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CHSD170 Supt. Tom Amadio Participates in CHECC's Innovation Panel

Chicago Heights School District 170 Superintendent Tom Amadio recently joined a distinguished panel of educators at the CHECC Innovations Program. The session met to discuss the success, tribulations, and ongoing processes of the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center (CHECC).

Joining Amadio on the panel were Dr. Lenell Navarre, Superintendent of Bloom Township High School District 206, Dr. Dana Smith, Superintendent of Flossmoor School District 161, Min Sok Lee, Assistant Instructional Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and Anya Samek, Associate Professor of Research at the University of Southern California.

The Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center, created in partnership with the University of Chicago, has evolved into CHSD170's Early Childhood Program at Highland School.

The CHECC Program operates on the fundamental tenet that a significant predictor of success in school, particularly for at-risk students, is enrollment in early childhood development or pre-kindergarten classes.

At the session, the panel addressed various aspects of the ongoing research study aimed at identifying programs that will improve educational outcomes for young students.

"Nearly every scientific study has shown proof of the positive effect on students when they experience classroom strategies, techniques, and rules as participants in early childhood and pre-kindergarten programs," Amadio said.

"State and federal guidelines prescribe standardized levels of student achievement, so it is incumbent upon us to provide our students with an early childhood program that levels the educational playing field and gives them the best chance of achieving success at school," he opined.

The discussions at the event centered upon several essential elements of success for early childhood programs. Key items included the primary step of identifying children to enroll in the program, the importance of sharing data to monitor the progress of the initiative, and ways of reaching children and parents to maximize the potential of success. The panel also discussed the benefits that districts will receive as participants in the program.

"School District 170's Early Childhood Program treasures the diversity and unique talents of each student and understands that our commitment to their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development is a vital contributor to their long-term success in school," Amadio concluded.