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Peoria School Board Votes To Keep Administrative Class Walkthroughs Going

Peoria Public Schools via YouTube
The board meeting on Monday

The Peoria Public Schools board voted 5 to 2 Monday against suspending classroom walkthroughs until the end of the school year.

The goal is for school principals and administrators to visit 5 different classrooms a day for 5 minutes at a time, and provide feedback to the teacher on what they saw and ways to improve.

Board member Dan Walther said the practice has drawn criticism from principals and teachers who find it detrimental in its current form.

Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said at the last board meeting she was willing to make keeping the walkthroughs "the sword she would die on."

"This is how I was able to take Whittier Primary School to a Blue Ribbon level. With those walkthroughs. And I've been trained that way my entire life. This is nothing new for Peoria Public Schools," she said.

She said to improve student learning, the district needs to improve instruction. She said the best way to achieve that goal is getting principals into the classroom to observe and provide feedback.

Walther said while it's a good concept, it needs some work.

"We do think it's good for the principals to walk through and make that contact. Are these excessive? Absolutely. I think there's a balance between a walkthrough a couple times a week or once a day, and walkthroughs that are 25 times a week," he said.

He says the visits are disruptive to the classroom and don't provide helpful feedback for teachers to build upon.

Walther and board member Chase Klaus voted in favor of suspending the walkthroughs.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.