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Articles: Professional Development

Districts are building supports for students in foster care—from raising awareness, providing PD and creating special programs to adding specialized staff and even running permanent group homes.

When Rio Grande City Consolidated ISD introduced a digital reading program two years ago, some teachers balked at student assessments being performed by a computer. Those concerns abated as teachers saw increased proficiency for the 4,100 students using Istation Reading and Istation Español, says Serapio Trillayes, executive director for curriculum and instruction for the district, which is located in South Texas, near the Mexican border.

Ron Huberman was the CEO and superintendent for Chicago Public Schools and now works with Chicago area law enforcement.

The more engaged teachers are in their own growth as educators, the better students will fare. Here’s how to give teachers a voice in their professional learning journey.

Developers of equity programs offer the following tips for success:

You need it first—Equity PD gets the best results when leaders—from superintendents to school board members to principals—are trained before their staff.

Dialogue, collaboration and role-play—Kids don’t love PowerPoints or lectures, and neither do educators. PD that gets teachers talking, collaborating and even role-playing seems to be most effective.

How PD enables K12 educators to create an inclusive environment that allows all learners to thrive.

Linda L. Briggs has been writing about the intersection of technology and education for over 25 years, with a focus on government and education.

The most effective PD programs are scalable, encourage networking and use technology to serve learning when and where teachers can use it.

Longtime educator Michael Niehoff writes on transformational leadership and professional development.

For PBL to thrive, administrators must incorporate authenticity, student ownership, reflection, revision and public work into their schools.

John Auerbach (left) is president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health. Benjamin F. Miller is the chief strategy officer for Well Being Trust.

Educators and the community play key roles in steering K12 students away from risky behaviors.

Externship programs offer hands-on experience and the opportunity for creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication that better inform instruction and boost teacher confidence.

Find out more about certifications programs for campus tech leaders, their team and district educators:

Canyons School District: https://etc.canyonsdistrict.org/etc/index.cfm

CoSN Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL): https://cosn.org/certification

Peter DeWitt is a professional development coach and the creator of Collaborative Leadership, a PD service that combines transformational and instructional leadership, and that includes ways to engage the school community with a focus on learning.

Collaborative Leadership is a series of one to four workshops focusing on research-based influences that can foster a supportive and inclusive school climate, increase academic and social-emotional learning, and maximize the efficacy of every school stakeholder.

Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.

These district solutions serve as models for other districts, and cover the K12 spectrum, from English language learners to dropout prevention to data-driven decision-making to water conservation.

The 45 schools and systems recognized by this year’s District of Distinction program have created homegrown initiatives to support students’ social-emotional development, to provide powerful new opportunities for career-focused STEM learning and to improve the skills of educators.

NMSI’s mantra is that education empowers opportunity. How have you experienced that?

A K8 school district in Southern California was focusing efforts on increasing the proficiency of its English language learners, a population that makes up 32 percent of its students. It also sought to reclassify as many ELLs as possible before middle school—a time when the defeatist mindset usually sets in.

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