The Burke County Public Schools Strategic Plan developed in 2017, entitled “A Roadmap for Our Schools and Community 2022”, provides direction as we focus on six strategic goals while taking into consideration the needs and the demands of our current and future work force and the economy. The six goals include Committed Teachers, Technology for All, A Safe Environment, Engaged Community, and World-class Service which leads us to our primary goal of Successful Students.
Over the past few years as a demonstration site, Burke County Schools has been busy in our involvement with NC SIP. In September of each year, we host professional development for the following evidence-based reading and math programs that our EC teachers participate in: Number Worlds, VMath, Letterland, Read Well, Language!, and Language Live. The use of evidence-based practices is an expectation that we have for our EC teachers, particularly at our NC SIP feeder pattern schools. Our EC instructional coaches conduct fidelity observations for any EC teacher that has been trained in Reading Research to Classroom Practice and Foundations of Math as well as program training. Our coaches follow up with coaching in providing feedback on their observations.
Burke County has hosted the Reading Research to Classroom Practice and for Foundations of Math courses each year for any EC teachers that need the courses. It is our district’s expectation that all EC teachers complete these two courses. This school year, we are hosting two sessions for RRtCP and FOM for the first time. The district is setting up cohorts for regular education teachers to complete these courses as well. We have six certified instructors in our county who are qualified to teach Foundations of Math and three who teach Reading Research to Classroom practice. All Foundations of Math and Reading Research to Classroom Practice (RRtCP) instructors in our district went through the recertification process. Both of these courses have involved regular education teachers, EC teachers, and administrators from all school levels in the district as well as hosting individuals from other counties in the region. NCSIP coordinators are involved in learning and implementing the new observation tool for the evidence-based programs.
Another initiative in Burke County that we are working toward is effective and efficient co-teaching models throughout our schools. In November, we hosted Co Teaching: Calling All Administrators and Co Teaching: Going Beyond the Basics. This professional learning provided the participants with not only the different models of co-teaching, but multiple ways of effective communication between co-teachers when face-to-face planning is not conducive for both teachers. The sesssion provided a lot of insight into the different levels of collaborative relationships ranging from coexisting to actual co- teaching. This was an “aha moment” for many. Taking the information shared from this professional learning, will help in the beginning process of the 3 Ring Binder Project that is being implemented in our district.
Read more about NC SIP happenings in the NC SIP Connect Winter 2020 Newsletter!