Professional Staff and Curriculum Development
New York State has set standards for all curriculum areas. It is the district’s responsibility to be sure that all of its curricula meet these standards. This is done through the following cycle:
- Identify the content area, collect data from state tests and classroom teachers;
- Assess instruction, resources and materials; compare to New York’s state standards and benchmarks for each curriculum area;
- Address gaps.
Currently, a reading study is underway to ensure that there is a coordinated progression in the K-8 reading /writing program in Watkins Glen. All K-8 teachers were recently surveyed to determine what textbooks and other resource materials are used in their classrooms. The survey also asked for the strengths and weaknesses of these texts, the frequency of use, age, etc.
The study will also include an English/Language Arts audit using representatives from the state Education Department to determine how reading and writing is currently taught K-8.
Also underway is Curriculum Mapping/Gap Analysis in all three buildings. The schools are determining what is taught and comparing it to the standards. Gaps and repetitions of the standards will be noted and result in editing of the standards.
District Vision for Professional Development
As a learning organization, the Vision for Professional Development will affect us all in how we work and grow as individuals as we continue to strive for better results in student achievement.
We are committed to being a research-based learning organization in which:
- Raising the level of student achievement is the primary goal.
- Curriculum, instruction and assessment will guide professional development needs.
- Everyone sets learning goals as individuals and as members of a variety of teams.
- Everyone proposes how to achieve his/her individual learning goals based on:
- The individual’s identified needs or content area, the established District Core Competencies, department or team, district goals and strategies or state Education Department goals and strategies.
- Resources are allocated through a collaborative process.
- Training in the District Core Competencies is offered in a variety of formats.
- Everyone is accountable for his/her own learning and for supporting the learning organization.
District Core Competencies include fundamental skills and knowledge that instructional staff are expected to support and apply to ensure student achievement of 21st Century Standards and Goals.
District Core Competencies
To guide and support staff members in providing the best possible learning conditions for all children to be successful in their educational endeavors.
- Cooperative Learning
- Language Literacy-The Reading Process/The Writing Process
- Dimensions of Learning
- Multiple Intelligences/Learning Styles
- Team-Building Collaborative Skills
- Technology Literacy
- Quality Classroom: A Choice Theory/Reality Therapy Approach to Classroom Practices
Professional Development Plan
The New York State Education Department has mandated that each public school district in the state have a Professional Development Plan to ensure that all teachers have substantial opportunity for professional development in order that they remain current with the profession and meet the learning needs of the students.
The goal of the Watkins Glen School District Professional Development Plan is to create a culture that supports:
- Watkins Glen School District’s Vision for Professional Development
- Watkins Glen School District’s 21st Century Standards and Goals
- Watkins Glen School District’s Belief Statement
The purpose of Professional Development is to:
- increase the quality of teaching
- increase the quality of learning
- increase the capacity for all students to meet New York State Standards
All components of curriculum development and professional staff development are focused on creating opportunities for teachers to reflect on teaching and learning and increase student achievement as a result of that reflection.