Woodstock – Last week, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced that Woodstock Community Unit School District (CUSD) 200 will receive a Teacher Residency Planning Grant for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year and possibly the 2020-2021 school year as well. School districts receiving the grant funding will collaborate with institutions of higher education to plan teacher residency programs. Once fully implemented, the residency program will assist high-need school districts in relieving chronic teacher shortages.
On its website, ISBE states, “Teacher residencies place a teacher candidate in a classroom with a certified teacher to learn alongside them, similar to the residency model in the field of medicine. According to the Learning Policy Institute, ‘Research suggests that well-designed and well-implemented teacher residency models can create long-term benefits for districts, for schools, and ultimately and most importantly, for the students they serve.’”
In the 2019-2020 school year, Woodstock CUSD 200 will receive $50,000 from ISBE to assist with planning activities related to the new teacher residency program. If the district’s proposal meets certain criteria from ISBE after the first year, the District will be eligible for an additional $200,000 in grant funding to fully establish the residency program the following school year.
Rep. Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) issued the following statement in reaction to ISBE’s grant announcement:
“This grant from the Illinois State Board of Education is welcome news for Woodstock CUSD 200. Schools in McHenry County and across Illinois have faced chronic teacher shortages for years, placing burdens on school faculty and students alike. Encouraging new types of training, such as this residency program, will give teachers the training they need to succeed and ultimately produce better learning environments for students. It is my hope that this program will be successfully implemented in Woodstock, and will alleviate chronic teacher shortages and then be replicated in other districts across the state.”