SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA are hosting a Back-to-School Webinar for parents at 7 p.m. Sept. 23. State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D., and Illinois PTA President Matthew Rodriguez will discuss statewide education initiatives and how parents and schools can work together to help their students thrive.
“Engaged families are crucial to a child’s healthy development and education, and the State Board of Education is committed to providing the tools and resources necessary to build effective relationships between parents, educators, and the community,” said Dr. Smith.
During the one-hour event, he will outline his five key areas of focus to guide ISBE’s initiatives. These are:
- Money – Establish an adequate and equitable education finance system
- Quality – Common definition of, and fair access to, quality education
- Autonomy – Maximize district autonomy to provide quality education to all families
- Competency – Encourage competency-based learning
- Community – Districts and schools as centers of healthy communities
“There are multiple studies that show and confirm that parent involvement directly relates to student success,” Rodriguez said. “I am very proud to join Superintendent Smith in this webinar so we can address in real time some of the concerns and questions from parents around the state. Our partnership with ISBE is essential to create the most effective parent, teacher, and student relationship.”
The webinar will discuss the upcoming score report release for the first administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam and how results will look much different than scores from previous state tests. This change does not mean Illinois students are learning less or are less capable. The PARCC exam scores will simply reflect higher expectations for what students should know and be able to do to stay on track for college and careers. The PARCC exam will return in spring 2016 with a shorter, simpler format to improve the testing process while still providing reliable and valid information about student achievement. Parents will also hear more about a new science assessment that will be given to students this school year.
Speakers will also discuss ISBE’s guidance for schools to strengthen and nurture family engagement to build meaningful and productive partnerships with parents and caregivers. Parents will also have the opportunity to learn more about helpful resources, including the award-winning Illinois Report Card
and the 5Essentials Survey
This is the second year that ISBE and the Illinois PTA have partnered to present a Back-to-School Webinar for parents. Nearly 400 people participated in last year’s event.