Note: CVU uses the late start time on Mondays for similar engaging activities with professionals. We'll share more specifics about that work in a future blog post.
Professional Learning and Collaboration on Early Release Tuesdays
By Jacqueline Parks, WCS Building Principal
Do you ever wonder what our faculty and staff do on Tuesday afternoons after our students leave? What does that 2-hour time block look like for ABS and WCS? What impact does it have on student learning? Here is a glimpse into the work being done and the impact it is having on our system.
On Tuesday afternoon of this week there were five different meetings taking place for our faculty and staff. Para-educators met and learned about using visuals to support learners with Jenn Randall, a member of the CVSD Special Education staff . PK-2 faculty, led by Caitlin Bianchi (math coordinator) and Angela Filion (ABS principal) engaged in a math meeting where they focused on grade level specific planning by pulling additional resources into the Bridges math program. Third and fourth grade teachers, led by Jessica Eaton (Pk-4 literacy coordinator), dug into teaching reading with an emphasis on understanding texts and readers. Special educators, led by Sarah Crum (special education director) and Greg Marino (Lead principal), met as a PK-8 group and engaged in a futures protocol that was designed to move our special education program forward with new ideas. And finally, 5th-8th faculty, facilitated by Jackie Parks (WCS building principal) worked on nine different middle level specific topics including student leadership, school spirit, parent conferences, discipline response system and more. As you can see, this two hour block of time gives faculty the time to dig into topics deeply and collaboratively.
As a system, we are extremely grateful for the weekly time to engage in this collaborative work. Instead of holding topics and professional learning for a day scattered here or there in the school calendar, we can thoughtfully embed them in our weekly time. The impact of our Tuesday professional time is visible in both small and big ways in our educational system. Teachers improve their skills which results in stronger student outcomes, school procedures are tweaked in ways that improve school climate and safety, thoughtful programming is added, curriculum units are more seamlessly integrated and so much more.
In the not so recent past, teaching was a job done in isolation involving the teacher and students in the classroom. This model has fallen away in lieu of a highly collaborative model with aligned approaches that involves professionals working together on behalf of students. The result is a better quality program for all students and teachers utilizing each other to enhance their own professional repertoire of skills.
And there it is, a quick look into a Tuesday professional development afternoon! Thank you for helping to keep our profession moving forward in ways that support student outcomes.