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College and Career Readiness Begins at Birth  

Birth to Third Grade Alignment Symposium - Connecting the Dots for Student Success

To strengthen Illinois' education to employment pipeline, Governor Quinn has set a goal of increasing the proportion of Illinoisans with high quality postsecondary degree or credentials of 60% by 2025 and he recognizes the importance of strengthening the state's education system from early childhood through postsecondary in meeting this goal. Studies show that critical brain development takes place during the first years of life, meaning that preparing a child for success in college, careers, and beyond begins as early as birth. To ensure that all children in Illinois begin school healthy and ready to learn, the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development along with policymakers, practitioners, researchers, advocates, foundations, and other key partners have continued to work together to enhance the alignment of our systems and to strengthen coordination across the continuum of early learning. 
The Governor's College and Career Readiness Begins at Birth Symposium, held on April 10, 2014 at Northern Illinois University in Naperville, provided an important opportunity for bringing together national and state experts, regional office of education and district leaders, program administrators, and educators from across Illinois' early learning community to discuss the critical links between early childhood and early elementary as well as strategies for better aligning our efforts to maximize support from young learners from birth to age 8 and ensure their success in school and beyond.                      

Symposium made possible by the generous support of the National Governor's Association and the Midwest Comprehensive Center.  


Biographies of Presenters and Panelists

Workshop Descriptions

Opening Remarks
Sara Silverman, National Governor's Association

Keynote Address: "Setting the Stage for a Birth to Third Grade Education Continuum"
Kristie Kauerz, University of Washington

Morning Workshops

"Evaluation of Teacher Practice and the Use of Student Growth"
Vicki Phillips, Illinois State Board of Education
Mary O'Brian, Illinois State Board of Education

"Meeting the Needs of Young English Learners"
Reyna Hernandez, Center for Language and Early Childhood Development - Illinois State Board of Education
Pat Chamberlain, Erikson Institute
Julie Kallenbach, Elgin District U-46
Wilma Valero, Elgin District U-46
Kathy Villano, Early Childhood Development Enrichment Center

"Illinois Standards for a Continuum of Learning"
Chris Maxwell, Erikson Institute

"KIDS Statewide Pilot"
Cindy Zumwalt, Illinois State Board of Education
Mary Ellen Wodzisz, WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies

"Advanced Discussion on Birth to Third Grade System of Education"
 Kristie Kauerz, University of Washington

Luncheon Keynote Address: "Overview of ExceleRate Illinois"
Gail Nelson, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development

Afternoon Workshops

"Using the Danielson Framework for Teaching to Assess and Improve PreK-3rd Grade Teachers' Practice"
Lisa Hood, Illinois State University
Debra Kasperski, Illinois State University

"Integrating the Early Learning and Common Core Standards"
Chris Maxwell, Erikson Institute

"Using Standards to Instructionally Support English Learners"
Pat Chamberlain, Erikson Institute

"Kindergarten as a Critical Link"
Cindy Zumwalt, Illinois State Board of Education
Reyna Hernandez, Illinois State Board of Education

"Building Effective Practices for a PreK-3rd Grade System"
Facilitator: Amy Perona, Illinois State University
Staci Mandros, McLean County Unit District 5
Mallory Warner-Richter, University of Minnesota
Terra Ellingson, Erikson Institute 

Additional Resources

Early Learning and Early Elementary Vocabulary Crosswalk

Eric Gershenson, Oak Park Collaboration for Early Childhood Integrated System - System Overview

ExceleRate Illinois

Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development -  Top Ten List: Integrating Birth to Third Grade Policies and Practices to Improve Learning Outcomes

IL State Board of Education (ISBE) - Family Engagement Framework Guide (January 2014)

Illinois State Board of Education - Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS)

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Stakeholder Committee - A New Beginning: The Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey report (April 2011)

Kristie Kauerz - Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating PreK - 3rd Grade Approaches (March 2013)

National Governor's Association (NGA) - Leading for Early Success: Building School Principals' Capacity to Lead High-Quality Early Education (May 2013) 

National Governor's Association (NGA) - Governor's Role in Aligning Early Education and K-12 Reforms: Challenges, Opportunities, and Benefits for Children (October 2012)

WIDA Standards, Assessment, and Instruction