Welcome to the Eastland CUSD #308 website. The format and the content have been designed to serve students, staff, and visitors to our district. We encourage your feedback.
Public education is an era of unprecedented change. During a period like this, we may feel the urge to slow down, question or even resist. Significant change requires sustained effort and good will. Because people understand this, some also understand that with enough resistance, the reform will fail. Eastland has deliberately chosen a different path – we are embracing the fundamental, positive, and profound shifts to public education in the United States.
These shifts can be summarized as follows:
1. A change from a focus on inputs to a new focus on outcomes.
In order to determine if instruction is effective, we must determine if students are learning.
2. A change from individual to shared accountability, with high levels of educator, parent, and student ownership of learning outcomes.
Learning requires disciplined effort from all of the central stakeholders: the teacher, the parent and the student.
3. A change in the instructional focus, from an emphasis on content knowledge to a new focus on the quality of students’ thinking and problem-solving.
Effective lessons evoke student engaged learning and learning conversations among students; the teacher facilitates learning at least as often as he/ she dominates or directs it.
4. A change from differentiated to common expectations that all students master rigorous standards in reading, writing and math.
Regardless of their post-graduation plans for employment, all students must be able to read complex text, communicate clearly, and apply mathematics to solve problems.
5. A change from using static instructional tools to dynamic instructional technologies.
Technology is the primary tool for learning, working, communicating, and collaborating in the 21st century; it needs to be the primary instructional tool in our schools.
The Eastland administrators, support staff, teachers and Board of Education agreed in 2011-12 to participate as one of 36 “Race to the Top” (RT3) districts in Illinois. We did this at a time of diminishing local, state and federal resources. While it might seem counter-intuitive to take on new initiatives during a time of decline, we felt the economic circumstances made it more important that we participate in order to discipline how we manage our time and our money to improve student outcomes.
As an RT3 District, Eastland is implementing educational reforms at an accelerated pace, including aligning our curriculum to the Common Core State Standards, implementing a standards-based reporting system, participating in the Illinois Shared Learning Environment, and piloting the new assessments aligned to the Common Core. In preparation for these demands, Eastland teachers and administrators have attended summer workshops and conferences in Chicago, North Carolina and Nevada, in addition to over 15 days of on-site training on Common Core Alignment and the use of technology in the classroom.
Our standard is “accountability for all”: the professional staff, students, parents, and Board of Education. It is when these stakeholders work together that continuous improvement becomes part of the common culture that is EASTLAND.