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Warwick teachers attend Summer Curriculum Academy

on July 5, 2017

WVCSD Summer Curriculum Academy logo

Just as students ended their school year, WVCSD teachers began a learning experience of their own.

A three day “Summer Curriculum Academy” for faculty members was held June 26-28 at the Warwick Valley Middle School.

This Academy gave teachers a chance to create curriculum maps and develop performance tasks.

The new program format included a keynote presentation and choices of several “mini lesson” workshops each day. Topics included: How to Design Effective Rubrics, How to Develop Essential Questions, How to Empower Peer Tutors in your Classroom, How to Implement Student Scheduling, How to Create Performance Tasks,  Utilizing How-To Sheets in the Classroom, and Facilitating Collaborative/Small Group discussions. All sessions supported differentiation, and exposed teachers to the latest in educational research. 

Each day, schedule teachers also attended mini-lessons to learn how to infuse technology into their instruction. Related presentations included the use of Nearpod, G-Classroom, Smart Notebook, and Other Google Tools.

James Yap, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, explains, “We are very fortunate to work with high-quality teachers committed to enhancing curriculum and instruction. Aside from the quality of the classroom teacher, perhaps the most important factor in student achievement in school is the quality of the curriculum. I look forward to sharing more information about the curriculum maps with families in the future.”

Faculty response to the new format for this professional development program was very positive. In the words of Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Nancy Nachtigal, “The district office values teachers and providing us with quality professional development.

Middle School science teacher, Mr. Rick Ronzoni, agreed, saying, “The Summer Curriculum Academy allows faculty to concentrate on curriculum and resources to implement during a timeframe where we’re not focused on student behaviors, grades, administrative work, etc.”

This workshop was developed out of the strategic planning done over the last year, which the district has coined #TheirFuture. 

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Teacher feedback included comments such as:

“This format allows teachers to collaborate together and learn from each other.”

“Besides learning how to use the technology, the most valuable thing was the time to collaborate with colleagues about course content and structure.”

“It helped connect us to our co-workers in other school buildings.”

“Great team building time.”

“Flexible scheduling and content of mini lessons sparked interesting conversations and ideas for curriculum.”

“New technology tools to use in the classroom and engage students.”

“Collaborating with teachers from the other elementary school, but on the same grade level, brought new ideas to the table.”

“Great resource to help teachers enhance student learning.”

“Focused, dedicated time to collaborate with other teachers to revise current lessons and prepare for next year.”

“Feeling like a valued community of educators.”

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