Callao C-8 welcomes new superintendent and programs

New programs, new staff and a new superintendentâ?¦thatâ??s what Callao C-8 Schools have seen so far this school year.

Once a classroom teacher and an instructional coach, Pamela Halstead is now the Superintendent.

Halstead, who has been with the district for 12 years, started her new job on July 1.

She is not the only new face around the school this year.

Halstead said they have hired four new staff members.

The district has had a 20 percent increase in students coming in with a total of 83 children.

And, for the students who have not qualified for kindergarten yet, they have something for them.

The district has a new pre-school that meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

â??They sometimes visit the kindergarten classroom and they visit the cafeteria and kind of just getting the kids ready for being in the building,â?? Halstead said. â??And, also give them some academic preparation.â??

The district is also re-implementing its Love and Logic program.

â??Love and Logic is just using positive reinforcement focusing on the positive and making the children responsible for their decision and their behavior,â?? Halstead said.

The Love and Logic program is one night a month free of charge. Babysitting is available from the seventh and eighth graders and anyone in the community or area is invited.

Halstead said she is really proud of the new teacher collaboration time. It is where teachers are given an opportunity to discuss the curriculum that they're covering in their classroom and also look at assessment data.

The district also has new online reading and math assessments and a new program for 7th and 8th grade students where they use technology in the classroom.

Each one of the students has a laptop and they do most of their classroom work from it.

The sign out front of the school says, â??It takes a village to educated and empower,â?? and Superintendent Pamela Halstead said that's exactly what the district is doing.

â??I think that it takes a community to educate these children and we do have an open door policy,â?? said Halstead. â??And, we are encouraging parents to come and listen to children read or help children with their math sheetsâ?¦ just to be included with education.â??

Halstead said it is important that parents are a part of their student's education.

This year they have a new program called Parents as Teachers.

"They'll be contacting people who have babies up to the age of five. She'll go into the home and will be exchanging some good parenting tips and activities to do with your child to make sure they're meeting the milestones of development."

Halstead said overall she couldn't do this without her staff.

"Everyone here at Callao C-8 works really hard and if it wasn't for the teaching staff I would have a very difficult job.â??