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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Early dismissal for early planning

Info+graphic+poster+displayed+at+the+BELA+building+shows+the+goals+of+Harrisburg+Unit+3.
Leah Haugen
Info graphic poster displayed at the BELA building shows the goals of Harrisburg Unit 3.

Harrisburg schools dismiss at 11:30 a.m. on the last Friday of every month this semester. Harrisburg district teachers use this time to plan curriculum and ensure that students are getting the most out of their education.

Teacher institute days are planned by schools depending on that district’s needs.

“As a school, we have to have a certain number of school improvement hours. For instance, the high school English department will meet with the middle school English department and do curriculum mapping,” said principal John Crabb.

Teacher institute days usually start in January continuing until the end of the school year in May. Each month, school dismisses at 11:30 a.m. so teachers have time to plan material and reach their district goals. 

There are many goals for teacher institute meetings. These goals ensure that students are on the right track for their education.

“Goals of these meetings include data reviews of state testing and diagnostic testing to help guide instruction, fulfilling state mandated training, curriculum alignment, collaboration between grade levels, and social emotional learning standard,” said District Curriculum Coordinator  Natalie Fry.

Teachers use this time to collaborate, work on professional development, and fulfill mandates from the state. Collaboration between grade levels is common to ensure students are learning at the rate they should. For example, West Side teachers will meet with East Side teachers to review this data and plan accordingly. Mandated training includes DCFS mandated reporting, First Aid, CPR, Bloodborne Pathogens, and others are also required by school districts.

“Our teachers and administration are always looking at multiple pieces of data to determine if we are meeting goals and expectations,” Fry said. “All of our schools have a rating of commendable from the state due to meeting academic goals. BELA has a gold rating which is the highest recognition.” 

Data reviews are also important to verify that changes made are positively benefiting the school. These follow up actions ensure that districts and schools are meeting their personal goals through these meetings. 

“The professional development days give the district time to celebrate our successes and plan for the future,” Fry said.

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Leah Haugen, Staff Writer
Leah Haugen is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her first year as a staff member of the Purple Clarion. She participates in Art Club, History Club, and Key Club.  Leah has an interest in psychology and the medical field. In her free time, she watches medical documentaries and regularly researches psychological concepts. After graduation, she plans to attend SIU to obtain a degree in psychiatry. “Student journalism allows others to be up to date on news in their local community and the world around them through the help of their school’s newspaper team.”

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