Education, Local News

District 153 approves new position aimed at strengthening students’ reading

The District 153 school board voted to approve the creation of an English/Language Arts instructional coach/coordinator position to help improve reading at Willow, Churchill and James Hart Schools.

The district is looking for a reading specialist who will work in coordination with Kathy Schaeflein, director of curriculum, and Morgan Koncel, director of grants and English Language Learning, a program helping non-native speakers. 

At the May 8 board meeting, Superintendent Scott McAlister said the district has several reading specialists, so the position may be filled internally. Although the position will report directly to an administrator, it will be under the teachers union contract.

Cathryne Czarnecki is an instructional coach/coordinator. Her background is in math, and Schaeflein said Czarnecki’s work has led to district-wide improvements.

“We’ve seen those math scores grow by grade level, by standard, by student. We’re looking for someone to do the same thing for English/Language Arts across the district to be able to dive deep starting with the foundational steps of reading and writing and literature and speaking. It starts with the reading but that whole continuum up through eighth grade builds on that,” Schaeflein said.

The new instructional coach/coordinator will be working with teachers in all three buildings “and see how students progress and help the teachers with those instructional practices to meet the needs of the students,” she explained.

In other business, the board approved 3.9% raises for administrators and district staff. The raise is the same given to the teachers.

The board extended a yearly lease with the SPEED Cooperative for use of a classroom at James Hart School for $12,000.  

News by email

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Free weekly newsletter

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Most read stories this week