Community Partnerships: Lake Forest/Lake Bluff

Our department has a long history of partnerships with the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff school districts.

K-16 Initiative with Lake Forest and Lake Bluff School Districts

The K-16 committee is composed of representatives from Lake Forest School District 67, Lake Bluff School District 65, Lake Forest High School District 115 and Lake Forest College. The committee began meeting during the spring of 2005 and continues to seek ways to tap into community resources and collaborate for the purpose of improving learning for our students and improving staff development/instruction across our communities.

Implementation of Elawa Farm Curriculum

Sheridan Principal, Debby Feeney and LFHS Instructional Director, Jim Sullivan collaborated to provide a learning buddy field trip experience for second graders and high school science students.  The buddies paired up at Elawa Farms for a morning or afternoon environmental science study experience both in the fall and the spring.  The experience was beneficial both from a science learning and socio-emotional wellness perspective. Debby and Jim’s talent and dedication were the keys to the success of this real-world science experience.

Next Steps:
      Shelley Sherman and Julie Cooley are working to expand the Elawa Buddy experience with her Reading and Science Methods students paired up with youngsters from the North Chicago School District. Shelley hopes to have this new phase begun next fall.
      Debby Feeney has received a grant for 2009-10 from the 67 Spirit Foundation to create a permanent Living Museum display at Elawa using the environmental science research and video productions of fifth graders.

Social Studies

Assistant Superintendent Kyle Schumacher and Time Zone Coordinator Susie Oh coordinated the involvement of LFC students in creating the Illinois Famous People station this year.

Assessment & Problem Solving

Dr. Julie Cooley attended a workshop on Assessment of Student Learning held at LFC and participated with the English Department on planning curriculum and assessment.  She also spoke with an LFC Inclusive Learning Environments Class about assessments and the Problem Solving Model.  These college students then pair up with District 67 mentor teachers to observe an included student.

Next Steps:
    Shelley and Rachel would like to include students in their Senior Seminar in either the fall District 67 Data Retreat or individual building grade level teams in District 67 and 115.

Lake Forest College Teacher Candidate Placements

Dr. Rachel Ragland and District 67 & 115 Assistant Superintendent Mike Cyrus met with LFHS Instructional Directors to discuss student teacher placements.  The goal was to increase LFHS teacher confidence in the preparedness of LFC student teachers.  There is one student teacher placement at LFHS this year and one slated for next year.

Next Steps
    Mike Cyrus and Julie Cooley have offered to continue to help Rachel strengthen ties between LFC and LFHS for the purpose of student teacher placements.

Burnham Project

Lake Forest College included teachers and students at LFHS in the Virtual Burnham project.  LFC Professor Davis Schneiderman received a grant to transform the flat images and maps of the Plan of Chicago into 3-D models that overlay modern-day Chicago using Google Earth. LFHS students were invited to take photographs of today’s Chicago and several of the photographers were honored for their excellent work.  One student’s work was featured on a photography book cover.

Next steps
    Although the Virtual Burnham Project has not received additional grant money, the website advertises a grand opening in mid-June.  Please visit: http://vbi.lakeforest.edu/
    Professor Schneiderman will be invited to visit LFHS Social Studies classes to lecture and showcase the Virtual Burnham Project.

Integration of Web 2.0 Applications

 DPM Technology Coach Laura Montgomery conducted an instructional technology session for an LFC Elementary Methods Class this year.  In the class, Laura gave the teacher candidates an overview of integrating technology in instruction. Following her session, LFC students observed the use of technology in various classrooms.

Next Steps:
    Lake Forest College would like to expand observations of authentic uses of technology to the elementary school classrooms.  Technology Coach Bridget Booker will be an excellent resource for continuing this technology connection.