This year the staff is focusing on three main areas in terms of Professional Development. They are the following:
- Developing Restorative Practices within our school. Here is a description from the Vermont Agency of Education about what this means: In the simplest terms, whole-school restorative approaches build healthy school climates by creating space for people to understand one another and develop relationships; when things go wrong, restorative approaches create space to address needs, repair relationships, and heal. Restorative practices provide meaningful opportunities for social engagement that foster empathy and mutual responsibility for the well-being of individuals and the community. Proactive practices intentionally build trust and understanding within the community to ensure a healthy supportive climate and environment. When things go wrong, restorative practices engage those affected and create space so that individuals and communities can effectively identify, understand, and address harms and needs—this facilitates healing.
Visit the Agency of Education’s website for more information on Restorative Practices: https://education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/edu-integrated-educational-frameworks-whole-school-restorative-approach-resource-guide_0_0.pdf
- Using Schoolwide and Classroom Based Assessments to Inform our Instruction. We will aim to identify data that gives us a full picture as to who our students are and what we can do to further their development as a student. Some points include state and national assessments, classroom observations, behavioral data and classroom based assessments.
- Developing High Quality Math Learning Blocks. Over the past few years the SU has placed a heavy emphasis on Literacy. Sharon has welcomed this, but has also identified a need to address mathematics as well. Last year we began working with a math consultant in the area of number sense as we recognized this was an area of weakness for some of our students. Now we are looking at our math learning blocks and working to design them in a way that is highly engaging, effective and enjoyable for our students.