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D-41 to start school year with additional teachers, staff, administration

Published: Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 11:05 a.m. CST

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn School District 41 students can expect to see new faces this school year, with the addition of six staff positions at the district’s elementary schools.

New staff include an assistant principal, a math and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) specialist, a second grade teacher, a third grade teacher and two foreign language teachers. A member of the district administration also will be reassigned as an assistant principal.

A few years ago, District 41 cut its four elementary assistant principal positions to two as part of a larger $3 million budget reduction for the 2010-11 school year. The loss of those two staff positions has proven challenging for the district.

“It was difficult right from the start and we knew it would be,” said Julie Worthen, District 41 director of communications and grants.

With increasing requirements for teacher evaluations, as well as other demands placed on school administrators, splitting the time of two assistant principals among four schools proved ineffective.

With the addition of one of those positions and the reassignment of the district’s assistant director of student services to the other, each elementary school now will have its own assistant principal, who will be charged with helping the principal provide leadership within the school.

Some of the position’s specific duties include evaluating teachers and providing instructional leadership for implementing Common Core standards and Response to Intervention requirements, which involve providing supports to students based on their level of need and tracking their progress.

Ultimately, an assistant principal is involved with anything that happens at a school, Worthen said.

As part of ongoing efforts to prepare for the state’s new science standards, a new math and STEAM specialist have been added to the district payroll, bringing District 41’s total to three specialists in the subject area.

Two will work from Abraham Lincoln and Churchill elementary schools – where the number of struggling students is greater – while the third will be shared between Benjamin Franklin and Forest Glen elementaries.

The main duty of a content area specialist is to provide resources and assistance to teachers.

“Their job is really to help teachers to hone their craft,” Worthen said.

Two foreign language instructors also will join District 41 this school year as part of the new foreign language program that is being offered to first-graders at all four elementary schools.

Before voting to approve the program last school year, the District 41 Board of Education had discussed bringing a foreign language program to the district for years, President Sam Black said.

“That was a board decision that we needed to add foreign language to the district,” Black said.

As for the addition of a second and a third grade teacher, he said those new positions were not surprising because faculty numbers fluctuate each year based on children registered in the district.

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