Oak Park elementary school District 97’s curriculum department will receive an overhaul in the coming months.
With the departure of curriculum director Lisa Schwartz, Supt. Al Roberts said he’s exploring revamping the department and plans to discuss those ideas with the Board of Education this month.
Schwartz was hired in July 2010, just a few months after Roberts was hired as superintendent. She was one of two “curriculum coordinators” hired for the district, the other being former Hillcrest Elementary School Principal Duane Meighan. In 2012, Meighan left to become director of teaching and learning in Arlington Heights School District 25.
After initially considering a replacement for Meighan, Roberts placed Schwartz over the entire curriculum department. She announced in March that she’s leaving the post for a similar position in District 68 in Skokie.
D97’s curriculum department has seen several leadership changes since Roberts’ hiring.
Kevin Anderson, who oversaw the department since 2005, left in 2011 for the superintendent job in Elmwood Park’s unit school district. The assistant superintendent for teaching and learning position was eliminated thereafter.
Roberts said he wanted to share his ideas about the department with the board first and declined to provide too many details. But Roberts said that administration overall is “small” relative to the size of the district, which has close to 6,000 students enrolled. The administrative ranks were downsized prior to Roberts’ hiring, with the curriculum department currently staffed with eight people.
“We’ve had some stretches on teaching and learning this year with all that’s coming at us with state and federal, as well as our own curriculum needs. And so, I’m looking at how we would replace Lisa, and how we might split up some of the duties differently,” Roberts said.
Changes for OPRF’s special education department
Oak Park and River Forest High School is planning a revamp of its special education and health services department following the announced resignation of administrative leader Tina Halliman.
Halliman will take over as superintendent of south suburban Blue Island School District 130. Her last day at OPRF is Friday. A native of Harvey, Halliman grew up in Blue Island and was hired from there in 2010 to become OPRF’s director of special education. She was director of pupil support services in D130. In 2012, Halliman moved up in position at OPRF, with the new title of assistant superintendent for pupil support services — special ed and student health services are under that job description.
The school that year also hired Laura Faber to oversee special education as ‘division
director.’ Faber is also leaving OPRF but will stay on through June 30.
OPRF will have an interim director of pupil personnel services for the 2014-2015 school year, says Supt. Steven Isoye. He says he plans to work with current staff to determine the department’s needs, as well as an outside consultant to review the current program. Isoye says a permanent director will be in place in 2015.