A focus on learning
The Teaching and Learning Department supports quality instruction and rich learning experiences in a wide variety of ways and functions. Our goal is to provide effective, differentiated, and intensive support to teachers and students. Our staff work together with schools and parents to enable children to achieve at their highest potential and reach individual goals.
|Teaching and Learning L To R: Susie Nesmith, Peter Szalai, Sharon Bernethy, Mary Obee, Tammy McConaghy, Matthew Boushey|
We provide many professional development training opportunities for teachers throughout the year. Teachers are required to be current with and to implement the latest research-based practices and initiatives. These include transitioning to Common Core State Standards, preparing for the new state tests called Smarter Balanced Assessments, and learning how to use the latest technology such as Chromebooks and interactive projectors. Our department has six teachers on special assignment , or TOSA’s, who provide professional support to teachers, and one staff member facilitates a large professional development grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Our department is also responsible for the highly capable student program. This year, we are exploring the expansion of services from kindergarten through grade 12. Our goals are to identify more eligible students, to reach out to under-represented populations, and to improve our continuum of services. We also support science instruction in elementary and middle schools through stocking, distributing, and purchasing interactive kits that feature hands-on and engaging learning experiences. Our Science Center maintains thousands of educational items from fossils to beakers to pill bugs.
We are accountable
Our team administers legal and instructional requirements to assess student learning. We provide support to teachers in selecting and implementing classroom-based assessments in social studies, art and physical fitness; maintaining STAR math and reading data; and managing state-mandated tests and end-of-course exams. Student test scores are one way to measure our department’s effectiveness.
Finally, we are conscientious stewards of our publically-funded instructional resources. We manage the handling and storage of learning materials, and we surplus obsolete textbooks. This year, we implemented new inventory control procedures that utilize barcoding to track all secondary text and library books, and we’ll implement a similar program next year for elementary reading, math, handwriting, and social studies materials.