As is the tradition in the Colonial School District, staff took part in professional development while the students were off of school for Election Day. Lessons focused on making the most of digital tools to accommodate virtual and hybrid learners.

“Professional development looked a little different this year, because everything looks a little different this year,” said Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and Plymouth Elementary School Principal Rosemarie Gregitis. “It was a nice opportunity to review and introduce new tools and strategies for teaching and learning in a virtual environment.” 

Staff participated in two different levels of courses to help build their virtual learning toolboxes. In the higher level course, teachers were given time to take what they had learned and apply it to something they could use right away in their lessons. 

The curriculum team also met with Long Term Substitutes over Zoom for a mini “induction,” which is what Colonial calls the four-day training that all new permanent Colonial teachers attend prior to the start of school in the fall. It included technology and planning tips, as well as a review of the District’s expectations for teachers. 

“We recognize our long term substitutes are a temporary part of the staff, but it’s important that they are well supported,” said Dr. Katy Giovanisci, Curriculum Supervisor. “They’re a great group of positive professionals eager to work with our students this year. It was fun to feed off of their enthusiasm for the profession and talk about ways to create engaging virtual lessons.”

Other sessions allowed teachers and paraprofessionals to dig deeper into the District’s two Learning Management Systems (LMS): Canvas and Google Classroom.