Teaching and Learning Report

To: Michael Green

From: Asha Riley

Date: February 21, 2017

Re: Teaching and Learning


Teaching and Learning:

Below is our commitment to supporting teacher growth through professional conversations between principals and teachers.

Woodland’s beliefs regarding professional growth and evaluation:

While there are many reasons to measure teacher and principal effectiveness, in Woodland we believe the ultimate goal of all measures should be to improve teaching and learning. We believe that professional conversation is the most powerful approach to promote teacher learning, and that these conversations must be grounded in an instructional framework that informs and identifies effective practices that improve student learning. Reflective conversation about practice requires us to understand, analyze and respond to student learning in the classroom.

Our principals have worked diligently to follow through with this commitment. All have attended the Breakthrough Coaching workshop and, as a result, learned how to manage their time and responsibilities in a way that ensures they are spending time where it matters most, in classrooms.  In many cases, they are spending two full days a week observing teachers and coaching them toward improved student learning. We believe these observations followed with conversation provide the most effective form of job embedded professional development possible.

In our efforts to ensure we are supporting continued professional growth for our leadership team and instructional coaches, we are hosting two Leadership Studios.

Goals of Leadership Studio

  •  to collaboratively study coaching conversations that promote teacher learning
  •  to collaboratively study how instructional practices influence student learning, through the lens  of a specific teacher’s "problem  of practice"
  •  to have a shared experience around which we can learn about teacher learning as an example, not an exemplar

These half-day workshops are a form of job embedded, collaborative professional learning for our principals, instructional coaches and participating teachers.

Community Liaison:

Our new community resource liaison, Leslie Mohlman, is hard at work building community partnerships, meeting with families in need, and breaking down barriers between our families and the resources they need access to.  Our school staff have commented repeatedly how amazing Leslie is. Her support for our kids has already made a huge difference!

Leslie’s first steps have been to identify the primary needs of our under resourced students.  She has met with each school counselor to identify the resources our families find most challenging to access. She has then sought out and organized meetings with entities in our area that provide those resources and coordinating our families and students with them to ensure they access these resources more successfully.

In March, Leslie is planning a community event in which we will invite community partners, business leaders, faith based organizations, and government services. The goal of this gathering will be to inform all of the needs and challenges our students and families face. She will also share about potential partnerships that are developing in the region, and how members of our community can get involved.  Please expect an invitation to this event soon.

State Homeless Student Stability Grant:

I am pleased to report that our application for the State Homeless Student Stability Grant was approved and we have been granted $15,000.  These funds will be used to increase identification of homeless students and the capacity of the districts to provide support, which may include education liaisons, for homeless students.