Illinois CSI Staff Roles and Responsibilities
As part of the mission of the Illinois Center for School Improvement (Illinois CSI) to lead the delivery of high-quality, research-based statewide system of support (SSoS) services, a leadership team structure has been designed to raise student performance by increasing district-level capacity for exceptional teaching and learning in every part of Illinois. The table below outlines the team reporting structure and their roles.
The executive director oversees daily operations and provides visionary and strategic leadership for the Illinois Center for School Improvement (Illinois CSI). The executive director manages the full implementation of Illinois CSI activities and services by providing guidance, leadership, and resources to managers and district service providers and by collaborating with the various statewide system of support (SSoS) partners, such as regional offices of education and intermediate service centers, to align and coordinate services. To ensure that Illinois CSI activities are aligned with Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) objectives, the director maintains regular and ongoing communication with the state’s deputy superintendent of schools and the ISBE Roundtable.
Serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the deputy director reports to the executive director and is charged with identifying structures that are needed to build district capacity and facilitating consistent and effective communication between Illinois CSI and district leaders. In collaboration with the associate director, instructional design and staff development, the deputy director leads a statewide team of assistant directors, district services and works with SSoS partners to align and coordinate services. In addition, the deputy director reviews and monitors services for quality and impact and supervises and develops Illinois CSI support staff.
Associate Director, Instructional Design and Staff Development
Serving as a member of the Illinois CSI senior leadership team, the associate director, instructional design and staff development reports to the executive director and oversees Illinois CSI staff assigned to collaborate with districts that receive priority and focus services. The associate director, instructional design and staff development collaborates with the deputy director to lead a statewide team of assistant directors, district services and works with SSoS partners to align and coordinate services. The associate director, instructional design and staff development also reviews and monitors services for quality and impact and supervises and develops Illinois CSI support staff.
Associate Director, District Resources
The associate director, district resources, reports to the executive director and serves as a member of the Illinois CSI senior leadership team. This person leads, supervises, and develops Illinois CSI's team of instructional support specialists. In addition, he or she applies the Core Functions and Indicators to deliver Illinois CSI supports that build district capacity across the state's 10 regions. The associate director, district resources reviews and monitors curriculum and instructional support services to deploy specialists with district assistance teams as appropriate to connect relevant services from Illinois CSI statewide partners to the state's school districts. This director also supervises the work of the assistant director of partner services and promotes regular communication among Illinois CSI staff, Regional Offices of Education, Intermediate Service Centers, and statewide partners to ensure coherence, consistency, and effective services delivery.
Senior Performance Officer
As a member of the senior leadership team, the senior performance management officer reports to the executive director and is charged with providing strategic leadership by leading the design and implementation of the performance management system for Illinois CSI. The performance management system tracks and assesses the impact of Statewide System of Support (SSoS) services in school districts throughout the state. In addition, this role analyzes, diagnoses, and recommends solutions and supportive interventions to assist Illinois CSI staff in serving school districts. In collaboration with Illinois CSI staff, internal and external stakeholders, assess the overall effectiveness of district and school improvement services.
Senior Communications Strategist
As a member of the Illinois CSI senior leadership team and reporting to the executive director, the senior communications strategist plans, directs, and oversees the development of communications policies and programs. Charged with maintaining Illinois CSI's image and identity, the senior communications strategist facilitates communication and relationships with Illinois CSI clients, partners, legislators, and media representatives. Other key responsibilities include promoting a shared identity of the organization by creating and reviewing internal communication and overseeing communication portals that provide information and resources to employees.
Assistant Directors, District Services
Under the supervision of the deputy director and the associate director, instructional design and staff development, assistant directors district services serve as coordinators of services to districts in one of Illinois's 10 SSoS areas. Assistant directors, district services oversee district assistance teams comprising district/network liaisons and building capacity coaches and supervise the services that teams provide to districts. In addition, they assist in designing and implementing statewide supports for districts receiving focus or priority services and support the use of continuous improvement plans. Collaboration with other SSoS partners may be required to align and coordinate services to districts.
Under the supervision of an assistant director, district resources and under the direction of the deputy director and associate director, instructional design and staff development, the district/network liaison coordinates and implements statewide supports for districts receiving focus or priority services. The district/network liaison leads district assistance teams in providing strategic coaching to school districts to build and strengthen their capacity and to reduce or close achievement gaps. District/network liaisons analyze progress, identify service gaps and regional needs, and make recommendations for improvement. District/network liaisons also conduct periodic reviews of SSoS services to determine effectiveness.
Instructional Support Specialists
With expertise in one of four key educational areas (English language arts, mathematics, data and assessments, or learning supports), instructional support specialists are supervised by the associate director for partnership services. Their primary task is to create resources, tools, and professional development related to their individual fields of expertise and aligned to the New Illinois State Standards Incorporating the Common Core for Grades K–12. Instructional support specialists use data and strategic planning to address the eight essential elements and to develop tools and resources for districts throughout the state. They also provide technical assistance to areawide SSoS staff and lead regional events for districts. By maintaining close communication with the associate director for partnership services and with ISBE content area experts, the instructional support specialists help build statewide content consistency and integrated services.
District Assistance Team Members (Coaches)
With direction and support provided by the district/network liaison and the assistant director for district services, district assistance team members supply direct support to ISBE-designated districts that have qualified for focus or priority services. Coaches work with district leadership teams to build their capacity and are involved in planning, implementing, and refining district improvement plans through the application of continuous improvement tools. In addition, team members participate in and cofacilitate professional learning opportunities, conduct data analysis, provide technical assistance, and help to determine the effectiveness of Illinois CSI support programs.
The Research Council provides research-based guidance and timely input into the resources and services offered by Illinois CSI. It comprises national education and content leaders, representatives from national educational organizations, and experts of national standing from American Institutes for Research (AIR). All council members are able to speak authoritatively to at least one of the essential elements of education as defined by ISBE.
AIR Project Support Team
The AIR project support team is responsible for supporting Illinois CSI. The team provides direct assistance in areas such as infrastructure, operations, and planning. In addition, team members are responsible for the integration of research and best practices into the Center’s work, identifying and allocating resources, and serving as thought partners in conjunction with the Illinois CSI leadership team.