2014-15 Staff Development

Staff Support Sites


Educational Technology Link


Staff Links



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This site focuses on the further development of teachers, administrators, and staff members using technology to improve student learning and their educational experiences.  Learn more about Google Educational Apps, iPads, BYOD, Doc Cameras (ELMO), Flipped Classrooms models.

Staff Development Opportunities: 2014-15

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Dr. Anthony Muhammad:

Dr. Anthony Muhammad is one of the most sought after educational consultants in North America. As a practitioner of nearly twenty years, Dr. Muhammad has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal. Dr. Muhammad’s tenure as a practitioner has earned him several awards as both a teacher and a principal. His most notable accomplishment came as principal at Levey Middle School in Southfield, Michigan, a National School of Excellence, where student proficiency on state assessments was more than doubled in five years and he was named the Michigan Middle School Principal of the Year in 2005. Dr. Muhammad and the staff at Levey used the Professional Learning Communities at Work (PLC) model of school improvement, and they have been recognized in several videos and articles as a model, high-performing PLC. As a researcher, he has published articles in several publications in both the United States and Canada.



Professional Learning Community (PLC) Cohorts/Common Core

All of our schools have sent leadership teams (some, more than once!) to the DuFours’ “Creating and Sustaining PLCs” national seminars.  For the past three years, all sites have worked in cohort groups at the district office to deepen their understanding and practical application of PLCs.  Over 500 teacher and administrative leaders have spent five days creating a shared vision, reviewing current research, sharing best practices, and dialoging about the four overarching questions: What do we want students to learn?  How will we know when they’ve learned it?  What will we do when they don’t?  What do we do for those that already know it?  Teams participating in the K-12 ELA and K-12 Math sessions for 2014-15 have been pre-selected. Teachers participating do not need to sign up. Teachers will need to arrange for their own substitutes. Please see attached for dates and times. 


Common Core

The PLC Cohorts in 2014-15 will focus on key differences between Common Core State Standards and previous State Standards, understanding the structure and design of the Common Core State Standards, and beginning implementation steps. Subsequent trainings will focus on instructional planning with Common Core Standards and Standards Mapping. 




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Google Drive

Google Drive is a single place to store, manage, and access all your files, from any place and on any device.

Think of Google Drive as your personal stash of files and folders that follows you wherever you go. It lets you keep everything and share anything. You can access files and folders from a web browser or any device where you've installed your Google Drive. No matter what happens to your devices, your files are safely stored in Google Drive. With highly competitive storage plans, (or even unlimited storage for everyone in your organization), you can store practically everything for next to nothing.

Google Drive automatically keeps everything up to date, so you can make edits and access the latest version from anywhere, regardless of where you are. It provides many ways to view and sort your files, and it includes powerful search options—even the ability to search for text in pictures—to help you quickly find what you're looking for.

You can use Google Drive to store all file types, including documents, presentations, music, photos, and videos. You can open many files type right in your browser, including PDFs, Microsoft Office files, high-definition video, images, and more, even if you don't have the corresponding program installed on your computer.


How to Navigate Google Drive


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Go Math!

Go Math! is a comprehensive Grade K-9 mathematics program developed to support the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points.


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Number Talks

Number Talks is a powerful tool for helping students develop computational fluency because the expectation is that they will use number relationships and the structures of numbers to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Number talks was developed for classroom teachers to engage students in "mental math" through grappling with interesting mathematics problems.


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Building 21st Century Learners "One Math Task at a Time."






Close Reading for the 21st Century







Visual Arts Staff Development Opportunity for K-5 Teachers

This is a series of 8 sessions designed to develop and deepen arts content knowledge for K-5 teachers. The intent is that participants will engage in art-making and translate their experience into grade-level appropriate lessons based on grade level art standards. The first four sessions are a repeat of last year’s lessons designed around the element of art space with lessons focused on positive and negative, and real and implied space. The next four sessions will address color and value.


Site Visitations

District administrators visit each site multiple times throughout the year, often in teams. The host principal reviews the school’s current goals and foci and then leads a tour through each of the classrooms.  Instruction and teacher actions are analyzed through the lenses of the four Essential Components of Instruction:

1) Developing & Teaching to Instructional Objectives
2) Student Engagement
3) Feedback
4) Monitoring & Adjusting while teaching

Additionally, for 2014-2015, site teams will visit and provide feedback regarding PLC meetings, interventions, and common core. The team de-briefs at the end of the observations to identify patterns, trends, strengths, and weaknesses. This analysis serves as specific feedback for the principals, site, grade levels, and individual teachers. It also assists in planning future staff development and staff meeting activities that are relevant to the individual site.                                                                                                                     

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Smart Board

The Smart Board is an interactive whiteboard that uses touch detection for user input in the same way as normal PC input devices. Smart Boards can be used to collaborate and communicate with students in the classroom, and or with faculty/staff in conference rooms. Smart Boards can be used to enhance educational experiences by increasing clarity and detail through presentations and teaching lessons.



New Principal Support

Recognizing that quality instructional leadership and continued high student performance require stellar skill-sets among principals, we provide ongoing support to each of our administrators, particularly those new to the role.  Weekly visitations with each new principal provide an opportunity to support and guide our leaders with pressing issues.  Each classroom is observed during the visits to identify trends or issues needing attention. The focus is on the instructional needs of the site; we analyze data, review team goals/progress, and plan staff development activities for leadership, grade level, and whole-staff meetings.