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The CTU Quest Center values your input. Help us to determine the categories of professional learning opportunities that meet your professional development needs. We will analyze the data to determine the courses, workshops and study groups CTU membership would like the Quest Center to provide during this school year so we can plan accordingly.

For more information contact Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco at 312-329-6270 or

Thank you for your input!


Current Professional Development Offerings

For more information contact Deborah Pazera at (312) 329-6271 or

To register, click on any of the links in the Professional Development Opportunities listed below

  2015 Spring and Summer Professional Development

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This 5 day Boot Camp will prepare teachers to return to school with classroom management techniques, skills and strategies for implementing formative assessments in their instruction, methods for teaching students how to close read, various ways to differentiate instruction in the classroom, and how to plan and instruct with the CPS Framework for Teaching in mind. Teachers who attend this Professional Development will collaborate with colleagues on current powerful practices in learning and instruction. They will increase their professional network and demonstrate professionalism by actively developing their practice through collaboration, lesson design, assessment design, and long-term personal professional development planning. This Boot Camp is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching.

  • All currently practicing and new CPS teachers may attend. 
  • Participants will receive a total of 32.5 ISBE Professional Development Hours for attending the entire week, or 6.5 ISBE PD Hours for each day's full attendance.
  • The 5th day is only open to teachers who attend all 4 other days.
  • Participants must be in attendance for the entire session in order to receive ISEB PD Hours.

 Participants must select their daily selection by pre-registering here: 

Day 1 – Monday, August 17th (Please choose one)

Effective Classroom Management

Close Reading and Complex Texts

Day 2 – Tuesday, August 18th (Please choose one)

Inquiry and the Art of Discussion

Differentiated Instruction

Day 3 – Wednesday, August 19th (Please choose one)

Close Reading and Complex Texts

Inquiry and the Art of Discussion

Day 4 – Thursday, August 20th (Please choose one)

Effective Classroom Management

Formative Assessment

*Day 5 – Friday, August 21st

Putting It All Together - * Participants will learn how everything presented in each of the other days fits together for a successful year in their classrooms. This day is only open to teachers who attended Days 1 - 4.

1 Lane Placement Credit and/or 21 ISBE PD Hours

This course begins by setting a foundation of understanding around the definition of Close Reading, its origins, and its historical and current implications in the field of education. The course addresses instructional approaches such as scaffolding and tiered instruction to ensure students understand and know when to apply the process of Close Reading for comprehending what they have read. Participants will be required to implement instructional strategies in their own classrooms between sessions to teach their students how to closely read complex text. Attendees will then analyze and reflect upon their students’ performance to determine the effectiveness of their Close Read instruction. Participants will also learn how to implement Close Talk and Close Listening to address students with diverse learning needs, English Learners, and students who are still learning to read. Additional topics address expectations and misconceptions about Close Reading, and how to advocate for planning pedagogically sound instruction and implementation of the Close Read. This offering is designed to directly align with Common Core English Language Arts Anchor Standard 1 and its instructional implications for general education and content area classrooms. This course is appropriate for currently practicing K-12 teachers of all content areas who incorporate literacy skills into their instruction. The offering aligns to CPS Framework for Teaching Components 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3e, & 4d. Instructor - Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco, M.Ed, NBCT

Session Dates:
Wednesdays - 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4

Session Time
5:15 PM - 8:45 PM*

This learning series, open to all currently practicing Pre-K through 12th grade CPS teachers, focuses on the CPS Framework for Teaching Domains 1 and 3 with Critical Attributes.

Participants will:

  • analyze the criteria for each component and element in these domains,
  • determine strategies, techniques, and practices aligned to ‘Distinguished’ level practice,
  • learn how to write clear, concise, and developmentally appropriate learning objectives aligned to standards,
  • plan for instruction in disciplinary literacy and make connections with other related disciplines,
  • create lessons that address cultural heritage and background knowledge of students, language proficiency levels, interests, strengths, and challenges, varied learning styles and multiple
  • scaffold instruction,
  • learn how to use assessment results to adjust instruction,
  • design surveys, questionnaires, and parent volunteer request forms to gather knowledge of students,
  • create learning tasks and formative assessments,
  • select complex texts, materials, and resources,
  • learn how to group students to provide access for all, and
  • plan and provide students with effective feedback for the improvement of student learning.

Class collaboration, group projects, and homework are required components of this course. All resources and materials from this course can be added to teachers’ professional development binder as evidence for addressing Component 4d of the CPS Framework for Teaching. Instructor: Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco, M. Ed, NBCT

Session Dates:
Tuesdays - 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1, 12/8, and 12/15
Session Time:
5:15 PM - 8:45 PM

Nurturing Teacher Leadership, established in 1997, is a two year program of weekly professional development and candidate support that prepares teachers for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. It includes:

      • small group facilitation
      • collaboration with a cohort of other CPS NBPTS candidates
      • technical support
      • mentoring
      • and more…


For further information on enrolling for National Board Certification for the 2015-17 cycle, please email or call Lynn Cherkasky-Davis at (312) 329-6274


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