Education & Schools
Simon welcomes Class of 2025 back to Carbondale Middle School PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ken Lowe   
Friday, 22 August 2014 15:31

Speaks about education reform initiatives

Welcoming the Class of 2025 back to school, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon highlighted a new leadership program aimed at keeping Carbondale Middle School students on track to graduate.

Simon joined Principal Marilynn Ross to tout the first CMS Leadership Academy, which provided students with tools to handle stress and inspire good behavior. The summer academy builds on a discipline program students will learn about in the opening days of class that aims to increase the time students are spending in class.

The future college Class of 2025 is now in sixth grade.

“The Class of 2025 is going to shape the future Illinois,” Simon said. “We need to provide every student, from Carbondale to Chicago, a clear path for success. Investing in their education is an investment in our state workforce.”

The year 2025 is the deadline set by Illinois leaders to have 60 percent of working-age adults hold a college certificate or degree. Economists say the highly educated workforce will be needed to attract and retain jobs of the future.

As part of the 60 by 2025 strategy, Simon’s office is working with the state’s public universities and community colleges to bring up college completion rates among students through Guided Pathways to Success, which aims to streamline course requirements so more students can graduate on time, in less debt and with a career connection. She also helped launch the state’s first math curriculum to cut down on remediation needs and led the Classrooms First Commission as it recommended ways for districts to redirect $1 billion from administration to classrooms.

Simon serves as the state’s point person on education reform and chairs the Joint Education Leadership Committee for the P-20 Council, the state’s top educational advisory body. This was Simon’s second address to the future college Class of 2025 in Carbondale. She first visited in 2011 when the Class of 2025 was in third grade at Thomas Elementary School.

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Lt. Gov. Reynolds to serve on NLGA State Strategies in Education committee PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Friday, 22 August 2014 15:09

(DES MOINES) – Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds has been selected to serve on the National Lieutenant Governor Association (NLGA) State Strategies in Education committee for 2014-2015. The selection comes in addition to Reynolds’ position as NLGA Chair-Elect and Chair of the Policy Resolutions Committee. She was nominated to serve with peers nationwide by the NLGA Chair Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.

“I’m honored to have been chosen, and pleased to be able to serve as the chair of this critical committee on education,” said Reynolds. “Iowa has been a leader nationally in terms of our innovative Teacher Leadership and Compensation System, the Governor’s Science, Technology, Education and Math Advisory Council and our transformational education reform. Governor Branstad and I know that to ensure our children are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, they must have a world-class education today. I look forward to the opportunity to share Iowa’s story and am eager to hear of progress occurring in other states.”

Reynolds was elected Iowa’s 45th Lieutenant Governor on Nov. 2, 2010.  She serves as the co-chair of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. Her passion for STEM education was recognized by STEMconnectorTM when she was the only elected official named to their “100 Women Leaders in STEM.” She currently chairs their STEM Food & Ag Council. She has led economic development trade missions to China, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.

NLGA is a professional association enabling policy discussion on a broad range of topics, an exchange of best practices, and an opportunity for lieutenant governors to develop leadership priorities and shared solutions for the states and territories.  See www.nlga.us for more information.

A photo of Reynolds can be found here.  For more information on Lt. Gov. Reynolds, please visit www.ltgovernor.iowa.gov.

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Skokie school districts enact Lt. Governor’s education reforms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ken Lowe   
Friday, 22 August 2014 08:55

“Classrooms First” agreement emphasizes efficiency and effectiveness

SKOKIE — Aug. 20, 2014. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon celebrated an education reform milestone between Niles Township High School District 219 and Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69 on Wednesday. Superintendents signed a “Classrooms First” agreement today that aims to align instruction, reduce high school remediation needs and maximize financial resources at both districts.

“This agreement puts students first by focusing on educational effectiveness and efficiency simultaneously,” Simon said. “I hope this inspires the other elementary school districts that feed into District 219 to take similar steps, and that other districts throughout the state take notice.”

The intergovernmental agreement creates shared faculty and instructional tools between Niles West High School and District 69, the largest of the five elementary school districts from which it draws new students each year.

The reforms are largely based on the findings of the Classrooms First Commission, which Simon chaired and which issued a report detailing recommendations for voluntary and virtual school district consolidation in 2012. The report urged school districts to share services and cut administrative costs in order to redirect savings into classrooms.

The Niles agreement creates shared faculty between the districts and personalized learning plans for students, among other changes. Two shared positions will oversee science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula, and instruction between the two school districts. The new alignment should reduce the need for costly remediation – or re-teaching – of math and sciences in high school and college.

Starting in 2016, new kindergarteners will also be issued the same “individualized learning plans” District 219 uses to personalize the instruction of its high school students. That plan will follow students throughout their entire K-12 career, said District 219 spokesman Jim Szczepaniak.

“Our Classrooms First Consolidation agreement with District 69 will guarantee students and their families that their elementary education will properly prepare them for high school and that their high school experience will make them ready for college and ready to succeed in life,” said Nanciann Gatta, superintendent of Niles Township High School District 219. “We're honored that Lt. Governor Simon is able to join us for this signing event to validate what we are doing in Niles Township to show that public education works.”

Simon joined District 219 and District 69 officials at the signing ceremony, which featured a series of talks by district instructors, and a tour of the high school following the presentation and signing.

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Simon to donate books to Springfield School District PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ken Lowe   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 08:08

SPRINGFIELD — Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will visit Springfield educators Thursday to donate hundreds of books collected as part of a back-to-school book drive her office administered.

Simon will make the donation at a meeting of literacy specialists from schools throughout Springfield School District 186. Simon’s office collected the books at the 2014 Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Throughout the 10-day event, Simon asked fairgoers to bring new and gently-used books to her tent.

Simon’s office will also collect donated books for DuQuoin schools at the DuQuoin State Fair, which opens Friday.

 

DATE: Thursday, Aug. 21

TIME: 12:30 p.m.

LOCATION: District Office Board Room, 1900 W. Monroe St., Springfield

 

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Simon: Skokie school districts put Classrooms First PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ken Lowe   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 13:29

Intergovernmental agreement adopts efficiency, effectiveness reforms

SKOKIE — Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will celebrate an education reform milestone on Wednesday at Niles West High School. School officials will sign a “Classrooms First” agreement, a step toward educational efficiency and effectiveness at Niles Township High School District 219 and Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69.

Beginning this fall, Niles West High School and its largest feeder district will share faculty and instructional tools in order to maximize resources and reduce remediation. The reforms are largely based on the findings of the Classrooms First Commission, which Simon chaired and which issued a report detailing its recommendations in 2012.

Simon will join District 219 and District 69 officials at the signing ceremony, which will feature a series of talks by district instructors and a tour of the high school following the presentation and signing.

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

DATE: Wednesday, Aug. 20

LOCATION: Black Box Theater, Niles West High School, 5701 Oakton St., Skokie

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