Forum Set for Wednesday on New Learning Efforts at Oak Park Middle Schools
Parents can explore how programs will be integrated into classrooms at Brooks and Julian.
New efforts that Elementary District 97 officials hope will take education to a new level at Oak Park middle schools will be the focus of a forum at 7 p.m. this Wednesday at Brooks, 325 Kenilworth Ave.
Staff will explain how the Common Core State Standards and the International Baccalaureate program, which have been initiated in District 97, are being integrated into the classrooms at Brooks and Julian.
Parents also can talk with their child's teachers to find out how these new programs are affecting every-day learning.
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The Common Core State Standards came about by a state-led effort to establish a set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics. The standards establish clear and consistent benchmarks for essential learning and skills and will replace the Illinois standards that were developed in 1997, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.
Coupled with that development is the implementation of the International
Baccalaureate program. While it will not replace the district's current curriculum, IB's focus includes interdisciplinary units and is aligned with international educational standards.
In addition, it will allow for professional development opportunities for teachers with a focus on creative and inquiry-based instruction, District 97 officials said.
Founded in Switzerland in 1968, International Baccalaureate helps schools develop course work that emphasizes writing, broad themes and inquiry, and world cultures, culminating in the senior year of high school with exams that, like Advanced Placement tests, can earn credits at some colleges, according to the Boston Globe.
IB is proving particularly popular in California, Florida, and Texas and is used by nearly 3,500 schools in 143 countries, according to the Globe.