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Brent 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Working Group 1: Strengthening Brent’s Foundational Approaches Draft Recommendations to the Steering Committee January 26,

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Presentation on theme: "Brent 2015-2020 Strategic Plan Working Group 1: Strengthening Brent’s Foundational Approaches Draft Recommendations to the Steering Committee January 26,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Brent Strategic Plan Working Group 1: Strengthening Brent’s Foundational Approaches Draft Recommendations to the Steering Committee January 26, 2015 Team Members: Parents— Michael Crawford, Carolyn Gorman, Bernice Littlejohn; Brent Staff / Steering Committee Liaison— Sarah Werstuik

2 Objective and Scope WG1 Key Question: How can Brent strengthen its core curricular approaches: Responsive Classroom, Reggio-Inspired Early Childhood, Readers and Writers Workshop and Investigations Math and our investment in staff development? WG1 Objective: To strengthen Brent's foundational approaches and core curricula, including the Responsive Classroom approach, Reggio- inspired approach in Early Childhood, Reading and Writing Workshop, and Investigations Math, through vertical articulation of these approaches, investing in staff development and training around them, and prioritizing resources toward them. – Data comes from history and current status of Brent’s programs, teacher survey, and informal discussion with parents

3 Foundational Approaches: History and Current Status Current Foundational Approaches & History at Brent:  Responsive Classroom (10+ years)  Reading and Writing Workshop (10+ years)  Math Investigations (4 years)  Reggio-Inspired Early Childhood (2 years) Intersection of Approaches: Brent’s Foundational Approaches compliment each other with a focus on social and academic skills, communication, and student choice

4 Tradeoffs Are Real: Reggio-Inspired ECE

5 Tradeoffs Are Real: Responsive Classroom

6 Tradeoffs Are Real: Investigations Math

7 Tradeoffs Are Real: Workshop Approach

8 What does it take to do these approaches well? Training / Professional Development (PD)  Weeklong trainings are offered by all of the approaches  There is the possibility of on-site trainers for some approaches  DCPS provides PD for the Reggio-Inspired ECE program  DCPS does not provide PD for Investigations Math, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, or Responsive Classroom Time  Reading Workshop: Suggested time daily 1 hour  Writing Workshop: Suggested time daily 1 hour  Investigations Math: Suggested time daily 1 hour The majority of teachers feel they have the training and resources to implement the approaches, but not always the classroom instructional time to give each approach what it needs

9 Communication Gap Poor communication strategies with Parents:  Front-loading information at Back-to-School Night  Lack of information on the Brent website  Unrealistic estimation of how quickly parents can absorb information Teachers feel confident in their ability to implement these approaches, but not all teachers may be comfortable or confident to explain the approaches to families

10 Recommendations

11 Recommendations: Professional Development and Training Prioritize PD and training for teachers who demonstrate challenges or lack of confidence in implementation within a particular approach Report percentages of teachers who attend trainings aligned to the foundational approaches Expect teachers to present and share about the trainings that they have attended with fellow staff members Provide and encourage multiple avenues for teachers to access trainings that increase skill in each approach (week-long trainings, webinars, reading material) Ensure that grade-level teams are collaborating to maximize their shared experience and knowledge

12 Recommendations: Communication Provide multiple avenues for parents to receive information about the foundational approaches Bulletin Board (in front of the Library)  1-pager/trifold explanation of each approach  Syllabi for each grade  General Information about Testing Create a Communication Coordinator Staff Lead to update the bulletin board and gather resources from each grade Consistency of Weekly Communication s across grades Academic Amplifier Parents (Goal: 1 per class)  Really read the Weekly Communication  Share information about the classroom academics with parents

13 Recommendations: Communication Dream List  Bring in Workshop Facilitators or incentivize staff members to put on Parent Workshops around the approaches  Produce introductory videos for each foundational approach to upload to the website  Improve Communication via the Website – Tabs for each Foundational Approach with brief explanation and links to home sites – Tab for general information about testing

14 Recommendations: Optimizing Time Create “Learning Communities” within the school to maximize time during the day for receiving professional development and sharing best practices among staff to implement approaches – Regular meetings with principal and grade-level teams – Provide lunch on-site for staff monthly to encourage sharing cross-grade (Example focus topic: “What is going well in reading?”) Look at the schedule to create learning time for implementing extra/supplemental instruction Consider ways to extend or reorganize the day to create more instructional time (work with Aftercare, extend the school day, etc.)


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