WIN is good for kids

North Branch Area Public Schools superintendent Deb Henton recommended the district go back to a five-day school week during the July 11 school board meeting.

North Branch Area Public Schools superintendent Deb Henton recommended the district go back to a five-day school week during the July 11 school board meeting.

Three media and technology instructional coaches from North Branch Area Public Schools presented at TIES last week to colleagues across the state about our WIN (What I Need) professional development opportunities for staff. The presentation was well received from school districts around the state.

WIN is a personally customized professional development opportunity for the 2013-14 school year. Research has shown when professional learning is job-embedded, it increases implementation of instructional best practices.

Teachers are working on, but not limited to, enhancing student learning targets, enhancing formative assessments, strategies for effective feedback and questioning combined with the continuous conversation of ways to integrate technology to increase student achievement and engagement.

Through an application process we have identified about 60 staff members across all grades levels to participate in this opportunity. We are two months into this initiative. The participants are pulled from classrooms for two hours per month to work on their professional learning goal(s) for the year, supported by instructional strategies coaches, media and technology integrationists and outside consultants.

The Staff Development Committee is committed to student learning and this initiative is a reflection of that commitment.  Our staff are very appreciative for this opportunity as evidenced by the number of staff that applied for this wonderful learning opportunity.

This is the first year of implementation of this model and by all accounts, it is a huge success — teachers feel valued and supported, professional coaching conversations are occurring both in and out of the classroom, and teams are working across the school district to move forward this initiative to benefit student achievement.

We are honored that TIES saw value enough in our WIN program to ask that we share it with other districts, and we are thrilled at the impact it is having on student achievement.

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