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Time for professional development

Issue Addressed:

Time for professional development


Summary: Creating a cadre of community and classified people who present special modules to the teacher's classroom, freeing them to participate in on-site professional development. Overview: Special Presenters Creating time for inclusive, coordinated professional development is a growing challenge for schools. The Mesa Systemic Initiative has responded by building a Special Presenter Program which allows classroom teachers a 2 and 1/2 hour period for professional development, while Special Presenters teach their classes. The Special Presenters are people with a classified standing who are trained in science and math modules which are utilized by them to teach the classes. They also receive instruction in classroom management. The Special Presenters arrive at the school with their complete module and all necessary materials to teach the module. While students participate in high interest lessons, their teachers engage in site-specific professional development such as: exploring alternatives in science assessment with colleagues, meeting a district math specialist regarding the new adoption, or observing master teachers in the computer laboratory. The program is coordinated by a curriculum coordinator who, together with other resource specialists from math, science and technology, plans the curriculum and arranges for the professional development. The curriculum coordinator observes and evaluates the Special Presenters. The program coordinator works closely with the schools and schedules all of the Special Presenters when requests are sent to her from schools. She works with a member of the school staff to coordinate the schedule. She is responsible for scheduling the Special Presenters at the school. At this time there are two modules for each grade level from kindergarten through sixth grades. This allows schools to request Special Presenters twice a year. The Special Presenter Program offers two sessions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. For more information, contact: Peggy Underwood (602) 890-7362 or visit our homepage at:

Unresolved Issues:

In process: meeting the escalating demand (over 1200 MPS classrooms served last year)


Bob Box, 1/6/1998


Professional Development



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