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Credit Recovery in Illinois: Spotlighting Success and Facilitating Conversation

Credit Recovery in Illinois: Spotlighting Success and Facilitating Conversation

Developing a strong professional network should be a large part of every educator’s personal professional development plan. Having a go-to group of fellow educators to share ideas, work through challenges, and simply offer some moral support is an invaluable asset both for improving your own practice and staying inspired. But, for educators already struggling to find 10 minutes for lunch on a daily basis, how can you ensure that you’re able to make time for this kind of networking?

At Edmentum, we value the ability to leverage our own extensive network of partners and employees with deep expertise to provide opportunities for educators to connect and develop a means to connect, whether that’s through sharing best practices in a webinar or facilitating a local event for educators to problem-solve and share stories.

At one such event this fall, we were excited to host a “lunch and learn” for educators from districts throughout the state of Illinois, including Thornton #205, Waukegan #60, Barrington #220, Geneva #304, Batavia #101, and Kane County Regional Office. Together, we tackled some of the most common questions that come up when planning for and managing a credit recovery program. We also looked at how one of Edmentum’s partners, Central School District #301, has realized huge success through its commitment to specific processes to support mastery and on-time graduation. 

During the event, we covered new ideas on how to use Edmentum Courseware for credit recovery; looked at how to maximize the program’s features, functionality, and curriculum materials, such as guided notes; and discussed how to use Courseware to provide summer school offerings in a virtual setting. Central #301 has made outstanding use of guided notes in its program, and we spent a lot of time focusing on the best practices it has determined. Here’s a bit about how the team at Central #301 currently uses guided notes:

To bolster students’ academic skills, notetaking plays a critical role at Central Academy, Central High School credit recovery program. Guided notes have been created for each course that utilize scaffolding principles, supporting students as they learn not only how to master the content itself but also how to best organize their thinking. Early units have extensive guided notes that provide content along with graphic organizers, prescribed outlines, and concept maps. In contrast, later units are self-guided, with students responsible for emulating the notetaking skills learned earlier.

Utilizing the guided notes strategy has brought students’ time-on-task to over 85 percent, freeing up teachers to spend more time conferencing with students who need help and monitoring progress. By providing such a clear framework, higher-ability students are encouraged to take their time through a lesson and properly absorb information rather than speed through, while struggling students are allowed to focus on identifying essential information and organizing it. Acceptable notes are students’ “tickets” to mastery and unit tests.

In addition to facilitating a great credit recovery conversation, multiple Edmentum team members were able to attend this lunch and learn to gather specific feedback from the Illinois educators who participated. Our team members talked to attendees about the expansion of additional guided notes in Courseware; further suggestions for where to use guided notes and why; the value of analytics reports currently available in Courseware, as well as new reports being developed; and of course, “wish list” features, functionality, and content that educators would like to see in Edmentum programs. Our team never misses an opportunity to gather feedback!

We are so glad to have been able to facilitate a networking opportunity for Illinois educators and start a discussion about the varied approaches educators are using to meet the unique needs of their students. Interested in learning more about Central School District #301’s success in supporting credit recovery? Read about how it is Providing a Roadmap to Graduation and Beyond in Burlington, IL!