academy and thrilled to have the opportunity to share our curriculum content and participation data with other education professionals."

The theme of this year's annual statewide ESSA conference is "Focus on the Learner," reflecting a state plan to "leverage funding to ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students."

Equally important is the conference's emphasis on personal student/teacher interactions and educational strategies that enhance achievement and growth across the curriculum.

For more than two decades, under various titles, the state-wide conference has been the singular event that brought together teachers, school administrators, education policymakers, and others who serve students and their families in classrooms, schools, and communities. It provides the latest information about federal and state school priorities and introduces promising new approaches to teaching at the Pre-K through 12th-grade levels.

The conference and presentations will focus on solid research-based teaching strategies designed for immediate use in classrooms; on the creation and implementation of successful parent and community engagement activities; and on effective district and school leadership approaches to improving student achievement.

Conference topics will include early childhood education, the use of technology in teaching; assessment, school administration, education for the homeless, new approaches to content-focused teaching, English learning, classroom management, professional development, STEM learning, and much more.