- Evanston/Skokie School District 65
D65 Board Approves Teacher Apprenticeship Program
D65 Board Approves Teacher Apprenticeship Program in Proactive Move to Reduce Teacher Shortage
The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education at its meeting Sept. 19, 2022 approved a partnership with BloomBoard, Inc. (BBI) to address anticipated teacher shortages with a Teacher Apprenticeship Program. The partnership offers District 65 paraprofessionals on-the-job professional learning opportunities to prepare, promote and advance them in their professional journey toward teaching.
Ten paraprofessionals will be selected for the Teacher Apprenticeship Program and can earn up to 60 credit hours by completing 20 courses.
“This partnership is helping us grow our own hard-working, enthusiastic talented paraprofessionals who aspire to become teachers,” said Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton. “Growing our own staff who know and support our students is key to ensuring the unique needs of all students and at the same time establish a continuous pipeline of dedicated educators who share the District’s commitment.”
The program will likely involve more diverse individuals, as paraprofessionals in District 65 tend to reflect the District’s student population. Studies show that students – especially those of color – benefit from being taught by teachers of color.
The program will be individualized as some or most individuals may have credits toward a college degree. The program will be turnkey and include a combination of on-line and synchronous learning processes provided by BloomBoard’s higher education partners. The program will involve components unique to BBI such as on-the-job learning model, collaboration tools, facilitation coaches, structured cohort learning events and portfolio development. The District and BBI will begin to recruit and select participants this fall. The cost is $135,00 for the first year for 10 participants.
“This partnership gives our hard-working staff a voice and a choice in their learning,” said Dr. Afina Lockhart, Director CREATE Teacher Residency. “This is a critical tool to ensure a diverse pathway of qualified teachers that will also benefit our students.”