Communication Center  Conference  Projects Share  Reports from the Field Resources  Library  LSC Project Websites  NSF Program Notes
 How to Use this site    Contact us  LSC-Net: Local Systemic Change Network
Best Practices

Queries and Replies

Curriculum Implementation And Materials Support

Student Outcomes

Leveraging Support

Policy Issues

Professional Development

Impact Of LSCs' Progress

Program Management



Bulletin Board

Queries and Replies

Replies to Query:


We are interested in what types of PD sessions have...

Reply 1:

In the summer of 1998, our project added professional development centered on standards-based mathematics for all K-8 principals in the district to the project. The design included one day when principals were to attend and observe professional development for mathematics teachers and a half day session with principals only. The idea was that principals would learn from participating with teachers and have something to discuss with one another on the second day. Topics for the 2nd half-day session included: (a) questions about the program's curriculum & instruction; (b)alignment of the mathematics project with the state accountability system (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills, the TAAS test); (c) what should campus administrators expect to see in classrooms with inquiry-based mathematics education; (d) alignment of state standards for mathematics with the TAAS test; (e) reorganization of professional development to accommodate the needs of teachers and campuses; (f) the Concerns-Based Adoption Model; (g) how to handle parents' concerns and questions; and (h) strengths of and suggestions for the project. A major issue of the pd for principals was attendance. Half or fewer of the district's principals attended the sessions. Sometimes campus administrators attended one day of the professional development and not the other. During the teacher sessions, some principals were unwilling to participate in activities with teachers. Others were supportive of teachers. In the administrators' sessions, some principals were enthusiastic and participated in the discussions. Others did not feel they had time to attend the sessions or were oppositional. In the end, central office administrators were pulled in to require principals' attendance at make up sessions. Although some principals are concerned about the benefits of investigative mathematics for children, this past summer many were concerned about materials, supplies and logistical problems of implementing the program. Our project struggled to try to bring the information to campus leaders and garner their support. Campus leadership and support for the project is still evolving and needs to be more powerful.


Michelle L Batchelder, 1/20/1999

Reply 2:

During the summer of 1998, we held a demonstration summer school for 5 weeks, K-6. The focus was implementing our standards-based curriculum for mathematics, science and integrating it with language arts. Each elementary principal was required to attend for one week. Principals saw how effective classrooms look and participated in hands-on activites along with teachers and students. The student achievement for this model was extremely impressive. The students chosen, reflected the make up of our district, so the argument of only 'good students' achieve was discounted. Our principals saw what can happen when instruction is varied and curriculum is investigative. Central office administrators also participated with this pd activity. With the start of the school year, many principals were informed and are now strongly encouraging theri teachers to stick to the standards-based curriculum. We shared data with the administrators on the ineffectiveness of teacher made skill and drill instruction. I must commend our Evaluation department for their expertise. We also held a 2-day workshop for our secondary 7-12 principals and administrators. Like the elementary pd, attendence was madatory. Though we did not have the classrooms to observe, the partipants experienced minds-on and investigative activites for algebra and geometry. They also were involved with activites showing a balance approach to instruction: problem solving, conceptual understanding and skills instruction. They, also, returned to their school sites with greater knowledge of effective mathematics classroom. It has been diffucult but with all pd the follow up activites have been necessary and effective.


anonymous, 1/20/1999

Reply 3:

At last summer's Leadership conference, August of 1998, we initiated a session just for Principals and Administrators that was developed by a Focus Group of Elementary Principals. Although we had ASSET Resource Teachers on the Focus Group for planning, it was the groups intent and interest that they wanted a session without teachers. They wanted to concentrate on issues pertinent to their roles and our objective was to begin a process of on going Professional Development for them. The "hook" was that we invited a University Professor from the University of Pittsburgh who had been doing work with Principals in Allegheny County and in some surrounding States whom they admired, to facilitate the session. Using his name and his talents we assembled about 50% of the invited Principals (120) to give up two days during the summer without any compensation to attend our workshop. Most of them came for the 2 days that were planned and we focused on the topic of "How do Principals recognize Inquiry in the Elementary Classroom?" The additional feature to this design was that the University Professor committed to include a continuation of the discussions begun in the summer to his Principals' Academy that he hosts during the school year. We are just beginning to design and plan for this group to have its second session. I don't know what will happen.


Vince J Valicenti, 1/23/1999