James and Karen Laatsch Urban Teacher Program

Rev. and Mrs. James and Karen Laatsch generously fund the James and Karen Laatsch Urban Teacher Program which consists of free monthly workshops and meetings giving strategies and practical solutions to orient teachers to new urban environments, teach classroom management skills and offer insight for successful parent-teacher relationships.

In addition to the monthly meetings, workshops are offered through The Academy of Continuing Professional Education at Concordia University Chicago and are open to teachers enrolled in the James and Karen Laatsch Urban Teachers Program

For more information about joining or presenting at the James and Karen Laatsch Urban Teacher Program, please contact Roberta Smith, 708-209-3622.

Roberta Smith is the Director of the Institute of Professional Studies at Concordia University Chicago. She facilitates and oversees the James and Karen Laatsch Urban Teacher Program and Annual Conference.

The James and Karen Laatsch Urban Teacher Program is formerly known as the New Urban Teachers Series. In the Spring of 2015, Rev. and Mrs. Laatsch generously endowed this program. Learn more about their story.

Monthly Meetings

Monday Evenings
5 to 7 p.m. 
Koehneke Community Center - Rugland Room

The group enjoys dinner together, discusses educational topics and learns more about current educational trends and information from guest speakers.

2017-2018 Meeting Schedule

  • Sept. 18, 2017: Blanco - "Making writing authentic in the classroom while meeting the Common Core Standards" -Writing in the workshop classroom, during guided reading, and writing independently!

  • Oct. 16, 2017: Kari Pawl - "Writing Resources: A Focus on Effective Strategies to Engage and Develop Skills" - During this interactive workshop, participants will strengthen their understanding of best practices to promote successful writers in the K-5 classroom. Special attention will be given to two professional resources that provide a menu of strategies and activities that align with state standards.

  • Nov. 20, 2017: Gittings: "Conversations about Social Studies" - We will explore writing in the social studies area through discussion, brainstorming, and conversation.  Susan will share several ideas and materials and we'll compile questions and ideas for your use.

  • Jan. 22, 2018: Dr. Dara Soljaga - "Writing in the Disciplines: A Workshop Model"

  • Feb. 26, 2018:

  • Mar. 19, 2018:

  • Apr. 23, 2018: Dr. Chris Lilly - "Developing and Using Quality Rubrics" - This workshop centers on aligning assessment with practice. Participants will develop rubrics for use in their educational setting and will be offered strategies on their use to support student learning.

  • May. 21, 2018:


Check back for future workshops.