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Education

Summer seminar designed to help Valley View staff 'make a difference'

Valley View School District 365U Superintendent James Mitchem pauses to chat with a participant after addressing teachers and administrators at the kickoff of the district’s annual Summer Leadership Academy on June 25.
Valley View School District 365U Superintendent James Mitchem pauses to chat with a participant after addressing teachers and administrators at the kickoff of the district’s annual Summer Leadership Academy on June 25.

BOLINGBROOK – Speaking to more than 160 Valley View School District 365U teachers and administrators attending VVSD’s annual Summer Leadership Academy kick-off, Superintendent James Mitchem set the stage for two intensive days of exploration of the “Visible Learning” concept .

“The education system in this country has been very good about taking credit for kids who do well,” Mitchem said at the June 25 event. “But if we’re going to take credit for them, we have to also take responsibility for those who don’t do well.”

The Visible Learning concept emphasizes feedback through data gathered on each and every student as the most important factor in learning.

Teachers, Mitchem said, hold the key.

“Everything we do must be designed to support them being stronger teachers,” he said. “Determining our true impact on student learning is what the Visible Learning Institute will support in Valley View School District.”

“When we’re finished here,” said author and consultant Dave Nagel, who led the two-day seminar along with Dr. B.R. Jones, “you will be able to help create visible learners in your classroom.”

During the two-day session, attendees learned about the Visible Learning concept in general and then determined how to utilize actual VVSD data to apply the principles to VVSD students. 

“This is not a one size fits all. It’s a one size fits each school,” Jones said, pointing out each school in VVSD, from pre-school through high school and the transition program, will come away from the seminar with its own Visible Learning plan to implement in the fall that builds upon the foundation that VVSD has already established. 

"This will take the learning of our students to a new level,” added Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Rachel Kinder.

Visible Learning will return to VVSD in the fall for a followup session.

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