New reading course added at Lake Zurich H.S.
Mary Ann Eiserman, an English teacher at Lake Zurich High School, goes over a lesson with a class at beginning of this school year. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 7:00AM
LAKE ZURICH — In an effort to better align itself with both its own set of school-improvement plan goals for 2012–13 and the Illinois State Board of Education’s Common Core standards, Lake Zurich High School will be implementing a pass/fail sophomore course, Reading Strategies II, to the high school’s class offerings.
The Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 Board of Education recently accepted administration’s recommendation to add the new course as part of the district’s larger two-year School Improvement Plan, the first part of which was submitted to the Illinois State Board of Education during school year 2011–12.
District officials were required to submit a two-year plan for three of its schools during the 2011-12 school year when their Illinois Interactive Report Cards showed that they had not met Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years.
Assistant Superintendent Jody Wirt reported in October that she and the district’s administration had begun rewriting the math and reading curriculums to further accommodate the ISBE’s Common Core standards.
On Dec. 20 Wirt explained that adding the Strategies II course to the curriculum would serve to address the part of the district’s improvement plan to “align and develop curriculum, innovative instruction practices, and learning opportunities that promote rigorous learning, promote connections to global issues and support students’ pursuit of personally meaningful goals.”
Noting the difference in direction she and Assistant Principal of Curriculum Eric Hamilton proposed to take in their presentation from Jan. 2011, Wirt explained to the board that the Strategies II course would focus more on literacy than mathematics.
Changes to the district’s reading curriculum have so far included a heavier emphasis on nonfiction reading and the strategies used in understanding fiction versus nonfiction. These changes were specifically developed into a course called Strategies I to support freshmen who needed to improve upon their reading skills.
In general, Reading Strategies II will be set up to help sophomore students improve their comprehension and vocabulary, as well as teach them new reading and writing tactics to help them better understand and convey information across all school subjects.
The tentative cost to write the curriculum would be $1,600, with an additional $2,250 for materials and textbooks. Wirt estimated that it would cost $3,600 to develop the course, which would be covered by the curriculum office’s budget.