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Common Core Staff Development Plans in 2014-15

 I know it is the end of the school year, but I wanted to get this detailed description of our professional development plan into your hands before you left.   Next year will be an exciting time for all of us as we grow together.   If you don’t have time to read it now (make sure you click on the elementary or secondary link at the bottom), please make time to read through it when you do have time.   - Mike Matthews

 

To all MBUSD Teachers,

Throughout the 2013-2014 year, many of us have continued our learning around the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  We have done strong work in grades K-8 in Language Arts over the last two years, and next year will be a big year for every single teacher in every department.   We are fully utilizing the Common Core implementation funds with five full professional development days and many more opportunities to learn.  Brett Geithman, Carolyn Seaton and I have collaboratively worked with teacher leaders, department leaders, and leadership groups to determine district next steps.  We recognize that these five days are an incredible opportunity for learning, and we want to share our plans for the year. 

First of all, it starts on August 21st and August 22nd at Mira Costa High School.  Plan on being there from 8:00 to 3:00 on both days.   We will begin by meeting all together, but most of the professional development will be broken out by departments or grade levels.  There is more on that later. 

MBUSD COMMON CORE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS FOR 2014-15

So what do we hope you come away with in the 2014-15 school year?  Below you will see the three Common Core shifts for both English Language Arts and Mathematics that will be our focus for 2014-15.  Under each shift you will find a brief description of the expected change in our classrooms by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  There are many bullets we could have listed under each shift; however, we felt that for the upcoming year these are the big ideas that our professional development and classroom practice should be based on. Some of these shifts may be new to you, and some may be critical elements you already include in your classroom.  As we respect each teacher in this process, we know that all of us can grow next year, no matter what our starting point.

Best practice in professional development is described as goal-driven, ongoing, connected over time and differentiated.  It empowers teachers as professionals.  We have carefully created these goals and the outlined plans with those key elements in mind.  We look forward to a great year collaboratively examining and furthering our understanding of the CCSS.  This is an exciting time in education and we are confident that MBUSD will continue its commitment to infusing research into practice.

ELA Shifts to be Implemented in Every Classroom

1)    Complex Text

This shift will be examined through two dimensions: 1) text complexity for the grade level, and 2) text complexity for the individual student, both of which will be infused in daily instruction.  Additionally, we will explore the three factors that determine text complexity: 1) qualitative; 2) quantitative; and 3) reader and the task.

2)    Informational Text

Classrooms will move toward the following ratio between literature and informational text: 50:50 (K-8) to 30:70 (9-12).

3)    Text Evidence

Instructional methodologies will be examined to elicit the citing of evidence to back up claims or make ascertains from students when they are reading, writing and speaking across all content areas.

Math Shifts to be Implemented in all Elementary and Math Classrooms

2014-15 District Goal: Moving toward the three shifts

1)    Focus

·      Know the focus of the grade level

·      Understanding CA Standards to abandon

·      Major, additional, and supporting clusters

2)    Coherence

·      Relationships between standards and across clusters

·      Connections across and within grade level

3)    Rigor

·      Balancing class time between practicing skills and building deep conceptual understanding

·      Providing opportunities for students to solve problems through multiple pathways and communicate reasoning

 I urge you to take the time to review more specifics in the  Elementary Teacher Professional Development Plan and in the Secondary Teacher Professional Development Plan.   These plans are written to help everyone more fully understand what we are trying to accomplish in professional development next year.   Please know that based on your feedback, some of the plans beyond August 21st and 22nd will change.  We will get your feedback and change plans accordingly.   We will be listening closely to your needs, and your feedback on our efforts, and do everything possible to make next year’s professional development as meaningful as possible for you in the classroom. 

Please email Carolyn Seaton, Brett Geithman or me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thank you, have a nice summer, and I will see you on August 21st at 8:00 in the Mira Costa Auditorium.

 Mike Matthews

Michael D. Matthews, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Manhattan Beach Unified School District

325 South Peck Ave.

Manhattan Beach, CA  90266

310-318-7345 x5902

mmatthews@mbusd.org


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