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D-68 to present Academic Transformation Plan at community meeting

Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 2:27 p.m. CDT

WOODRIDGE – Woodridge School District 68 will present a look into changes it is making to better prepare students at an upcoming meeting.

The district and the village will host a special meeting on District 68’s Academic Transformation Plan at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at the Woodridge Village Hall, 5 Plaza Drive. 

“I think in this day and age where taxes are so expensive, people want to see their tax dollars are at work and are doing phenomenal things,” said Greg Wolcott, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning with District 68. “We love to show parents and stakeholders that we are taking the role incredibly seriously and we are doing everything we can to provide the best learning environment for today’s students.”

The Academic Transformation Plan is “a plan to prepare students to be 21st century learners and to put them on the path to college and career readiness when they leave the district,” Wolcott said.

Although the plan was created by a team of district administrators in 2012, the district began implementing several changes that are affecting students this year. 

“A lot of information we gathered was that our curriculum wasn’t as intense and was not providing opportunities for students and student engagement was not as strong as it could be,” Wolcott said. “We wanted staff to take things to the next level and at the same time believe in the development of the whole child.”

Some of the changes the district has implemented this year include new classes at the junior high level, such as Financial Literacy, which teaches students about balance sheets and managing a portfolio, Project Lead the Way, which encourages students to design something using science, technology, engineering and math, and Music Production, which allows students to use software to create their own music and share with other students around the world, Wolcott said. 

At the elementary level, the district extended recess from 15 minutes to 30 minutes every day and has provided activities during recess that allow students to build skills with peers, Wolcott said, adding that this has lowered discipline levels by almost two-thirds. 

“Teachers are telling us that the [extra] 15 minutes helps them because they are not coming in with playground drama,” Wolcott said. 

Elementary students are also using Chromebooks in the classroom as well, he said. 

For more information on the district’s Academic Transformation Plan, visit www.woodridge68.org. 

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