Jefferson County public school students are off today and tomorrow to give teachers time for professional development and schools a chance to work on their game plans for this year.
The state recently released its annual accountability data, and some schools will be using this time to review where they need help and to develop their Comprehensive School Improvement Plans.
JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens has emphasized the district's focus on data and many schools' professional learning communities–groups of teachers that meet to discuss data and student progress–will meet Monday.
Wheeler Elementary School Principal Penny Espinosa, who previously worked at the district level as a resource teacher, says when she helped provide professional development to teachers at the district level it was often isolated from the classroom.
Now, she says the idea of professional development has become more intimate and data driven.
“Instead of the professional development being focused just on what the teachers are going to do, the professional development supports what the kids are learning and where they are and what we need to do to move them forward,” she says.
At Young Elementary, Principal Mary Minyard says she’ll use Monday to review one of the school’s new strategies called interactive note-booking, which helps teachers and students document progress in class.
She adds interactive note-booking allows teachers and students to see if they’re meeting education standards in real time.
“We want to be able to find out and assess children all throughout the lessons. We can't wait until the child has developed misconceptions,” she says.
JCPS schools are also holding parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday.