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Summer filled with training, professional development opportunities

PARKER – Only a few days into summer break, a group of dedicated high school and middle school teachers were back to work, waking up early to learn more about how backwards design can improve their courses.
Hundreds of teachers volunteered for the GVC Unit Design Academy, which is known as GUDA. Mary Murphy with the World-Class Education department says it is one of many opportunities that teachers have this summer to improve their craft.
“It’s a summer full of training, workshops and professional development,” Murphy said. “Next week is the elementary GUDA; there will also be science camp for elementary teachers.”
The GUDA sessions are only the first of six workshops offered by the department.
June 4th-5th, MS GUDA at the Wildlife Experience
June 6th-7th, HS GUDA at the Wildlife Experience
June 10th-11th, Outdoor Education Science Unit Design at the Outdoor Ed Center
June 11th-12th, Elem GUDA at the Lone Tree Arts Center
June 16th-17th, 19th-20th, and 23rd-24th, Elementary Science & Inquiry Camps all at Castle Rock Elementary
June 18th-19th, ESL Summer Institute at the Sheraton DTC
The Center for Professional Development is also offering courses in July and August on backwards design and how to align this planning to the District’s Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (GVC).
“It was imperative for us to make sure that teachers understood Stages 1 and 2 [of backwards design] are directly aligned to GVC documents, which are also aligned to the system performance assessments as well,” Murphy said.
As teachers have worked to improve the GVC, the focus for GUDA has changed too.

“It’s no longer about standards and testing those standards,” explained Murphy. “It’s about using those standards in a pathway towards a skill to develop and master that world class outcome. That was probably the biggest 'ah ha' that we accomplished during the workshop.”

“It was amazing how many in the room made that shift right in front of our very eyes,” she added.

The World Class Education staff provided differentiated instruction, so that the teachers could learn at their own pace. The goal is for the educators to have backwards designed units that are ready to use for the fall.

Murphy believes that will translate to increased teacher effectiveness, as these educators take the lessons back to their classroom.

“I know we will see unbelievable engagement with the students, phenomenal summative assessments, and, we hope the teachers feel the results of their planning and hard work in this two-day workshop next year when they are in their classrooms, and through their students’ success,” Murphy said.

Teachers interested in attending the remaining workshops will want to contact the World Class Education department. They can sign up for the professional development courses by going to the Center for Professional Development’s Online Course Catalog.

The goal is also to train representatives from each school as Curriculum and Instructional Leaders (CILs) and those teacher leaders will then share their knowledge with their colleagues.

October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category:

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.