Homer 33C opens classrooms for community observation

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High


Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628


For Immediate Release:

Nov. 21, 2016

Homer 33C opens classrooms for community observation


Community leaders returned to the classroom this month to see firsthand how Homer School District 33C is Preparing Future Ready Students.


“School has changed significantly since you and I were in school,” Superintendent Kara Coglianese told the group local bankers, first responders and elected officials on Nov. 17. “Students are more tech-savvy, using Chromebooks, iPads and other 21st century learning tools to help them prepare for the demands of tomorrow.

“We’re preparing students for jobs that haven’t been created yet,” she added.  “Coding is the new language out there. We need to get our children prepared for that.”


In conjunction with American Education Week, Homer School District 33C opened its classrooms for a morning of observation at Homer Junior High School and Hadley Middle School.


About a dozen village trustees, bankers and first responders accepted the district’s invitation to visit the schools and see how students learn today. The outreach program was sponsored by Countryside Bank.

“We want to showcase for the community what we’re doing here,” said Coglianese. “The school is the heart of a community.”


The morning began at the administration center with brief introductions and an overview of the district’s Future Ready initiative. Visitors were then divided into small groups and escorted to various classrooms.


Kathleen Robinson, assistant superintendent for instruction; Christi Tyler, assistant superintendent for business; Michael Portwood, human resources director; and Elizabeth Hitzeman, a retired teacher who now serves on the Board of Education, served as the escorts.


Among the classes they visited were Cathy Clayton’s Spanish class at Homer Junior High; Stephanie Moore’s STEAM lab at Homer Junior High; Celeste Rupsis’ technology class at Hadley Middle School; Joe Cernak’s reading/language arts class at Hadley Middle School; Kaleen DeFilippis’ math class at Hadley Middle School; and Andy Dole’s STEAM class at Hadley Middle School.


The visitors and escorts regrouped in the boardroom afterward to discuss what they had observed.


“I’m amazed,” Village of Homer Glen Trustee Beth Rodgers said after visiting a STEAM lab and Spanish class at Homer Junior High.


“I expected to see kids sitting at desks, looking in the same direction,” added Scott Hurula, director of educational partnerships for Olivet Nazarene University.


Instead, he found students helping each other and engaged in their learning.


“You’ve made the shift from traditional teachers (where teachers stand at the front of a classroom and lecture) to teachers being facilitators,” said Frank Perucca, Will County’s assistant regional superintendent.


Homer 33C has embraced the latest trends in education, agreed Coglianese, encouraging students to collaborate and use their creative thinking skills and critical thinking skills to solve problems.


“If they can think, they can handle anything thrown at them,” she said, explaining how teachers are no longer the “expert” but the facilitator who encourages students to ask questions and then research the answers together.


“It give them confidence to take risks,” she added.


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