As of 2/24/2014
The Hopatcong School District’s Professional Development (PD) Program is aligned to state mandates and district goals. This year, our main focus areas for PD include the Common Core Standards, PARCC (new test for the Common Core), new teacher evaluation model called the Stronge Model, Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) and early childhood education.
Teachers and administrators have had in-service workshops on the Common Core Standards, PARCC, new teacher evaluation system and Student Growth Objectives. During the summer, administrators had training on the new teacher/administrator evaluation model. Teachers have had training on the Stronge Evaluation Model from both Stronge Associates and Paul Palek, New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) implementation officer. Several presenters for our in-services have been from the NJDOE, including Dr. Severns, Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Cacciatore, education program development specialist, both of whom addressed the Common Core Standards and the PARCC Assessment.
Additionally, we have had a professor from New Jersey City University, Dr. DeFina who worked with our teachers of grades 2-12 on PARCC readiness. We also had one of our administrators, Mrs. Tracey Hensz conduct two in-service sessions for our K-1 teachers on the Common Core Standards.
Professional Development also included other in-service topics related to curriculum and assessment. We had Renaissance assessment training sessions for teachers and administrators. We also had training on our new reading series at the elementary level, “Reading Street” and SAT training for teachers at the secondary level.
We have several ongoing Professional Development initiatives this school year. We are part of Rutgers University Early Childhood Academy, where we have a team of administrators and a teacher working with other districts in the area of early childhood education. All of our kindergarten teachers are part of the Kindergarten Seminar, multiple professional development sessions being conducted by the NJDOE. Our teachers have Common Planning Time at each grade level. These sessions are being conducted by the Curriculum Office on Common Core Standards and PARCC readiness. There are ongoing Faculty Meetings addressing such topics as Common Core, PARCC, and Student Growth Objectives. There are County meetings for our anti bullying specialists and our SAC (Student Assistance Counselor).
There are workshops for individual teachers and administrators pertaining to content specific learning opportunities such as Advanced Placement Training, Next Generation Science Standards, Reading Fundamentals, Technology Sessions, such as the use of iPads and data security, Safe Schools, Annual School Boards Workshop and Special Education Workshops.
We have an online professional development program for staff members (Safe Schools) with learning modules on such topics as Asthma and Diabetes Awareness. We offer learning opportunities for all of our staff including nurses, Child Study Team, Guidance Counselors, pre-school teachers, speech teachers, and our educational support personnel.
We plan to continue working with the NJDOE. On 3/10/14, we will have Bari Erlichson, the Chief Performance Officer for the NJDOE conducting a session on assessment entitled “Understanding the Performance and Accountability System.” On 3/17/14 and 4/28/14, we will have Rosanne Hansel, Education Program Development Specialist at the NJ Department of Education working with our Kindergarten and First Grade Teachers on early childhood education.
Moving forward, we will continue our work with New Jersey City University and Rutgers University. We will commence our partnership with William Paterson University entitled “Professor-in-Residence” program whereby interns work with our principals and teachers. This program also offers university workshops for our teachers at no cost .
We plan, in collaboration with Dr. Severns to offer parent work sessions on PARCC and the Common Core.