The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education at its meeting Sept. 19, 2022 approved a partnership with BloomBoard to address anticipated teacher shortages with a Teacher Apprenticeship Program. The partnership offers District 65 paraprofessionals on-the-job professional learning opportunities to prepare, promote and advance them in their professional journey toward teaching.

Ten paraprofessionals will be selected for the Teacher Apprenticeship Program and can earn up to 60 credit hours by completing 20 courses.

“This partnership is helping us grow our own hard-working, enthusiastic talented paraprofessionals who aspire to become teachers,” said Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton. “Growing our own staff who know and support our students is key to ensuring the unique needs of all students and at the same time establish a continuous pipeline of dedicated educators who share the District’s commitment.”

The program will likely involve more diverse individuals, as paraprofessionals in District 65 tend to reflect the District’s student population. Studies show that students – especially those of color – benefit from being taught by teachers of color.

The program will be individualized as some or most individuals may have credits toward a college degree. The program will be turnkey and include a combination of on-line and synchronous learning processes provided by BloomBoard’s higher education partners. The program will involve components unique to BBI such as on-the-job learning model, collaboration tools, facilitation coaches, structured cohort learning events and portfolio development. The District and BBI will begin to recruit and select participants this fall. The cost is $135,000 for the first year for 10 participants.

“This partnership gives our hard-working staff a voice and a choice in their learning,” said Dr. Afina Lockhart, Director CREATE Teacher Residency. “This is a critical tool to ensure we establish a pathway for diverse qualified teachers that will also benefit our students.”

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About Evanston/Skokie School District 65

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is a public Pre-K through Eight school district that serves approximately 7,500 students in 18 schools in both the City of Evanston and the Village of Skokie. The district comprises ten elementary schools, three middle schools, two magnet schools, and three specialty schools, including an early childhood center, a school for students with diverse and special needs, and a therapeutic day school. To learn more about Evanston/Skokie School District 65, visit