As directed by the District 105 Board of Education, over the past two years, a Gifted Programming Renewal Committee, comprised of teachers, administrators, and parents from across the district, met to research best instructional practices for meeting the learning needs of our highest achieving students across the district. This committee examined research around gifted education, consulted with outside gifted education experts, explored the advanced English-Language Arts (ELA) and Math programming available in districts around the Lyons Township area, analyzed District 105 student progress data, and examined program survey feedback from parents and staff.In the spring of 2013, after a year of research at the committee level, the Board of Education approved the addition of a district-wide kindergarten – 4th grade Math Instructional Specialist. Over the course of this school year, the role of this new specialist has been to build teacher capacity around instructional strategies that best serve our highest achieving students in mathematics. This year, the Board of Education directed us to examine the strengths and needs within District 105’s SAIL program that currently serves our highest achieving 4th–6th grade ELA students.
After thorough examination of gifted education research and a close analysis of district wide SAIL student progress results, the committee will recommend to the Board of Education a redesigned instructional model to meet the learning needs of our highest achieving ELA students. The recommendation will include moving from our current design of SAIL, a fixed program that pulls students out of the classroom twice a week, to a flexible instructional model supported by new ELA Instructional Specialists. This model, aligned to grade level instructional goals, will allow new ELA Instructional Specialists, in conjunction with 3rd – 6th grade classroom teachers, to design specific materials, strategies, lessons, activities, and resources to support our ELA highest achievers within the classroom environment.To learn more about the proposed changes, please see letter sent home the week of April 14th. (attached here). The Board of Education meeting will take place on April 28th at Gurrie Middle School, 7:30 pm.
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this upcoming recommendation to the Board of Education, please do not hesitate to contact Kathryn Heeke, Director of Curriculum and Instruction or Victora Faldani, Coordinator of Gifted Serives.
- Please be sure that your child has a good night’s sleep prior to the test date.
- Make sure that your child eats a nutritious breakfast. There is research evidence that a breakfast that included protein improves performance.
- Provide a nutritious snack on testing days.
- Please help your child be on time each day: Be Here & Ready. Testing will start for many grade levels right after our morning assembly. Your child will not be able to enter the classroom once the testing has started.
- Attendance is important throughout the two weeks of testing; however, do not send a sick child to school.
As a school, we have determined that a more consistent way to help students monitor their behavior across all areas of the building was needed. We have decided to adopt The Clip System. This system has been utilized by several school districts and has shown to be an effective way to monitor student behavior and improve communication.
Ideal Elementary School embraces the philosophy, teaching, and social practices of the Responsive Classroom Model. Responsive Classroom is an evidence and researched-based approach to education that assists teachers as they engage their students in academics, create effective and safe learning environments, and build sincere, kind and supportive learning communities. Although many facets to Responsive Classroom exist, one foundational piece is establishing learning environments that are calm and orderly and that stress the importance of student focus and autonomy. With this key principle in mind, Ideal Elementary has developed clear and consistent social expectations for the common areas of our building. All students have been taught these expectations and are practicing good decision making each day. We sincerely appreciate your help as we build our positive, rigorous, and successful learning community for the 2013-2014 school year.
The Ideal Elementary School Staff
For more information regarding the Responsive Classroom approach, please visit its website:
Click here to visit our District Curriculum Page. This page contains information about Common Core, instructional materials, specific grade level learning goals, curriculum renewal cycles, student performance data, and parent resources for each curricular area. We are proud to serve the children of School District 105.