High Quality and Ongoing Professional Development<br />The St. Helen Elementary School Staff receives ongoing and sustained professional development that is aligned with the Comprehensive Needs Assessment and with the goals of the school improvement plan. The staff participated in District-wide Professional Development, Core Content Subject Area Meetings at the District level twice this year, and Core Content Subject Area Professional Learning Communities (PLC) St. Helen Elementary. The staff has also been encouraged to attend our of district conferences and workshops to assist them in enhancing their instructional strategies. As the staff continues to evaluate and update the school wide plan, additional professional development will be provided.<br />Professional development is very key in utilizing the Title I program as a vehicle for change. We recognize that there is not one mold that answers the professional development needs of every educator. It is essential that the professional development plan provides an opportunity for both the needs of the individual and the needs of the district to be met. It is recognized that professional development, to be effective, must be ongoing, and sustained, providing both training and opportunities to apply the new learning. Implementation of learning communities are encouraged at both building and district levels. To this end, the expectation for professional development at Gerrish-Higgins is aligned to the National Staff Development Council’s Standards for Staff Development 2001:<br /><ul><li>Our professional development plan incorporates learning strategies appropriate for the intended goal and is aligned with our district curriculum and instructional practices and our district mission. The Gerrish-Higgins School District plans and implements 32 hours of the state required 35 professional development hours for the professional staff. During the 2008/2009 school year, the COOR ISD and CCCPD retained Dr. Paul Slocumb from the aha! Process, Inc. to present Parts I and II: Ruby Payne’s A Framework for Understanding Poverty. This professional development opportunity works to increase staff members understanding of the impact of poverty on education. The Comprehensive Needs Assessment for Roscommon Middle School shows that more that 55% of its students are economically disadvantaged. This presentation enabled staff members to employ the tools and strategies presented to positively impact student learning within this economically disadvantaged subgroup.
St. Helen Elementary School joined the Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSI) in an effort to improve the reading skills of its middle school students. Being a part of MiBLSI has given the St. Helen staff various types of professional development opportunities to help achieve the two reading goals set by the Title I Building Leadership Team. For example, Read Naturally and Reading Excellence: Word Attack and Rate Development Strategies (REWARDS) has been adopted by the building to improve students’ oral reading fluency rate and reading comprehension. The MiBLSI team members meet monthly to review school wide data and use this information to revise current reading goals. Training was provided through MiBLSI for staff members to participate in Anita Archer’s Rewards Program.</li></ul>The Title I Building Leadership Team Teachers have received<br />We base professional development opportunities on educator’s content knowledge, we provide them with research-based instructional strategies to assist students in meeting rigorous academic standards, and prepare them to use various types of classroom assessments appropriately. We believe that Standards for Teaching and Learning from Michigan Curriculum Frameworks are foundational in professional development (Higher Order Thinking, Substantive Conversation, Deep Knowledge, Real-World Application). <br />We use disaggregated data from a variety of sources (MEAP, MLPP, Dibels, Everyday Math, NCA instruments, grade-level and department created assessment data) to determine adult learning priorities, monitor progress, and help sustain continuous improvement. <br />Context Standards:<br />LEARNING COMMUNITIES will be encouraged as a means to provide ongoing support to adults working to improve student learning.<br />LEADERSHIP to guide continuous instructional improvement is an essential component for improving student learning and will be developed and supported.<br />RESOURCES to support adult learning and collaboration will be sought through a variety of means: grants, in-kind resources, release time when possible, and necessary materials to support adult learning<br />Process Standards:<br />DATA DRIVEN: Disaggregated data from a variety of sources (MEAP, MLPP, Everyday Math, NCA common matrix and context bound instruments, grade-level and department created assessment data) will be utilized to determine adult learning priorities, monitor progress, and help sustain continuous improvement. Professional development is planned with input from the stakeholders.<br />EVALUATION of professional development will be ongoing, utilizing multiple sources of information to guide improvement and determine the impact of professional development on student learning.<br />RESEARCH-BASED decision-making is an expected outcome for all professional development … preparing educators to apply research and best practices to instructional decision-making.<br />DESIGN of professional development incorporates learning strategies appropriate for the intended goal and is aligned with district curriculum and instructional practices and the district mission.<br />LEARNING: Effective professional development applies knowledge about human learning and change, relating directly to the teaching and learning process.<br />COLLABORATION is a process that is modeled and taught so that adult learners can learn how to and apply a collaborative process within their learning communities and within their classrooms. Professional development is aligned with the school improvement plan at both the district and building levels.<br />Content Standards:<br />EQUITY: Professional development prepares educators to understand and appreciate all students, create safe, orderly and supportive learning environments, and hold high expectations for their academic achievement.<br />QUALITY TEACHING: Professional development depends on educator’s content knowledge, provides them with research-based instructional strategies to assist students in meeting rigorous academic standards, and prepares them to use various types of classroom assessments appropriately. The Standards for Teaching and Learning from Michigan Curriculum Frameworks are foundational in professional development (Higher Order Thinking, Substantive Conversation, Deep Knowledge, Real-World Application). <br />PARENT INVOLVEMENT: Professional development provides educators with knowledge and skills to involve families and other stakeholders appropriately.<br />