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​A​pplication for Exemplary or Commendable schools to become An IL-EMPOWER PEER Learning Partner

​IL-EMPOWER is the statewide system of support and accountability that empowers schools with greater choice and voice in the school improvement process. The purpose of Peer Learning Partners (PLPs) is to provide peer to peer learning and supports to schools designated for comprehensive or targeted support. 

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), schools, districts, and PLPs will work collaboratively to promote shifts in practice and build capacity for continuous school improvement. The school improvement process begins with identified schools completing a needs assessment and continues with developing a Work Plan for School Improvement, and selecting a learning partner. 

Exemplary and Commendable designated schools are able to apply to become IL-EMPOWER PLPs. The Illinois peer-to-peer learning structure grows from the belief that some of the best professional development occurs when peers share proven, effective practices.  The addition of PLPs leverages the deep expertise in Illinois schools to support students in the greatest need.

Approved PLPs may offer specialized services in the following priority areas: Governance and Management, Curriculum and Instruction, and Culture and Climate.

IL-EMPOWER approved peer learning partners may assist schools with the following services:
  1. Conducting a comprehensive needs assessment using the Illinois Quality Framework (IQF) and Supporting Rubric along with multiple sources of data.
  2. Providing high quality, job-embedded professional learning through training, coaching, or consultation aligned to the IQF standards, and priority areas. 
  3. Developing resources to remedy identified area(s) of need. 
  4. Providing specialized services in the peer learning partner’s area of expertise (e.g., special education, English learners, cultural competency, curriculum alignment, or social and emotional learning). 
ISBE uses a comprehensive vetting process to carefully review each Peer Learning Partner application. The process includes evaluating each application for the following:
  • Evidence of student success sustained over time through the continuous school improvement process.
  • Articulation of a plan to replicate success to support peers through the continuous school improvement process, including implementation and evaluation.
  • Evidence of applicant’s capacity to support receiving schools through continuous school improvement.
Application Period Closed

​Please thoroughly complete the following application.  Applications are due May 17. An email confirming your application submission will be sent from ISBE to the applicant contact the week of May 20. Approved PLPs will be notified May 31, 2019

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