Early-outs to be put to use by school district | NevadaAppeal.com

Early-outs to be put to use by school district

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

The Carson City School District plans to use the first two 90-minute professional development sessions of the 2005-06 school year to adjust school improvement goals.

“The first thing we will be doing when we go back to school is revising school improvement plans based on the data about whether they reached (adequate yearly progress),” said Mike Watty, associate superintendent for educational services for the school district.

The data about adequate yearly progress is released in August of each year and schools are required under No Child Left Behind to modify objectives to make progress the following year.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Watty will tell school board trustees about another use of professional development time – training staff for “Teach 4 Success,” a program developed by California-based WestEd, a nonprofit agency that focuses on research, development and service.

Tuesday’s night meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Sierra Room of the Community Center at 851 E. William St., and is open to the public.

“We just started using ‘Teach 4 Success’ and a lot of the teachers, when they saw the results were a little bit mystified,” Watty said. “We need to train all the teachers on what the different components are.”

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“Teach 4 Success” is used in five school districts in Northern Nevada, including Lyon, Churchill, Mineral, Douglas and Carson school districts. The program was formerly know as Data in a Day.

“Administrators and teacher leaders go into a classroom for a 20-minute observation and look for key things,” Watty said. “WestEd says that if these things are present, the kids will learn.”

The “Teach 4 Success” observations occur once a year. Teachers do not see their individual results, but data is available as a whole for the school so that the information can be used to improve teaching skills.

“Our district’s (observation period) is done in January and February,” Watty said. “Lyon is just finishing up now. We try to keep the annual assessment at the same time each year.”

Over the next several school board meetings, different components of “Teach 4 Success” will be presented so trustees and the public “can get a better idea of we’ll be doing over those 90 minutes.”

The first professional development session for the 2005-06 school year is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Under the new professional development plan, approved April 26 by the school board, schools will be released 90 minutes early 15 Wednesdays of the school year so that teachers receive ongoing professional development as required by federal and state law.

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

If you go

What: Carson City School District board meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Information: The school district at 283-2000

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