STAGE has learned that District 203 plans to eliminate the position of LEAP Assistants, Reading Specialist and Enrichment Assistants and create an Instructional Assistant position. Each Instructional Assistant will be assigned to two or three classrooms in grades K-2. The Instructional Assistant will provide differentiated instruction to students based on the classroom teacher’s instructions. The District claims that this will provide more flexibility and opportunities for enrichment in all core subjects, just not math and literacy. Pull-out enrichment and LEAP will be eliminated and differentiated enrichment is to be provided in the classroom.
There would be no Instructional Assistants in grade 3 through 5, even though some pull out enrichment is being done currently in those grades. The District states that differentiation training has been provided to teachers and will be provided to Instructional Assistants. It is unclear at this time whether the total number of hours of assistance will be less, the same or increase under this proposal.
STAGE has been told that this proposal will be voted on at the Board of Education meeting on April 7th, but District officials neither confirmed nor denied this information. STAGE will monitor the Board website to review the Agenda for the meeting on the 7th.
Look for more information from STAGE as the process continues. At every Board meeting there is an opportunity for citizens to address the Board on issues like enrichment in support or opposition.