Webinar: Race & Education | Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and The Arts

Schools and school districts across the country are working to confront systemic racism in hiring, policy, and administration.  While the need to confront racism in staffing and systems is necessary, education leaders cannot forget the importance of challenging racism in their schools via their main weapon – classroom curriculum and instruction. Often viewed as an add-on, the arts are critically important to the cognitive and emotional development of children. In this webinar, hear from a range of artists about the importance of the arts and how they can be leveraged as part of a culturally responsive toolkit in our classrooms.

Time: Feb 18, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Forward Together: Navigating Uncertainty and Advancing to 60% by 2025

Registration Now Open: Our Virtual Annual Conference is February 22-25!
We have re-imagined the annual Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference for 2021. We will bring the high-quality conference content you have counted on since 2014 over four days: February 22–25, 2021. There is no cost to attend the conference. Our conference theme is Forward Together – Navigating Uncertainty and Advancing to 60% by 2025.

Please note that you will need to register for each session separately and the access link is unique to your registration. 

Webinar: Early Childhood Philanthropy Amidst COVID-19

As the nation adapts to the ongoing realities of a global pandemic, the major philanthropies underwriting early childhood investments are likewise adapting their strategies. Hear from leaders in the world of early childhood philanthropy to find out what challenges and opportunities they are identifying during this time, and how their giving may be shifting as a result.

Time: Feb 23, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Supporting student engagement in remote instruction: Lessons from New Jersey

This webinar will present findings from the work REL Mid-Atlantic and NJDOE conducted to better understand challenges with and strategies for promoting student engagement in remote and hybrid learning environments. Objectives for this webinar include: (1) highlighting promising practices for engaging students in remote and hybrid learning, based on a literature scan, experiences of NJDOE district- and state-level staff, and reports from schools across the country and around the world as they made changes during the pandemic; and (2) identifying lessons from this period of remote and hybrid learning to support student engagement and learning in the future.

Time: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 02:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

Duration: 1 hour

Chat2Learn: ISBE Launches a New Parent Text Program for Preschool Families

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is partnering with the University of Chicago Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab to bring a new parent text program called Chat2Learn to preschool families at no cost. Chat2Learn is based on research and promotes a habit of everyday learning that improves children’s school readiness. The program delivers text messages to parents to prompt guided conversations about math, literacy, and social-emotional learning with their children at home. 

The Chat2Learn program starts every Sunday, so sign up today! The program has ongoing open enrollment, so families can continue to enroll throughout the first half of 2021. The program messages start the Sunday after families enroll and go through the end of June 2021. However, it is encouraged to sign up early in order to take advantage of the whole program! If there are any questions about Chat2Learn, contact Shannon Gedo at the BIP Lab at sgedo@uchicago.edu.  

Illinois Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program

The State of Illinois estimates that at least 4,000 new K-12 teachers will be hired to fill vacancies for the 2020-21 school year. Many of these teachers did not have the chance to complete their clinical training because of COVID-19. However, teacher candidates who were eligible for this exemption already underwent extensive coursework, pre-clinical fieldwork experiences, and a licensure content test.

These new teachers and others who are new to the profession will be expected to help students’ recover from learning loss and the social-emotional toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while mastering digital teaching and learning technologies. Illinois’ students experienced at least one-quarter of remote learning last school year;
and as of September 14, 2020, nearly two-thirds of Illinois’ students are beginning the new school year remotely. Teachers also must be prepared for intermittent transitions between remote and in-person instruction as the school year progresses. In both settings, teachers will be expected to provide much needed social-emotional support and manage challenging circumstances for their students. New teachers need more support than ever before.

IEA and IFT Offer Comprehensive Professional Support
To support beginning teachers in these challenging circumstances, the Illinois State Board of Education engaged the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers to design a comprehensive program that will offer every participating district’s new teachers wraparound professional support including:
• Virtual instructional coach trained to provide support to beginning teachers regarding effective practices for online instruction, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed practices;
• Trained and certified building mentor with the sole responsibility to make the teacher feel welcomed, supported and connected in their new school;
• Access to robust virtual coaching platform with a comprehensive online library of instructional resources, including effective-practice videos, and software tools that help teachers analyze examples of each other’s teaching and provide feedback and support to one another; and
• Support and feedback through one-on-one and small group virtual coaching sessions organized around Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Clusters.

ISBE partnered with IEA and IFT through a $6.5 million grant, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

For more information, email:
Illinois Education Association contact: IEA_coachingandmentoring@ieanea.org
Illinois Federation of Teachers contact: IFTcoachingandmentoring@ift-aft.org