D211 Post: Ukrainian Educators Visit District 211 Schools


A group of educators from Ukraine visited James B. Conant and Palatine High Schools as part of a tour hosted by the International Cultural Educational Association.  The tour allowed the group to see every level of education elementary school through college.  During their tour, the educators focused on the schools’ English as a Second Language programs as well as how the schools use technology in the classrooms.

            Maryna Torgovetse, Chief Specialist at the Department of Extracurricular Activities in the Ministry of Education, said it was very interesting to see how the educational system works in the United States.  She said it was great to create new contacts within the country.

            “Maybe some mutual projects could arise from this partnership,” Torgovetse said.  “We would like to create a group similar to a sister-cities, something like a sister schools program.”

            One aspect of student life which interested Iryna Zharin, the teacher of foreign languages at Smila Specialized School number 5, was the inclusion of special education students.

            “I’m interested in inclusive education in the Ukraine,” she said.  “I got to know that the schools in Palatine used special plans, and some of those got children in the mainstream.”

            Zharina was also interested to see the various ways District 211 works to conserve energy within its school.

            “Today I got to learn a lot about how to be green,” said Zharina, “In the Ukraine, this year, we are going to promote sustainable energy.  It’s a great experience to get from the U.S.A.”

            One aspect that caught everyone’s attention was the implementation of technology into the education process. 

            “I am very, very impressed by the technical support here,” said Stanislav Franco, an English and German teacher at Kramatorsk Secondary School.  “The school looks like a scientific center or media center.”

            Franco said he enjoyed seeing how the English as a second language class taught students.

            “I like the idea of learning first by drawing a picture to recognize the word,” he said.

Like Torgovetse, Franco would like to create a continuing partnership between Ukrainian and American schools.

            “In our country, English is very popular,” Franco said.  “Kids would appreciate the possibility to see a response from the United States.”