After a lengthy application process, Williamsfield Schools has been chosen as 1 of 10 school districts to participate in a statewide competency-based learning pilot. The Illinois State Board of Education launched the pilot program to spur innovation in the way high schools prepare students for meaningful careers. The program is a product of the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act, passed unanimously by both legislative houses and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner in 2016.
“The way we prepare students for college and career must evolve if we want to fuel a thriving economy and healthy communities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “When students leave our schools, they should leave with the keys to open multiple doors, any of which can lead to a successful future.”
“The 10 school districts participating in the first cohort of the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot are opening new doors for students and educators,” said Smith. “These districts are modeling the future I want to see in Illinois - innovative, led by educators, supportive of the whole child and of every student reaching their full potential, and with schools at the center of healthy communities.”
Participation in this pilot gives us increased flexibility to meet the needs of our kids. It allows us to place greater emphasis on skill development and less emphasis on “seat time.” It also allows us to better personalize the high school experience, giving our kids more opportunities to pursue their passions and position themselves for success. At the end of the day, our participation in the pilot program will help us transition our high school culture from one of chasing credits in order to be done to an environment where more of our students view the high school experience as an opportunity to prepare themselves to lead personally productive lives.
Be sure to check out the News Channel 8 feature on Williamsfield Schools here. We couldn’t be more excited for our students and staff, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate. We can’t wait to see the positive impact this has on our kids!
Williamsfield Schools is extremely excited to announce our selection to receive $110,000 from Project Lead the Way! This grant will fuel our continued effort to revitalize STEM classrooms and curriculum. The funds will be used over 3-years and will help us create the engaging, hands-on classrooms that empower our students to strengthen their STEM knowledge and skills. Teacher training, curricular materials, and classroom equipment/supplies will be purchased with this generous award. This money will go a long way in helping us create the new STEM Lab our students, staff, and community deserve.
To learn more about Project Lead the Way (PLTW), check out www.pltw.org. Grant funding will support integration of the following courses beginning next school year:
- PLTW Gateway (6-8)
- PLTW Computer Science
- PLTW Engineering
- PLTW Biomedical Science
We can’t wait to see the positive impact this money has on our teachers, our courses, and our kids!
It's hard to believe it's been a year since the US Department of Education came to celebrate our use of Open Education Resources (OER). Since that day, 72 districts and 16 states have followed our lead and made the move to #GoOpen. Please take a moment to click the pic and read Andrew Marcinek's reflective piece on his trip to Williamsfield and his work with the U.S. Department of Education. And to quote Andrew, "...there are still many voices that need amplification. I hope you can join me in helping lift these voices up and continue to make small dents towards equality and equity in education. Our work in just beginning."