Yes, I know that it’s July! However, your Admin Team and Support Staff have been hard at work preparing to make this coming year fantastic. I’ve enjoyed chatting with many of you who have popped in and out in the past few days. Due to overall restructuring and our desire to maximize your time and prioritize core OPA programs, we have made some PD changes that will deviate from the plans articulated last April and May. So, here is a quick overview of what PD will look like next year at OPA. I think you will find the changes both exciting and a bit of a relief.

DTL: OPA wrote and was awarded the Digital Teaching and Learning Grant from the Utah State Board of Education. This is a multi-year grant with a variety of technology-based goals and finances to implement them. We have a few goals for this initial year, one of which is to offer our staff members more blended and digital learning opportunities as part of our overall professional development plan. So, when possible we will be offering PD that you can complete anytime and anywhere. This will give you options for your Friday time and the ability to work at your own pace and pick topics of personal interest.

CTT Reboot: All CTTs will meet twice a month for an hour each (the week of the 2nd Friday of the month and the week of the 4th Friday of the month). However, Elementary CTTs will now meet during common prep time during the school day. Spanish, Specials, and Junior High CTTs will continue to meet on Fridays (it’s not possible to schedule these CTTs during the school day). This reboot will allow the Admin Team, Instructional Coaches, and Support Staff to attend more CTT meetings and support the great things you are doing. You can see the CTT schedules on the PD calendar. Every teacher will still spend the same amount of time in CTTs each month; however, the CTTs will not be happening simultaneously.

Predictable Schedule: Each Friday of the month will have a predictable schedule. Here is a preview:

  • 1st Friday:
    • Faculty Meeting with RCD Review/Practice (30-60 minutes)
    • Building Signature Program Training (30 minutes)
      • AVID Strategy of the Month (Junior High)
      • Leader in Me Training (Elementary)
    • Individual and blended learning options (90-120 minutes on your own)
  • 2nd Friday
    • Elementary CTT Meetings during the week
    • JH CTT Meetings / Elementary Work time (60 minutes)
    • Specialized Trainings if applicable (60 minutes)
      • EYE Training for teachers new to OPA
      • Math Vertical Team (1 elementary teacher per grade and all secondary math teachers)
    • Work time (60-120 minutes)
  • 3rd Friday
    • Digital Teaching and Learning options (60-120 minutes)
    • Work time (60 minutes)
  • 4th Friday
    • Elementary CTT Meetings during the week
    • Specialized Meetings: STT, AVID Site Team, Lighthouse, DTL Leadership (60 minutes)
    • JH CTT Meetings / Elementary Work time (60 minutes)
    • Work time (60 minutes)

By request, we have also worked in several “Sharpen the Saw” afternoons, scheduled around breaks and holiday weekends.

More Individualized Trainings: We have selected an online platform called Master Teacher that will allow us to offer all OPA employees a variety of individualized, blended, professional development courses available at any time from any location. This will allow us to differentiate trainings to fit your needs and wants. Stephanie Wright is working on a badge program that will incentivize teachers who want to specialize in various topics. Thank you to Teryl Young for researching the many options and finding the perfect fit for OPA!

In addition to the Master Teacher courses, we will also be offering specialized, in-person trainings. For those of you who attended the PD planning session last spring, we decided a few weeks after that meeting not to transition our entire PD system to Canvas. Master Teacher was more accessible for our immediate needs, easier to navigate, and less intimidating. So, if you are assisting with facilitating PD, you can build content on Master Teacher, on Canvas, or simply offer in person sessions. The use of Canvas will be an option, but not a requirement. More info on that to come!

PD Calendar/PD Area of Dashboard: Like last year, all in-house PD events are listed on both the PD calendar (which can be added to your personal Google Calendar) and the PD section of the Dashboard. If you click on an event, you will be able to see specific details and offerings, including who is required to attend each event. I will also be doing a weekly blog like last year with PD information that includes in-house, state-wide, and ongoing opportunities.

As always, I welcome your questions and feedback. I look forward to seeing many of you in the next few weeks. I am now located in Amie’s former office, so please feel free to stop by and say hello or bend my ear.

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