CITA Update

Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, and Assessment

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Happy Holidays!

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. Enjoy this November/December issue of the CITA Update. Thank you for your tremendous dedication to the students of Lake Forest School District 67.


The CITA Team

Lauren, Lori, Colleen, Judi, Anne, and Carol Lynne


by Lauren Fagel, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, and Assessment

On November 19, 2013, Lori and I presented "The Changing Nature of Assessment" to the District 67 Board of Education. You can view the presentation at

Below are the main points of our presentation:

  • The nature of assessment is changing across the state and the country, with ISAT moving to PARCC and the focus on achievement moving to a focus on growth.
  • We stay focused on what research tells us is most effective in raising student achievement: visible learning. Visible learning takes place when students are able to articulate what they are learning, their progress toward meeting standards or learning goals, what the next step is, and how they are going to get there. (see John Hattie’s book, Visible Learning)
  • ISAT cut scores changed, and our district’s scores dropped like most surrounding districts.
  • NWEA MAP provides much more timely and meaningful data that teachers can use to inform instruction. Our Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 MAP tests were fully aligned to CCSS. We are committed to administering a Spring, 2014 MAP test.
  • Our MAP results from Fall 2012 to Fall 2013 raise important questions about how we can challenge all of our students to both achieve and grow.

If you have any questions about our presentation, please ask! We love to talk about assessment and its essential role in our work as educators.

What's New with Instructional Technology?

by Judi Epcke, Director of Instructional Technology

The Word Is Out… District 67 Is the Place to See!

We are frequently contacted with requests to visit and learn about the programs here in District 67. The Deer Path 1 to 1 Program and The Cube (21st Century Learning Spaces) are two popular topics of interest. By the end of 2013, we will have hosted twelve visits from schools and districts near and far. When asked why our district was of interest to them, the answer always relates back to word of mouth – “We’ve heard great things about….”

Visitors are asked to fill out a feedback form after spending time in Lake Forest 67. Every form comes back with compliments for our articulate, poised, and polite students and our enthusiastic and dedicated teachers! Our guests also remark at the ease with which our teachers accept visitors into their classrooms.

If you see a group being led around for a tour, know they are visiting because of the work you do every day with our students. Thank you for making this a wonderful place to work and learn!

Internet Issues

“Good things come to those who wait.” That may be true in some instances, but not when one is trying to connect to the Internet!

The past few weeks have been a challenge for all as we have struggled with our Internet connectivity. We recognize this was an inconvenience for teachers and students, at school and at home. We are also aware of the extra effort put forth by teachers throughout this time.

There were many people working to do what they could to improve the situation in ways large and small. A big thank you to Cornelius and Narong for their frequent dealings with Comcast. I deeply appreciate all staff for ‘hanging in there’ and for your questions, communications, and understanding.

Winter Learning Opportunities

  • NICE Mini-Conference (Registration $5)

January 26, 2014 @ Niles North High School, Skokie

Information and registration:

  • SIT Conference (Students Involved with Technology)

February 22, 2014 @ Aptakisic Junior High, Buffalo Grove

For more information: Contact Amy Lamberti or visit

K - 8 Math Report

by Dr. Lori Wilcox, Executive Director of Growth and Talent Development

Math Professional Development K-4

Janis Heigl, math consultant, returned to Lake Forest from December 2nd - 4th to work with classroom teachers, enrichment resource teachers, and math coaches. In addition, teachers from Sunset Ridge and Bannockburn joined in many of our half-day trainings to learn more about the Bridges program.

The December focus was Work Places. Janis considers four components as essential for the creation of a rich, balanced math program: Daily Sessions, Number Corner, Work Places, and Home Connections. Work Places is the “place” where students "work" in small groups and play games at their level; this is the perfect place to differentiate! Janis gave several ideas for how to extend the learning of all students. She communicated the importance of being intentional; we plan for Work Places using our formative assessment data. Work Places is fun for students and also a valuable opportunity to provide practice, support, guidance, extension, and enrichment.

Math Professional Development 5-8

The middle school math teachers have spent many hours together over the past few months, working to document clear learning targets for the Core classes at all grade levels. This curriculum documentation will make our articulation with the high school much easier.

5th grade math teachers have incorporated some of the Bridges materials into their daily lessons. They are liking what they see with regard to student engagement and understanding. Stay tuned for more information on 5th grade math!

ELA Materials Adoption Process Under Way!

by Colleen Brueggeman, Director of Curriculum Integration

Forty-six people were in attendance at the English Language Arts-Social Studies meeting on November 11. Small groups discussed the questions below and recorded answers on chart paper. We used the group work to create a timeline of the adoption process. The timeline has been sent to all D67 staff in an email.

Language Arts Materials Adoption Questions

1) Who should be involved?

2) How do you see the process going?

3) How many phases or parts of the process do you see?

4) What materials, resources, and companies do you want to make sure we look at?

5) Timing is everything. Anything we need to think about with regards to timing?

6) What groups should we meet with and when?

7) What does Phase One look like, Phase Two look like, etc.?

8) Would you be willing to go to the Curriculum Coordinating Committee to clarify the work on adoption?

9) Anything else you can think of that would help and support the process?

We also had representatives from Making Meaning/Being a Writer share updates regarding the programs for teachers to consider before starting the adoption process.

All members of the Committee had a chance to view a large display of core programs and supplemental materials from several companies.

Our next meeting will be on December 12th from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the Administrative Center. All staff members are welcome to attend this meeting, which will include vendor presentation from Heinemann, Pearson, National Geographic, and Junior Great Books. Please email Colleen at to RSVP if you plan to attend, as dinner will be provided.

Don't Forget the Annual District 67 Holiday Party

Wednesday, Dec. 11th 2013 at 3:45-5:30pm

Haskins Center, Deer Path Middle School West, 95 West Deerpath Road, Lake Forest, IL

From the Department of Student Services

by Anne Dunn, Director of Student Services

Excellent Staff Development Opportunity

On November 8, DSS staff participated in a full-day workshop called, "Practical Aspects of Writing Legally Defensible IEPs." Twenty-two faculty members attended the workshop, including three from Lake Forest High School. The workshop was so well received that it is being offered at the high school on January 17. For those DSS faculty that did not have the chance to attend, please contact Anne Dunn to express interest in attending the one in January.

Educational Program Review

We are beginning our educational program review with Dr. Kurt Schneider and Dr. Elise Frattura. Focus groups and interviews will take place on January 15, 16, 17. This will be a chance for us to learn from two experts what is working well with our special education and response to intervention programming, as well as areas in which we can improve. Stay tuned for more information!

Learn About a Growth Mindset

Learn about Dr. Carol Dweck's research on the powerful effects of a growth mindset.

Check out the chart to the right to learn about a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset.

Mandarin Immersion Program In Its Third Year

by Carol Lynne Krumes

The Mandarin Immersion Program is now in its third successful year with an enrollment of 159 K - 3 students. The program is housed at Cherokee, and the district provides free busing for Everett and Sheridan families who want to participate in this language immersion option.

In our partial immersion model, Mandarin teachers work with students on Bridges mathematics, Chinese language arts and culture, and science vocabulary. Partner English teachers deliver instruction in English language arts and social studies; they also support parts of the Bridges math program.

Mandarin teachers are currently working on developing math frameworks for the new Bridges math program. These frameworks not only provide the content, student learning targets, and evidence of student learning, but also include language function, language forms, and examples of receptive vocabulary for developing language acquisition. Work has also begun on aligning Chinese language arts with the CCSS and grade level ELA calendars. Mandarin teachers translate any necessary materials from English to Mandarin, so the students have learning materials in the target language.

The Mandarin Immersion Program provides a wonderful opportunity for District 67 students to begin on a path towards advanced proficiency. Learning to speak, read, and write in Chinese will provide students with a unique skill set to prepare them for participation in today and tomorrow’s competitive global marketplace.

The CCSS Journey Continues

by Colleen Brueggeman, Director of Curriculum Integration

ELA Academy - Diving Into CCSS

Thirteen K -4 staff members enrolled in this Academy, which will be meeting through December. We have been learning about Common Core State Standards by discussing the shifts, unpacking text complexity, studying resources, and sharing ideas about how to plan lessons utilizing the CCSS. The next session will be on close reading, textual evidence, and text dependent questions. Email Colleen at if you would like more information on the resources provided during this class.

A 5-8 version of this Academy will run in December and January. The dates are 12/16, 1/8 ,and 1/15 from 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm at the Administrative Center. Sign up through My Learning Plan!

CCSS Resources Galore!

We are excited to announce that the district has purchased many resources for every building to assist with our shared learning about the CCSS. These resources will be used in Academy classes, and they will also be available at each building for teachers to look at when convenient.

  1. The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Book List K-8
  2. With Rigor for All: Grades 6-12
  3. Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades
  4. Falling in Love with Close Reading: Grades 5-12
  5. Common Core Unit by Unit
  6. The Common Core Lesson Book K-5
  7. The Common Core Writing Book K-5
  8. Finding the Heart of Non-Fiction
  9. Teaching Students How to Write-Argument 6-12
  10. The Critical Role of Argument in Student Inquiry
  11. Genre Study
  12. Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding
  13. Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in Life
  14. Common Core Standards for Elementary Grades K-2: Math and Language Arts
  15. Common Core Standards for Elementary Grades 3-5: Math and Language Arts Common
  16. Core Standards for Middle School Math
  17. Common Core Standards for Middle School ELA
  18. Understanding Common Core State Standards
  19. Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding
  20. Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom
  21. The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners

Emotional Wellness Update

by Lauren Fagel, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, and Assessment

The District Emotional Wellness Committee (EWC) met on December 5. Lynn Moore facilitated the meeting, and participants heard a report from a few members who traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Character Education Partnership's Annual National Forum on Character Education.

Lynn will also facilitate the building EWC meetings that will take place before winter break. Special thanks to our EWC Mentors in each building who are deeply committed to ensuring the social and emotional safety of our students and staff.

Are you familiar with LEAD? Check out to learn more about this important community organization. District 67 partners with LEAD on many emotional wellness initiatives.

What about Charmm'd? Learn more at Charmm'd provides opportunities for community leaders to develop themselves and in turn take action to strengthen their teams, succeed at their missions, and build stronger communities. District 67 partners with Charmm'd to enhance its Emotional Wellness work.

Time Zone Provides Hands-On Learning for Social Studies

by Colleen Brueggeman, Director of Curriculum Integration

Elementary students gained a deeper understanding of Native Americans and Pilgrims during these past two months. Enjoy some of these pictures from the Time Zone Interactive Social Studies experiences. In the Time Zone, students get a hands-on approach to learn about their tools, way of life, survival skills, clothing, and food preparation.

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