State testing is required by both state and federal law. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, better known as PARCC is the state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in a public school district. PARCC assesses the New Illinois Learning Standards and will be administered to grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Tests are administered so families know how their child is progressing toward college and career readiness and for districts to know if the curriculum they’ve chosen teach their students to the state learning standards is working, or if they should make adjustments. In Episode 10, Amy Van Hoose, Laura Michael, and Keri Roberts explain the tests, how the district uses them, and how you can help make sure your child is ready.
Once teachers earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification they are done learning, right? Not quite. In the state of Illinois, when teachers receive their teaching certificate, they are required to attend and track continuing professional development in order to renew their certificate. Certificates are renewed on a 5 year cycle and teachers must enter at least 120 CPDU’s (Continuing Professional Development Units) which equates to 120 hours of professional development per every 5 year certificate cycle. In Episode 7 of “After The Bell Rings”, Adam and Mike talk about their new Personalized Professional Development program, called #TRIADvances, that puts a new spin on how teachers at Triad earn CPDU’s. This new and exciting program has taken off and allowed teachers to explore new and exciting technology-infused lessons on their own time. Adam and Mike have had the pleasure of presenting their #TRIADvances program at multiple local and statewide conferences and are excited to present it at METC Conference (St. Louis) and ICE Conference (Chicago) during the month of February 2018.