Staff Professional Development
Education and the way in which it is delivered is always evolving in search of the best possible understanding of the most effective ways for children to learn and grow. In light of this, schools throughout the division have continued their focus on ensuring staff involvement in a variety of professional development (PD) focused on school and divisional priorities.
Learning opportunities are provided to administrators, teachers and support staff throughout the school year on designated professional development days (8 days per year). In addition to individual, small-group and full-staff school-based PD in areas such as literacy (Fountas and Pinnell Running Records, LLI), numeracy, formative assessment, differentiated instructional practices and leadership training, principals have also supported staff participation in a variety of sessions offered by the Northwest Regional Learning Consortium, the Alberta Assessment Consortium, and through other means.
The division has partnered with Kurtis Hewson, co-founder of Jigsaw Learning, to work with school administrators and extended leadership teams in our schools to establish Collaborative Response Models (CRM) that are highly focused on providing Response to Intervention (RTI) supports for students who are identified as needing Tier 2, 3, and 4 intervention supports to ensure their academic success. We have worked with Mr. Hewson to facilitate the August 30, 2018 Kick-off day, and to provide intense follow-up PD days on Sept. 19 and Nov. 21, 2018, with one further day planned for May 1, 2019. The Collaborative Teams established at each school regularly hold meetings focused on providing a "continuum of supports" for those students identified as needing Tiered intervention work. Good progress is being made in this area, and plans are now underway to partner with Mr. Hewson again in the 2019-2020 school year.
On March 7 and 8, 2019 schools are closed to allow our staff to attend regional learning opportunities. Teachers will be attending the Mighty Peace Teachers’ Convention and a number of our educational assistants will take part in the Northern Alberta Educational Assistants Conference. Both conferences take place in Grande Prairie, and offer a wide variety of sessions that staff can select to suit their needs.
As a division, we are proud to be lifelong learners, and are committed to providing our staff with opportunities to expand their knowledge and methods of teaching to better ensure the success of our students.
Thank you to our staff for their dedication to professional development – self-improvement is beneficial to our entire division and continues to make our schools the great places they are for students to learn and grow.