DeSoto County Schools is excited to kick off another successful year in just a matter of days. Before the first bell rings, administrators convene for two full days of professional development. Participants attend a number of concurrent sessions presented by various departments within the district office. The fifty-minute concurrent sessions serve as an opportunity for the district to update administrators on current “need-to-know” essentials concerning the upcoming school year. This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Allington, renowned educator and researcher, shares pertinent information with attendees regarding district initiatives.
Mrs. Lisa Love, principal of Overpark Elementary School, provides a first-hand account of her experience during the two-day event.
Wow! I got some great information today during day one of our Administrative Professional Development. From our superintendent, I took away many key points: 1. Keep your FOCUS 2. Have a vision and know how to get there/don’t let anyone control or change your focus 3. Remember to make learning RELEVANT 4. Protect instructional time and 5. Provide quality professional learning communities. Throughout the rest of the day, I attended five different training sessions, which were financial and purchasing updates, employee services updates, MSTAR updates, instructional technology updates, and elementary updates.
Day two of our Administrative Professional Development started with Dr. Richard Allington speaking to us about how to help struggling readers be successful in our schools. I took away many key points from this session.
- Provide plenty of uninterrupted reading time
- Integrate more writing within the students’ reading
- Utilize higher-ordered questions with pure discussion
- Provide intensive interventions
- Build classroom libraries to 500-1,000 titles for students to have a wide variety in their interest/choice of reading materials
- Provide on-level appropriate reading (even in the summer months).
I finished the rest of the day with information being provided on assessment and accountability updates as well as MSIS/attendance updates. There were more sessions than I had time to attend. Thankfully, the presentations and handouts, which I will access over the weekend, are available on-line. We have a lot of new things/changes for the upcoming school year. These changes will allow us to learn and grow professionally. It is going to be a FABULOUS year!