Des Plaines School District 62, Illinois

Dr. Jane Westerhold, Superintendent for Des Plaines Community Consolidated School District 62 in Illinois, first introduced myON to the district as a literacy resource, to provide greater access to engaging books for students in K-8. “I wanted it to be about reading and instilling a love of reading,” she said.

While myON was the superintendent’s initiative, it was the responsibility of Dr. Jan Rashid, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services, to manage the implementation. Through their collaboration, the scope was broadened and myON is now used across the curriculum and supports the development of 21st century skills. 

 

“I wanted it to be about reading and instilling a love of reading."

“As we interacted more with myON, we saw that it could be more widely utilized in the classrooms as a supplemental resource to increase rigor in the content areas,” Dr. Rashid explained. “In addition, reading digital text is different from reading print text, and is a skill that needs to be practiced. Embedding that practice into what the students do every day is important, not just for testing and assessments, but for their future success in life.”

Today, students are using the literacy tools within myON to build critical thinking, collaboration, communication and close reading skills. Within the myON environment, they read, annotate, highlight, and take notes in a digital journal.

To prepare staff and school leaders to fully utilize the key features of myON within their own areas of responsibility, the district offered “classification-specific” professional development. For example, teachers learn how to create lesson plans with myON in alignment with other tools the teachers are using, while support for principals focuses on their leadership role and effective use of data.

"As we interacted more with myON, we saw that it could be more widely utilized in the classrooms as a supplemental resource to increase rigor in the content areas."

Reaction from students, parents, staff and the school board have been very positive, according to Dr. Westerhold. She shares data on the amount of time students spend reading on myON with the board, so they can see the level of student interest in reading as well as the district’s return on investment. Funding for myON is part of their regular operating budget, along with other supplemental resources.

“We see myON as making absolute sense as we shift our curriculum to meet the future expectations our students will face,” Dr. Westerhold concluded.