Board of Education Regular Meeting, Monday, April 15th at 6:00 pm in the Media Center at E.F. Rittmueller. Read the agenda here.

What’s better than EyeWitness News? 

Don’t you usually prefer to get your news about an event from the observers who were right there “on the scene?”

I do.

For many of us, receiving a first-hand report about an event will always beat one coming our way from some vague second or third-hand source.

There’s no doubt about it.

EyeWitness News is the best.

But there is something better.

And I’m happy to share it with you today.

I’m calling it ActiveParticipant News.

Perhaps you recall that last week I spotlighted this Tuesday’s Professional Staff Development Day in my email.

I told you how pleased I was that Dr. Mario Acosta from Marzano Resources would be on campus for the day to work with our talented staff on expanding their expertise in instructional and student engagement strategies.

Well, Tuesday’s time for staff collaboration and training could not have gone better – and workshops like these are an essential part of strengthening our new Strategic Plan and moving FSD’s Culture of Excellence forward.

To tell you more about Tuesday’s PSD and the value they each obtained from it as educators, here are five representative FSD staff members who stepped up to share their ActiveParticipant News with you.

I think you’ll like hearing their reports.

ActiveParticipant News – PSD Tuesday

Rob Baker
Rob Baker,
FHS science & math teacher

“The PSD was INCREDIBLY USEFUL. It served as a review and reinforcement of known practices and delivered some excellent tips and suggestions. It was not a sales pitch or a rebranding of material claiming “Do this in your classrooms and your problems are over.” Excellent mix of material and reading the audience on when to move on. It was a DYNAMIC day. I have been in PSD’s for 21 years and found this to be one of the best. This was a very pleasant exception. Because it was so WELL DONE and USEFUL, I now have resources and supporting materials I can use in my teaching.”

Lynne Greathouse
Lynne Greathouse,
FHS chemistry teacher

“I liked learning the latest on brain-based education. I picked up some good strategies to use in my classroom. Also, the book we used is one I look forward to sharing with my adult child who is studying English Education at SVSU. It was that good!”

Jason Vislosky
Jason Vislosky,
List Elementary principal

Our district’s professional learning day introduced the New Art and Science of Teaching. It was time well spent. Many PSD trainings make you feel as though you’ve been doing something wrong and need to rethink everything you do. This was different. It reminded us of all the great instructional practices we already use daily throughout the district and provided research-based evidence regarding the timing and frequency of these strategies. With Dr. Acosta we took time to experience together the strategies we were learning.”

Derek Lemanski,
FHS math teacher

“For me, I took away from the PSD that direct instruction is the MAIN component of instruction. I’ve intuitively felt this way, but as demonstrated and supported by Dr. Acosta, I will now begin incorporating this more and more in my classroom. Sometimes having ‘kids teaching kids’ for brief periods of time isn’t the best strategy to use. Of course, peer-to-peer group time is still valuable, but I see how it should now be under the umbrella of direct instruction. It was definitely beneficial to hear Dr. Acosta present research and strategies about guided practice, better note-taking, and the value of providing direct feedback to students within 48 hours.”

Susan Maki,
EFR middle school ELA teacher

“I loved the philosophy of ‘good to great’ and ‘great to even better.’ As an educator, we should never be done improving our methods of instruction. I appreciated having time in a structured format to work with my colleagues on lessons that have worked well in the past – but with all of us working on them together – we could make them even better. It helped us to have more awareness about the facets of Marzano research.”

I hope you enjoyed this ActiveParticipant News!

I believe the power of inspired learning really only occurs when it’s put into inspired action – and I couldn’t be more proud of how our tremendous team of professional educators is embracing this.

Thank you for supporting our students and staff –

and for making the times we’re able to learn together possible!

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