School of Thought
Improving the way we keep you updated on professional learning, alternative programs, partnerships, and resources.
S tay Connected
Institute Day Registration Still Available!
Institute Day registration went live on January 13th and sessions filled quickly! There are still spots available at Fermilab, IMSA, Teach CTE, VALEES and West Aurora High School.

Let The Teachers Shine!
Everyone has a favorite teacher who helped shape who they are today. Tell us in your own words (a letter, a poem or an essay) about the teacher who influenced and inspired you the most—from kindergarten to now for a chance to win $5,000 for the teacher and $5,000 for the school, plus a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card for you.

Students write an essay, poem, or thank-you letter (500 words or less, in English) sharing how a teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them. Entries can be submitted online through this page or at their local Barnes & Noble store.
This contest is open during the month of February, from 2/1-2/29.

The winner of the "Barnes & Noble Teacher of the Year" award will receive $5,000 and will be recognized at a special event at a Barnes & Noble store. The winning teacher's school will receive $5,000 as well.

February #edCTOchat
#edCTOchat celebrated the one year anniversary week and looks to keep the motor running into February! Join the #edCTOchat as we celebrate the one year anniversary! Conversation will be targeted around organization collaboration with the help of IL Digital Educators Alliance

Educator of the Year Books Due Soon!
Educator of the Year nominations are due on March 2, 2020 – less than a month away! Already nominated someone? Make sure to get your nomination books ready for judging as we quickly approach the exciting day.

The Progress Report: The Field Museum’s Support of Education
This week's post in  The Progress Report , Katie has a guest writer for this week's post; Mr. Jay Shippinski from East Aurora School District 131, as he shares his knowledge and power of learning through The Field Museum of Natural History.

The Progress Report is a collaborative discussion space for professional learning. If there are any topics that you would like to see a post on or guest write yourself,  please contact Katie Algrim.

College Board Workshop
There are no prerequisites for either workshop. Only availble in the morning? You can pick that workshop and go about your afternoon! Available for all day learning? Sign up for both! The options are in your hands, all in the same location – one day only. 

Chris Heintz of the College Board will be facilitating both workshops!

Advanced User Training \ College Board Assessment Reporting Portal from 9:00 - 11:30 and then The AP Classroom / Getting The Most Out Of New Tools To Support Students from 12:30-2:30

World Language Workshop
In this workshop, World Language teachers will learn how to design Integrated Performance Assessments. Using the practice of Backward Design, teachers will first be guided through the process of defining unit learning outcomes based on ACTFL Can-Do statements. Next the presenter will lead the participants in selecting an authentic resource and creating an interpretive, interpersonal and presentational task for their own IPA. Rubrics and implementation strategies will also be discussed.

Douglas Hoeft Scholarship
Douglas Hoeft, a former teacher, Superintendent of the Kane County Educational Service Region, and State Representative prior to his death, was committed to education for all students. During his lifetime, he worked tirelessly to improve the educational system in Illinois. To honor his work and commitment, a scholarship has been established in his name.

The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to  high school graduates  of programs within the Kane County Educational Service Region. Applicants must be a graduate of a school or home school within the Kane County Educational Service Region, must currently reside within that area, and must be entering the first year of a vocational/technical program or an institution of higher education.   This scholarship is given to qualified applicants who have met and overcome specific life challenges.
We have set up a  website ( )  where students can go to learn more information about the scholarship and submit their application for the scholarship to the foundation. Forms may also be printed and submitted by mail if an applicant prefers.  Applicants should be encouraged to apply on line, with all information contained in one folder. Note that  we no longer require an   official transcript for the application . The school for each scholarship winner will be contacted to verify the information which the student provides in the application.
Please note that the deadline for application is April 1, 2020!
5Essentials School Survey
Take the 5Essentials survey today! The survey shows how teachers and students perceive their school, and these perceptions influence their behavior. They can be used by leaders as a baseline to assess school improvement.

Upcoming & Ongoing Workshops
AA#1815 – Meeting Tips, Tools and Techniques to Achieve Results
Dates: 100% Online
PD Credits: 6
Cost: $100
Illinois Online Academy:
Growth Mindset
Dates: 100% Online
PD Credits: 5
Cost: $40
Illinois Online Academy:
Social Emotional Learning
Dates: 100% Online
PD Credits: 2
Cost: $40