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Survey Results -- Details

2013 Think Tank Staff Survey
Respondents: Launched Date: 159 01/25/2013 Status: Closed Date: Open N/A


Comments (please limit comments to 50 words) We are currently integrating curriculum within the class community model. As a teacher involved in all of these curricular areas, it is very natural to integrate learning across the curricular areas, throughout the day/week/year in my class. The teachable moments are endless because I know the entire academic curriculum for my class and I can seamlessly make connections that strengthen the concepts to be embraced. I know the children and most of their families very well and we have all worked diligently to build relationships that are conducive to deep learning experiences across the curriculum. The idea that community/learner characteristic building can take place in the very few busy, "business" minutes at either end of the school day is not not legitimate. These real relationships and the development of learner characteristics need the nourishment of caring communities where the profesiional adults and the children have an opportunity to authentically know each other - with and beyond any formal data. That takes time and a consistent, coherent environment. I'm not sure that little children - while they certainly can adjust to this new model will not suffer a foundational social/emotional cost in the process. I am ready to do my best in whatever model is decided upon, but, if we break apart the core community in which our young children abide, I will wonder if we really are doing the best for all aspects of our little ones. Thank you for asking. I think there may be merit to some of the Think Tank initiatives, but the blistering speed at which the administration wants to ram this down our throats is simply reckless and unrealistic. Parents need time, teachers need time to UNDERSTAND this. We need to talk MUCH more about all of this. SLOW DOWN. Teachers are already overwhelmed with the changes, changes, changes. We no longer have a Culture of Continuous Improvement. We have a Culture of Continuous CHAOS. SLOW DOWN!! Roll this out prudently! I am still concerned about when common PLC time will occur. It seems like the school day would have to be extended in order for this to happen. Thank you for all the work you've done! I feel that all these changes are being made for only those students at the very top and bottom of the scale. I don't see that this would be a solution to having smaller groups numbers in a classroom. You would still have a range of students with different needs and would still require small group instruction. When will the common PLC time take place? Is the current work day going to be extended for this to happen?

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We need more specific information about what the school day would look like? Schedule? Class lists formed? When will training happen? When will Special Ed services happen? Only WIN time? This will be very difficult for specialists to schedule especially for students that require services in many areas reading/math/speech/social work/OT. I feel that PE, Music, and Art should remain the way they are, only integrating where necessary. They have their own curriculums to follow. I like the idea of teacher specialization; however, I wonder if students will lose a sense of identity, not belonging to one class any longer. I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before hurrying to move forward. I believe in the concept of an integrated curriculum, however, I hope our administration is both clear in next year's expectations while not being so tightly controlling of the specific materials used, the time parameters to remain within, and the script to follow in every situation. I hope they allow us to exercise some professional judgment on behalf of our students. My concern now is that we will be doing the same old thing by using EDM and the current science curriculum, with a different label of STEAM put on it. I would hope to provide students with true application experiences, which is the point of the whole thing. I am very concerned with teacher training and support. Although specializing in one area sounds like it would help alleviate some pressure for planning and collaborating, I am concerned about how certain partnerships will be formed and the social emotional impact on the children when there is not more consistancy. I do like the idea of some of the aspects of having additional WIN (TLT) time in terms of math support with low level achieving students. My own children have had exceptional experiences in multi-age classrooms here in the district. These current intiatives have been carefully researched and thoughtfully put together. It is critical that the district take this lead to make sure our children are ready for the demands of 21st century learning. My only concern is the rolling out of the to the entire district. I believe that it it should asolutely happen but have one school pilot the program the first year. I feel that a pilot program will get many of the kinks out prior to a complete roll out. Far to large of an undertaking. I do not have any endorsements to teach at Hadley. How then can I specialize in elementary school? I do not think this is meeting the kids needs socially. They need to be with the same kids all day, especially our ESL students. There hasnt been any talk of how to move 500 kids at the same time. Too many logistical questions are being ignored, avoided, or not thought out. I have concerns about literacy. I feel there is a mixed message. It sounds as though we want heterogenious groupings but then make small homogenious groupings within this. This sounds similar to what we have now. How many groups are we talking about? If we have four in the morning and four in the afternoon for example this will be very difficult on a lit teacher. This will be too many lesson plans and a great deal of RTI data. I am also concerned about differences in ages from an ability and maturity standpoint. Furthermore, curriculum and guided reading materials must change every two years!?! My "no strong feeling" responses are really "agree & disagree" with some components of Think Tank. When would PLC time be scheduled? How does Think Tank ideas impact spacing needs for all district programs (preK, EC, K, Special Ed)? Will there be enough time during MIND for students to receive EVERYTHING they need (special ed, TLT, PRIS, etc)? I feel that there is some good, but it needs to slow down and pilot. Thank you for all the hard work this committee has put forth towards this initiative! please let us know soon, so we can plan. Hopefully the stress will be relieved somewhat expecially if we can keep the Modules that we just finished collaborating on as a team in LIteracy/SS (it's 7:30









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p.m.) 18. I think that we truly need to work towards these models for Grades K-1 as well. If the children begin with this model it is what they will feel is a normal school model. more time and training is needed to truly make this change successful. Huge stress will be place on the students and teachers if this is done too quickly. 19. This is adding a lot of stress on teachers, not only trying to understand what is going on, but also having parents questioning the teachers is uncomfortable. The modules have not gone smoothly and that was just a change in one area, changing the way the whole school day looks is huge. We need time to learn about what we are doing and have a chance to plan. 1)How can you state that High, Medium, and Lows will be in each class but then turn around and promise fewer guided groups for literacy? This is how we are doing business now, so I don't anticipate fewer groups. It does not seem like a responsible statement to make in a survey or in parent meetings.2)We don't have interventionist for math, so we can't claim that the district does its best to meet the needs of all students. How can you have a math lab without a plan for human resources? This is why I do not support WIN moving forward because we don't have supports in place. 3)What are the assessments that we will use to place students...I hope it is not just MAP; we need pretests or something in place to triangulate data. 4) How do you think we can get it all in with the new proposal? We aren't adding any more time to the day, in fact, time is being taken away with Foreign Language- eventually. SHOW US HOW WE GAIN MORE TIME. We lose time with transitions in the afternoon. 5)Our current curriculum is not rigorous. We do problem solving 8 times a year in math, it's not enough. K-2 curriculum depends on teacher experize to add rigor and there are few supports in place for that. All teachers need PBL training and it should be required.6) I am not opposed to specializing which will indeed help us develop more rigor. I just don't feel any valid data is available to place students appropriately in the correct class, and then no plans are made for students to move up or down into other classes if they show need. It just gets us back into the types of classes we have currently. 7)How do you expect teachers/administrators to address parents who request students to move into another class. This must be in place before we begin the process. What will the criteria be? I feel comfortable with moving toward Think Tank Ideas if it is given more time to work out the details. I would also want to know what I would be teaching so that I could better prepare for my school year. (I know this was stated in a previous question.) I would need plently of time to learn 4 new modules as a literacy teacher or much more about the STEAM philosophy. I have marked uncomforatble in many areas. I will be comfortable when I know what I am teaching and can be trained in that area.; I have very mixed feelings about the pholosophies of Think Tank. I feel that more time is needed to implement these ideas in the right way. I really need to emphasize the importance for training EARLY. Starting NOW.I would like to know what I am teaching next year so that I can move forward. The more details that are hashed out the better for ALL! I feel that I already effectively integrate the curriculum when possible. I would be interested in trying these concepts on a smaller scale. I support the ideas of think tank and agree with the decisions that they are making. I believe that there are some areas that still need to be worked out but I have faith in the committee for making the right decisions based on the work that they have done so far. I am most concerned with how the ESL teachers will be able to support the learning of all of their students with the current proposed schedule, especially for the lower proficient students. I don't see how this will be possible to be done well at all grade levels with the staff currently at each school, and the growth of the population in at least some schools. The school that talked with us at Institute day only had 10 ESL students. I also wonder how many IEP students they have at that school, and how their needs were addressed.





After going to Board Meetings and hearing the speakers at Institute Day, I would support the Think Tank proposal if: 1) We waited until we had kindergarten full day so that K-1 is included. 2) We waited a year or two to have our new science curriculum in place because this seems extremely important, as well as having the details in place (ie: who is teaching which subject) I think there are many neat ideas proposed in Think Tank, however, I believe that the multiage portion of Think Tank should be reconsidered. ALL teachers need to buy in to multiage instruction, and I know that is not the case right now. This is too much change, too fast. Let's look at a phased approach, maybe implementing a few ideas each year. I feel like we are rushing things. Let's learn from the STEM Academy's experience! I am very excited about this proposed idea. It will be great to be a "master" of certain content instead of trying to master everything. I think we really need to have our 3 sets of modules because we are in trimesters and we do not have time to get the 1st 20 days in and the first module. 4 modules would be fine if we had 4 quarters. Also Win time needs to have teachers/aides in there at all times to send our needy students in there. We need MATH help for our kiddos like PRISS, we have a group of kids that are falling through the cracks because they are not getting the extra help!!! Too many times, this district has jumped in without proper planning and then told us teachers, "You will muddle through it. We don't expect you to be experts now." We are now experts of nothing. Kids are not learning as much as they should because of district decisions. I think the new superintendent should be making these choices, as they will have to see it through. I think the changes proposed WILL help students learn, and I am in full support of the Think Tank's plan, even though I did not participte in the Think Tank. I am very excited about this new opportunity to reach every student's needs, and I think it is wonderful that this district is truly searching outside the box for solutions that will really work for kids. Change here is a GOOD THING, since the current systems we have in place ARE NOT WORKING for all kids. I still have worries about all of the transitions that will be occuring if all aspects of this are implemented. Would be comfortable with specializing for myself, but not for the kids since that would meant that they would be doing a lot of moving around the school.I also think that time is going to become more of an issue, yes we are integrating, but also adding a lot (including eventually foreign language).; I still have worries about all of the transitions that will be occuring if all aspects of this are implemented. Would be comfortable with specializing for myself, but not for the kids, since that would mean that they would be doing a lot of moving around the school.I also think that time is going to become more of an issue, not less, yes we are integrating, but also adding a lot (including, eventually, foreign language).I appreciate all the work that TT has done, but we need to do more reasearch of what is working in education around us. Very excited to move forward! Too many loose ends. Not feeling as if the think tank is listening to our concerns. I feel as if the think tank is strong arming us into moving forward with this change. It doesn't make sense to have two WIN times when there is hardly enough time for one TLT time. Communication - WE WERE TOLD WE WERE TO FILL THIS OUT ON THURSDAY!!! Now it is supposed to be DONE by 9:00a.m. THURSDAY. Is this an example of what's to come? would like to retain plc time for specific planning with team; literacy specialists have their own agendas; having common plc time is good if there are parameters and core team teachers could determine best purposes and non-purposes for meetings and invite specialists when needed; just use current schedule and make TLT time win time for math only I feel we should move full steam ahead. Ouch. Bad pun. A wait & see, do more research and fact find will just put us farther behind 21st century learning. Having one foot in 21st century learning, while using the block schedule, without the literacy and steam models, simply does not work. We have to plunge in head first, figure it out as we go, and all collaborate to make it work. It needs to



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be systematic in approach with a technological record keeping/assessment component that is standards based and student friendly. Pinnacle will need to be scrapped. In summation, if we do not move ahead with the new model, I'm afraid we will lose great teachers to districts that are more forward thinking. 37. If the board does not make decisions about Think Tank until the end of February, I do not see how we can be ready to implement this next year. I am mostly in favor, but do not want to see a rushed implementation. Some questions (like 23 and 24... and others) are skewed. I do not need more time or more work in order to support because I will not support even with more work or more time. If I answer "No" it looks like I am happy with the plan vs. can't be sold on it (which is the case). Thank you for soliciting feedback. Our district needs to target areas of weakness and tweak them. We do not need to throw out all that is done now. Start by putting more kids in gifted services (vs. the handful now in each grouping). Get rid of EM so we can really differentiate the day's lesson vs. the day's 12 random acts of math. Let's study how Hinsdale, Wheaton, D89, etc... are addressing common core vs. Waukesha. Get into the classrooms here to see that much of what we propose is being done. Finally, don't roadblock integration by segmenting it to math/science and literacy/social studies. True PBL and integration happens across all. I support everything except WIN time. I didn't find TLT effective use of time for any students except the at-risk students. The vast majority of Franklin students do not need WIN time at this point. The time should be spent on the CORE curriculum for these kids instead. Still unsure on multi-age. Until there's smooth curriculum from grade to grade, and from year to year, the initiatives won't work. Everyone claims they're looking at the data, and complain about the drops in the data, but are we REALLY looking at all the variables involved with us jumping on new bandwagons every year? If there is not the multi-age, where is the potential for a 2 year relationship? If there is no 2 year relationship, that means teachers will have kids half the time they do currently, which will jepordize student-teacher relationships, when this has been researched to be one of the most beneficial aspects to a child's learning. When will the all school collaboration time be? Safety measures will need to take place if second graders are put into portables. What assessments are going to be used to create class groups? Limited plan time for teachers hinder the ability to plan instruction in an in-depth and meaningful way. I feel we are pushing this through too quickly. I would be more comfortable with a pilot school being set up next year to phase in levels of this type of instructional approach over the course of several years, similar to what WI has done. After visiting with them following their presentation, it seems they have provided a phase-in program approach on a small scale (one school) and have provided their teachers with solid blocks of uninterrupted PLAN/PREP time (45 minute blocks) in addition to PLC time. I really think the wide-scale, drastic, systematic changes being proposed are irresponsible and do not take the social/emotional/academic needs of all learners into account or the working conditions of teachers who already have limited time to plan lessons and integrated units in meaningful ways due to the lack of uninterrupted blocks of time for such thoughtful planning and reflection to take place. A small scale "experiment" of this size and nature would be much more responsible in my opinion. I would like communication on how ESL services will be provided before moving forward. Will ESL students definitely be able to receive ESL services outside of the literacy & math WIN times (such as during Foreign language time)? I think each change should be take one at a time. Year 1- integration of curriulum and addition/PD of STEAM, Year 2 - specialization by teachers with in a grade level including WIN, year 3 -blended grades, year 4- full program k-5 Problem Based Learning will not be effective if the students are unable to integrate in all subjects. Different teachers and different classes will not allow this to happen. The blocks of Math/STEAM and Lit/Social Studies should be a definite go- the schedule now is too chopped up.








PLC times should be outside the regular school day. 46. Planning with your teams before school starts is essential Students only receiving instruction at or above grade level with WIN time for struggling students seems like a PR point and doesn't match philosophy of the change. This concept seems to marginalize the importance of teaching and scheduling of specials. If there is a deficiency of math or lit specialists, how will that be corrected? I am looking forward to the challenge of moving forward with the Think Tank proposals. I would like to see us roll out this in a 2 or 3 year cycle. I like the approach that was followed by the school in Wisconsin. I want to make sure that all teachers would get professional development needed to move forward. I enjoy teaching all subject areas, but I am willing to move forward with this model to help children have greater success. I feel it is difficult to give up some areas of the curriculum, because I truly enjoy teaching all subjects at the elementary level. We should move forward with this and not drag it out for years. We also need to think about that D41 is more diverse than some people in the community realize. We need to make sure this new program MUST address the needs of all learners, not just the "typical" Glen Ellyn upper socio-economic families. Make sure students do not get "tracked" if they are lower. What if they need more than the WIN time? I think we need full day kindergarten with an enlarged kindergarten staff in order to jump start all kids in the common core. Half-day Kindergarten is holding everything back from reaching its true potential AND will continue to do so if not altered in some significant way. I think K/1 should also be included in this model as soon as possible (with full day kindergarten). #1,4,7 and several additional questions are baited questions-the proposed schedule will further diminish the amount of time teachers have to 'get it all in'. #8 Social emotional needs will be much more difficult to address with the Think Tank model. #12 Kids are not currently being pulled during core content instruction as it is. #19 Homeroom will not be an authentic time to build learner characteristics. #28 Integration of curriculum is already happening in primary grades. We don't need a more restricted schedule-the possibilities for integration will decrease. #30 WIN time would be terrific if additional staff would be provided to implement interventions. [No Answer Entered] What happens with ESL students who need intervention support in reading and math? How will the special ed students with multiple needs be supported? Will we have numerous interventions and interventionist trained to provide said interventions based on student's needs? I am very optimistic regarding the changes that are coming to District #41. I feel that we NEED more professional development as well as time to plan and prepare as educators for how classrooms will be structured differently. I do not feel these changes are appropriate for the social/emotional or academic growth of primary aged children. Their comfort and success are fostered through the constant relationship that the have a with a teacher. They also need to solidfy their foundational skills. There's time for content area work later. I would be thrilled to have two designated intervention times and common meeting times with specialists. I'm not in support of integrating social studies and literacy with our present social studies program and not with present science curriculum as we're going to have to do it again.; I do not feel these changes are appropriate for the social/emotional or academic growth of primary aged children. Their comfort and success are fostered through the constant relationship that the have a with a teacher. They also need to solidfy their foundational skills. There's time for content area work later. I would be thrilled to have two designated intervention times and common meeting times with specialists. I'm not in support of integrating social studies and literacy with our present social studies program and not with present science curriculum as we're going to have to do









it again. 56. From what I understood on institute day, D41 is jumping in at Year 3 of the Waukesha model. They did not start with specialized teachers and multi-age classrooms. It sounded like a more gradual approach to a new system of learning. From what I understood on institute day, D41 is jumping into year 3 of the Waukesha model. It did not sound like they started with integrated curriculum, specialized teachers and multiage classrooms. Why not take it one change at a time? Common Core, PBL, and all of the other new initiatives are overwhelming without the systemic change to boot! This plan works well in academic terms only. I do not feel that it fulfills the socio-emotional needs of our students whatsoever. Having a homeroom teacher does not form more of a sense of community than we have now with stable classes that see each other for most of the day. Having two main teachers gives students half as much time to form relationships with either teacher. With the structure that we currently have students have a year to form a close relationship with one main adult and a handful of students. Adding one teacher a year is much more productive. I also do not think that having foreign language is an effective way to spend students' time. The student day is so rushed as it is, adding foreign language will not benefit the students at this level. Thank you Think tank for your tremendous work and effort on this project. In regards to questions 10 & 28 (integrating curriculum), as a specials teacher, it is difficult to get behind the idea of infusing into STEAM when it is so rare that classroom teachers are willing to meet, certain administrators don't observe what is going on in specials and have little awareness of our curricula, and little direction is being given at the outset as to what will be expected of us. In addition, it is difficult to foresee how we will deliver meaningful, standards-based, sequenced curriculum to multi-grade classes. The idea of integration is exciting, but we need more information at the outset. I think this is all a good idea. I would hope there will be support from administration as in the proper trainig before jumping into all the ideas of Steam. Training would have to happen in the summer and teachers are going to have to be on board with thisd training. I am onboard. I just don't want to feel unprepared come August. We don't have much time left and not a lot has been settled. I can't be introduced to the new format and curriculum the four institute days before I start teaching. I have concerns and reservations about how students will do with this structure from a social and emotional standpoint. I am concerned that many students issues will be lost in the "shuffle". I feel there are many positive parts of the ideas. I need more information to be comfortable with multi-age groupings. Details regarding what assessments split grade levels into advanced math classes are necessary. Knowing grade/classroom/subject assignments prior to the end of the year is essential for buy-in and start of school year success! TEACHER TRAINING WILL HAPPEN WHEN???????? Many of these questions were difficult to answer with the answers provided. I appreciate the work Think Tank has put forth to meet the demands of a more rigorous curriculum, but I feel that they have only explored one approach to meeting those demands. I am not confident that all of the potential concerns that may result from the multi age level structure have been sufficiently examined. Let's do this! People are always hesitant and worried about major changes. These proposed changes are very overwhelming and I think teachers need a lot of time to prepare. I believe that the decisions need to me made before school is out so that teachers have the summer to prepare and be ready to take on all these new and exciting changes.












I would feel much better about these changes if we would slow down! It is so difficult to be put in a position of trying to explain new systems/curriculum, ect.. to parents before I fully understand them myself. Listening to the teachers from Wisconsin made me realize that we are jumping head first into their year three. Couldn't we begin to make these changes at a slower pace and allow ample time for proper training for the entire distrcit? Thanks for all the hard work Think Tank. . I could be supportive of this plan IF the students I serve would have more consideration. I work with ELL students with limited schooling. I don't believe WIN time is sufficient. How can I support the mainstream teachers in this model? How can I equip my/our students to thrive in this environment? I am very concerned about ELLs who are refugee students. For such a big change to occur, we cannot just listen to people from other districts tell us the benefits of the proposed changes. Our district, as it has been acknowledged, is unique and a change in structure should be "tried" first. D41 should launch a pilot program first and see the challenges and benefits . 2004 SelectSurveyASP Advanced 8.0.4


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