The IL-EMPOWER is ISBE’s new statewide system of support that will replace the single-provider model currently in place and empower schools with greater choice and voice in the school improvement process. Schools, districts, partners, and ISBE will work together to promote shifts in pedagogy and build staff capacity.
IL-EMPOWER gives schools resources to focus on the needs of the whole child. Knowing the whole child is created equally from the child’s school, community, and home. This holistic approach will be successful if ISBE, the school/district, and the Professional Learning Partner(s) all work collaboratively to ensure the child is receiving both Equitable and Excellent opportunities within their educational journey.
The Equity Analysis process involves gathering and analyzing data to identify inequities that serve as barriers to academic achievement. It can be implemented to address issues of discipline and identification for services such as special and gifted education. The five dimensions of the equity analysis being utilized by IL-Empower encompass Systematic Equity, Programmatic Equity, Teacher Quality Equity, Achievement Equity and Leadership for Excellence and Equity. Consequently, an equity focus in the school improvement process will encourage an equitable, coordinated, focused school-wide approach to ensuring that all students are provided an opportunity for academic success.
IL-EMPOWER Professional Learning Partners
In June 2017, the Illinois State Board of Education accepted applications from multiple qualified entities that would come together to form a comprehensive statewide system of support for schools called IL-EMPOWER. Illinois Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and schools/districts will partner with qualified IL-EMPOWER professional learning partners to provide support in one or more of the following three components or “drivers” of system change : 1) governance and management; 2) curriculum and instruction; and 3) climate and culture.
Application Process Information
Because of this application process, ISBE is excited to start working with the 30 approved providers right away. ISBE is piloting the strengths-based, collaborative, and inquiry-driven IL-EMPOWER structure with several dozen school districts over the course of the 2017-18 school year. Providers and school districts will participate in a matching process and then work together to expand the district’s capacity to serve each student fully and equitably. IL-EMPOWER will begin serving school districts statewide in the 2018-19 school year.
ROE/ISC School Improvement Support
Regional Offices of Education and Intermediate Service Centers (ROE/ISC) are responsible for providing services to all public schools within the state. The primary focus is to provide support for schools and districts in key ISBE topic areas, which include Balanced Assessments, English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science, Family Engagement, Continuous Improvement, and Teacher Evaluation. These services include high-quality professional development seminars that are designed and approved by ISBE for all school districts. Each training session is conducted by a specialized coach from the ROE/ISC at no cost to the district.
Additional ISBE School Improvement Resources
External Resources for School Improvement
External stakeholders have established partnerships with ISBE to provide a variety of services for schools and districts, ranging from administrative support to professional development. These entities are in alignment to ISBE’s vision, mission, and goals encompassing a zealous dedication to ensuring that educators within the State of Illinois are equipped to afford an equitable opportunity for student academic success and career growth.
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