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Parents Welcome Back Letter
State Superintendent of Education
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New Teachers Prep for Students
Thursday, August 15, thirty teachers started their District 62 teaching careers. Beginning teachers were immersed in a four-day orientation that connected them to seasoned teachers who will serve as mentors. The new class of teachers also received much needed time to plan lessons and prepare classrooms.
According to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 33% of new teachers leave the profession by their third year of teaching, and 46% of teachers leave in their fifth year. Faced with the challenge of acclimating new teachers, school districts must provide professional development that enhances and expands the skills that teachers have, plus alleviate feelings of lack of support, isolation, being overwhelmed and possibly having unrealistic expectations of the job.
Mary Fink, a Central School veteran teacher and program coordinator, has structured the program to give new employees an overview of student achievement, instruction and professional development goals established by the District 62 Board of Education.
District 62 offers a teacher induction and mentoring program, which features pairing novice teachers with seasoned mentors; new teacher orientation; the Danielson Framework for Teaching; and an overview of, and ongoing training in, Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Professional Learning Communities (PLC), Response to Intervention (RtI), and Curriculum initiatives. Second year teachers participate in book studies and discussions, as well as cultural awareness training.
The Mentor Selection Committee selects mentors through an application process. Mentors are released for classroom observations, curriculum planning collaboration, and professional development. Mentor/novice teacher teams meet weekly, communicate on a frequent and ongoing basis, and participate in 10-20 confidential observations and feedback.
According to Fink, the importance of new teacher induction programs is monumental, when preparing students for high school, college, and career.
The District's Community Relations Department was awarded a Golden Achievement Award for the U62 Marketing Campaign.
School District 62 won Awards of Honorable Mention from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for the design and content of the Shining the Light on Our Staff invitation and program booklet, Japanese Tea Ceremony and Distinguished Volunteer Awards invitation and program booklet, and the U62 – professional development marketing flyer, bookmark, and poster design.
769 entries were submitted for judging in NSPRA's 2011 Publications and Electronic Media Contest. In the publications portions, 532 entries were submitted. 100 of those received Awards of Honorable Mention.
Gallery 62 Student Art Exhibit
A kaleidoscope of art elements, moods, emotions, ideas, and values were displayed at the March Board of Education meeting, as nine students and their art teachers presented original student works to the Board of Education as a part of the Gallery 62 Art Exhibit. Each student-teacher team focused on the lessons, the tools, the techniques, and the cultural heritage or aesthetic values that were represented in each piece.