Sunday, February 17, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Proviso Township High Schools District 209 officials recently announced that they’ve partnered with an area college to offer more bilingual training and certification to teachers in the district.
In a statement released Feb. 14, D209 officials said that they’ve secured a partnership with the School of Education at Dominican University in River Forest to offer state teaching endorsements in English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education to district teachers.
So far, 21 teachers from a variety of content areas — including English, special education, math, science, family and consumer education, physical education, driver’s education and health education — have registered to take an 18-credit, three-semester program that began on Jan. 10.
In a follow-up statement made in response to questions about the program’s cost, district officials said that the program is provided “at a reduced cost” to teachers.
“The district is covering program costs through local, federal and matching grant dollars,” officials said.
District officials said that the program is a way to mitigate a chronic problem within the district — that of trying to find qualified bilingual teachers “due to a mass shortage, fewer people choosing teaching careers” and the “exponential” growth of learners who come from homes where the first language spoken is not English.
“We have amazing talent right here in our district in teachers who already know these kids. Why wouldn’t we capitalize on our own strengths?” said Tony Brazouski, D209’s assistant superintendent of human resources, athletics, and safety.
In the statement, D209 officials said that Colleen Reardon, the director of Dominican’s School of Education, and Ben Mueller, a senior graduate marketing and recruiting coordinator, spearheaded the work that led to the program.
Officials said that Reardon and Mueller have also “opened the door to other continued partnerships including a joint grant to address further teacher shortages and a site visits to [Proviso Math and Science Academy in late November by a Chinese delegation of educators through the university.”
District 209 Supt. Jesse Rodriguez said in the statement that the district recognizes “the need of our community and look forward to the opportunity of providing exemplary services to all students through partnerships.” VFP
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