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Great Teaching Requires Great Professional Development
Midvalley, along with the rest of the district, is maintaining our focus on continuous improvement. As I shared earlier this year, we are making unprecedented strides in improving student achievement at Midvalley. You can read all the details in the article, “Midvalley on the Rise” at midvalley.canyonsdistrict.org. You will find this article just below my message for this month on our homepage. It takes a lot of work and training to create and sustain this growth.
One of the most important factors in this success and one of the most important features of our school improvement plan is teacher professional development. This year, all of our teachers have attended critical professional development on the new standards-based report cards as well as advanced training in language arts instruction. In order to limit the time the entire faculty has to be out of the building, our Building Leadership Team (BLT) consisting of one teacher from each grade has attended further training with the task of bringing that information back to the rest of the faculty.
Ideally, our teachers would never have to leave the building during instructional time. However, that is not possible due to time and budgetary constraints. As it does in many other professions and industries, funding dictates what is possible. We are doing the best we can to balance the needs in the classroom and the need for professional development. Training teachers in evidence-based instructional practices, even if it occurs during instructional hours, is a force-multiplier that pays extended dividends down the line. If this training weren’t critical to our success, we wouldn’t be doing it.
Thanks for your continued support and understanding. If you have any questions or wish to discuss this topic further, please feel free to stop by and discuss it with me.
We are extremely proud of the progress our school has made over the last three years. Teachers have worked very hard to adapt to our changing community and the individual needs of every student at Midvalley. When we examined the trends at Midvalley over the last 6 years, we knew that changes needed to be made. Of course, change is never easy. We have had great support from the district as we have implemented a new core curriculum in Math and Language Arts. Along with the new curriculum, we have adopted Pearson's Envision Math and Reading Street. The implementation of these two new programs has helped us focus our efforts and standardize the delivery of a common scope and sequence in these two essential subjects. We have also refined teaching skills by focusing on evidence-based instructional practices. All teachers have worked to increase the amount of time-on-task, student engagement, student opportunities to respond and positive as well as constructive feedback. Explicit instruction in Reading, Math and Science is helping us make gains we have not seen in years.