'Innovation' Plan on Hold in Dist. 303 after Backlash

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

'Innovation' Plan on Hold in Dist. 303 after Backlash


Byline: Lauren Rohr lrohr@dailyherald.com

A St. Charles Unit District 303 plan to restructure its schools' learning resource centers sparked confusion and concern among parents, causing district officials to halt any changes for the next academic year.

The proposal aimed to help the district's LRC programs become more innovative by reorganizing their staffing structures, spokeswoman Carol Smith said. Some LRC positions would have been transitioned into innovation specialists, a new role focused on providing different methods for learning, teaching, collaborating and conducting research.

"It was really kind of shifting around and making sure that people a are in the jobs that utilize their skill sets in the best ways," Smith said. "It was a restructuring of the way LRCs operate."

Administrators introduced the proposed changes last week to LRC employees, who are school librarians and media specialists. It wasn't long before the news began circling on social media, leading some community members to believe LRC staff members would be laid off or school libraries would be closed.

Neither of those options was being considered, school board President Kathy Hewell said, noting the changes largely pertained to job descriptions. The plan would have maintained some LRC director positions and created district librarian roles, which would have centered on literacy and content collection at each education level.

"Social media is very powerful, and while it's a good place to get information, it can also perpetuate misinformation," Smith said. "That was what we saw in this case."

The plan was developed by a special Technology, Innovation and Digital Education committee, created last year to establish a "districtwide vision for innovation," said Megan Mkrtschjan, assistant director of curriculum. …

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