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Illinois Administrators’ ESSA-Aligned Guide to Planning for the New School Year

Illinois Administrators’ ESSA-Aligned Guide to Planning for the New School Year

Summer is in full swing, but district and school administrators are hard at work planning for the 2019–20 school year, and the first day of school always comes sooner than expected. To support you in this process (and save you a little time to enjoy the sunshine!), we've assembled a curated list of our best resources aligned to goals outlined by the Illinois ESSA plan.

Boost Illinois Standards Mastery and State Test Achievement

Illinois is implementing a forward-thinking approach focused on supporting the whole child. The Illinois Learning Standards will continue to prioritize strong academic achievement and emphasize continuous student growth. Utilize the following guides to take a fresh approach to your instructional programs or refine your current practices.

Formative Assessment Workbook

Frequent, standards-based formative assessments are a critical piece of effective data-driven instruction to support individual student progress. Our formative assessment workbook provides a framework for implementing formative assessments throughout the lesson cycle, identifying student skill gaps early and determining effective interventions. Its planning forms and data-tracking worksheets can be used across multiple subjects and grade levels.

Reading & Literacy

A strong foundation in literacy is key to future academic success in any subject, and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) acknowledges this with its long-term goal of 90% of 3rd grade students reading at or above grade level. This workbook evaluates the many facets of structuring an effective, research-based reading and language arts block and helps you select the appropriate technology tools to support your approach.  

Blended Learning Workbook

Bring the best parts of online learning and traditional instruction together in a blended learning program. Blended learning programs come in many forms and enable scalable personalized learning. Use this workbook to get your district’s or school's blended learning program started.

Address Achievement Gaps and Support English Learners and Special Education Students

With a long-term goal of at 90% of students across all subgroups scoring proficient or higher on each state test by the close of the 2032 school year, Illinois demonstrates its commitment to educating all students. The following resources provide strategies for meeting the needs of special student populations.

Special Populations Program Planning Worksheet

Use this worksheet to plan programs to address the needs of special populations of students. 

Personalized Learning Workbook

Personalized learning allows educators to meet the varying needs of all learners, improving learning outcomes. This workbook takes the guesswork out of personalized learning by providing a step-by-step plan from development to implementation.

ELL Blog Collection

Illinois is dedicated to supporting ELLs through its use of the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 exam, and the ISBE has set the rigorous long-term goal of 90% of all ELLs achieving satisfactory five-year progress toward English-language proficiency. This collection of blog posts addresses topics like back-to-school strategies to support ELLs, ways to prepare ELLs for high-stakes assessments, and more. 

Special Education Blog Collection

This collection of blog posts addresses topics like dyslexia, ways to navigate IEP meetings, ADHD, and trends in special education.

Support Graduation Rates

Illinois has raised the bar for graduation expectations by setting a long-term goal of 90% of students to graduate in four years by 2032. Make sure that your school has a credit recovery program in place so that all students who fall behind can catch up and graduate on time. ISBE expects local education agencies (LEAs) to provide credit recovery opportunities through online learning, learning labs, and computerized modules through options such as the Illinois Virtual School (IVS).

Credit Recovery Worksheet

Our credit recovery worksheet will show you how to set up a new program or enhance your current credit recovery offering.

Ensure College and Career Readiness

Illinois is putting college and career readiness at the forefront by setting an ambitious goal requiring 90% or more of students who graduate on time to be ready for both college and careers. This supports a broader state goal that calls for 60% of all Illinois state residents to earn high-quality degrees or postsecondary credentials by 2025. The following resources will help you open the door to several options in support of this initiative.

CTE Planning Workbook

CTE programs have been shown to increase engagement, improve outcomes for enrolled students, and support attainment of in-demand credentials. Use our CTE workbook to plan a new program, or utilize it as a guide to augment your current one. 

Online Curriculum for Intervention, Acceleration, and Differentiation

Online curriculum can open up a world of college- and career-focused courses to students that their schools may not otherwise be able to offer, including Advanced Placement®, CTE, SAT®, ACT®, and WorkKeys® assessment preparation. Our online curriculum guide discusses several different ways that online curriculum can be used, and it even includes a worksheet to guide the process of identifying a provider that meets your needs.

Virtual Learning

A virtual implementation may help your school or district offer more flexible and expansive course options to serve populations in need. Use this workbook to evaluate if a virtual implementation is the best option for your school and get guidance on developing a program and selecting a digital provider.

Looking for online programs to help your school or district improve outcomes for all students? Check out Edmentum's suite of K–12 evidence-based assessments and digital curriculum, and see why over 8,000 districts in the nation partner with us.

This blog post was originally published on July 24, 2018.'s picture
Carmen Palmer

Carmen Palmer lives in the Minneapolis area and serves as a Marketing Manager on the Edmentum team. She graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a degree in creative writing and literature. Carmen loves to read and is passionate about literacy and education.