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Professional Development

Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 promotes continuous learning through ongoing, job-embedded professional development. Quality professional development expands the capacity of the learning community by providing school staff with the content, process, knowledge, and skills to help all students achieve the District’s learner objectives as well as the mission.

Lake Zurich CUSD 95’s goals are to:

  1. Provide effective professional development linked to the District’s mission and school improvement goals by focusing on specific content knowledge and impactful instructional strategies.
  2. Promote continuous learning across all levels of education for the entire learning community and to ensure that such learning is incorporated into the teaching and learning process.
  3. Provide effective professional development that is continuous over time, research-based, and culturally relevant.

District 95 offers professional development for teachers through the following structures.


  Curriculum Committees

Focus: Direct training/Curriculum development/Cohort Support/Instructional Planning

Committees are comprised of one teacher per grade level from each building and include specialists in that content area. There are also staff representation from special education and English Learners. These groups of teachers work as a cohort to collaboratively design modules, units, lessons, assessments, etc. to increase understanding and mastery of critical knowledge/skills in alignment with district and/or state benchmarks.  Additionally, the committee identifies instructional strategies and techniques to enhance student achievement. Curriculum committees may meet monthly during the first two phases of development.

  Institute Day Strands

Focus:  Sustained Professional Development

Effective implementation of the curriculum is dependent on a coherent professional development plan. Teachers choose a topic to study for the year.  During institute days, teachers explore and plan to implement the instructional strategies being studied. This includes time to collaboratively develop lesson plans, reflect on the implementation and revise as necessary. The District has five dates identified as Teacher Institute days and one day identified as Teacher In-Service dedicated to the implementation of technology.

  Early Release Days

Focus: School Improvement Planning

These school-based learning opportunities allow a staff to advance their School Improvement Plans through book studies, data analysis, reflective discussion/planning, and staff led direct training.

  Professional Learning Communities

Focus: Job embedded professional development/collaboration

Job-alike teachers form a professional learning community that meets regularly to collaborate toward a shared curricular-focused vision. These teachers support and work with one another to address the following questions:

  • What evidence do we have the students are achieving?
  • What instructional practices would further enhance student learning?
  • How do we support and meet the learning needs of all students?

Professional Learning Community teams meet weekly.

  In-District Workshops

Focus: Direct training/job embedded professional development

These “just-in-time” on-site workshops support teachers with job-embedded professional learning for newly implemented curriculum or structures. These workshops may include case studies, lesson studies, demonstration lessons, and coaching support.

While the district offers a variety of workshops, the district has identified and provided a graduate level course which is the foundation for impactful teaching and learning in Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95. This course is essential for the rest of our work.  In order to engage in meaningful conversations about professional practice, members of the educational community must have a shared understanding of the knowledge and skills that promote learning.  Since 2010, the district has offered the graduate course Studying Skillful Teaching: Using Data Day-To-Day. 

  Out-of-District Conferences or Workshops

Focus: Leadership and program development

Teachers and administrators may attend conferences or workshops offered outside the district. Approval and funding of out-of-district professional development is based on a pre-approval process. Areas under curriculum development are given priority.

  School Improvement Process/Action Planning

Focus: Data analysis and action research

School teams analyze data and current practices to identify trends which may impact student achievement. Teams work collaboratively to develop an action plan with measurable outcomes to monitor progress.

District 95 administrators often lead and participate in the professional development offered to teachers.  This necessitates targeted professional development for administrators which is provided through:

  • Administrator Academy Courses

Annually the District offers a full day Administrator’s Academy course that is aligned to the District Improvement Plan or district goals.

  • District Leadership Professional Learning Meetings

On a monthly basis during the school year, and on a weekly basis during the summer, the District Leadership team participates in sustained professional development on topics that are aligned to the District Improvement Plan or district goals.

  • Analyzing Teaching for Student Results

A graduate course focused on providing specific feedback to teachers.

Mobile Learning Initiative

Curriculum News

Preschool Screening for Children 3-5 Years Old Child Find screening will be held for children between the ages of 3 years to 5 years who reside within the Lake Zurich CUSD 95 boundaries.
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