As with any profession, in order to be optimally effective, it is essential that continuing education take place in order to keep up with the latest, knowledge, research and methodologies that have proven successful. Particularly in this day and age of rapid change, it becomes more important than ever to stay abreast of the knowledge and information needed to best guide our students as we prepare them for the 21st century. To that end, the district strives to provide opportunities for continuing education, tailored to staff needs.
Not long after school was out, our CMS Summer Institute brought renowned education experts Robin Fogarty and Brian Pete (http://www.robinfogarty.com/), based out of Chicago, to Clovis to conduct a two-day workshop, open to all of our teachers. Dr. Fogarty and her colleagues' extensive experience with all aspects of education, both across the U.S. and abroad, provided a rich, rigorous, and lively experience for our teachers, with the focus on the new Common Core State Standards, whose adoption will begin this fall.
Also during the summer was Fraction Boot Camp, through "bby Publications" offering "short, enticing routines that provide rich explorations in geometry, place value, time, money, and number literacy" for teachers to share with their students.
In addition, the Reading Academy, offered to new teachers as well as returning teachers who'd like a refresher, introduces the "Big 5" of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. These were established by the National Reading Panel (http://www.nationalreadingpanel.org/) and continue to provide the basis for reading instruction nationally. Our own website lists a number of associated links for those interested in more in-depth information; http://www.clovis-schools.org/students/reading_academy.html.
This week we also hosted a special presentation from Dr. William H. Parrett and Dr. Kathleen M. Budge, who will address "Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing School," also the name of their book published in 2012.
Dr. Parrett is the director of the Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, as well as a professor of education at Boise State University and has received international recognition for his work in school improvement, small schools, alternative education, as well as his efforts to help youth at risk.
Dr. Budge is the coordinator of the Leadership Development Program at Boise State University and has led the development of this innovative, nontraditional preparation program, designed to develop leaders with the commitment and capabilities to lead schools where all students succeed.
This workshop, designed for our principals and other administrators, also included administrators from surrounding districts and communities, courtesy of Clovis Schools' Superintendent, Terry Myers, to share the wealth of information Parrett and Budge have to offer (http://www.ascd.org/conferences/fall-conference/Conference-Daily-2010/parrett-and-budge.aspx).
When we, as educators, are truly lifelong learners, we're more likely to catch the fire to spark enthusiasm for learning in our students.
Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org