Submitted by Paula R. Byers, Supervisor of Student Services, Coldwater Exempted Village Schools
June was a busy month for the Coldwater Exempted Village Schools’ teachers and administrators! In Year Two of their Race to the Top (RttT) Scope of Work, Coldwater Schools committed to offering all teachers professional development on the revised standards and Common Core. The district partnered with Darke County, Auglaize County and Brown County Education Service Centers (ESC) to provide professional development in the areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Literacy. The ESCs’ content specialists assisted the teachers in exploring the model curriculum, provided resources and facilitated the teachers’ work at organizing and aligning their curriculum. The literacy presentation was provided to all non-core staff K-12. Many teachers committed to up to four days of training during the Common Core and revised standards professional development days and the majority of non-core teachers attended the literacy roll out.
The Coldwater Race to the Top team has also embraced the Formative Instructional Practices (FIP) program as an opportunity to assist the district with the implementation of its RttT initiatives. District FIP facilitators are being trained, by the Northwest Region FIP Specialists, to lead the Coldwater staff through the FIP learning modules and implementation of the learning outcomes. Twenty-six staff members volunteered to be trained as facilitators in May and June. Coldwater is using the Formative Instructional Practices to provide professional development and resources that support the Race to the Top Application Area C3, Personalize Learning through Formative Instruction. Online modules will assist teacher teams in learning formative instructional practices and planning as they transition to Ohio’s new and revised standards.
During Year Three of the RttT Scope of Work Coldwater will focus on Clear Learning Targets for all content areas. A schedule has been developed to provide time each month for the staff to work together. FIP Facilitators and District Administrators will work together to provide training, support and resources for the Coldwater teachers.
Northwest Ohio Coordinator – Laura Keller, Northwest Ohio Regional Specialist – Mary Riepenhoff, Northwest Ohio Regional FIP Specialists – Christopher Abke, and Joanne Kerekes, have been very helpful and supportive. They have assisted the Coldwater Schools with embracing and implementing education reform to provide a system of instructional practice as we prepare our learners for college and career readiness.