FWCS welcomes back staff with week of professional development opportunities - August 11, 2008

Record Number: 4253
Displayed from: Aug 11, 2008 , until: Aug 25, 2008

Fort Wayne Community Schools teachers will be the students for a week before they welcome their own students back for the 2008-09 school year. FWCS is offering a week of professional development for teachers and administrators to provide them with the tools that will help them be more precise in teaching and making sure each student receives individualized instruction. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, sessions will be offered on using a Palm Pilot to record and analyze data from reading assessments; incorporating the district's literacy curriculum into music and art; classroom management; how to keep students writing throughout the year; and much more. "We're very strategic about what we offer, and we're teaching people how to be strategic in their planning," said Linda Roman, director of professional development. "We are shifting from looking at professional development as a one-day event in the summer to effective professional development that improves student achievement and continues throughout the school year. When teachers apply new instructional strategies and come back together to talk about the student learning as a result of that strategy, that is the powerful part of professional learning. " Teachers will revisit the lessons learned in August and how the ideas have worked in their classrooms during professional development days scheduled for Feb. 9 and April 20, 2009. New teachers will be welcomed to FWCS for new teacher orientation at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12. The orientation gives the district's 125 new teachers a chance to learn about the district's focus on student achievement and the rich diversity in the school system. Thursday, Aug. 14, is the first mandatory day for all teachers in the district. It is the first of the three professional development days added to the school calendar this year. Teachers will meet at the Memorial Coliseum to hear Dr. Deborah Estes, an expert in brain research and education. She will talk to teachers about the importance of understanding how the brain learns. Knowing how the brain works can help teachers become more precise in their methods and focus on what will be most effective. At noon, National Education Association President Reg Weaver will address the teachers. Weaver is serving his second term as president of the 3.2 million-member organization.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.