Atlanta Public Schools Adopts Capacity Building PD Solutions

Atlanta Public Schools (APS), serving more than 51,000 students in the greater Atlanta, Ga., metro area, has chosen to partner with ASCD to develop a professional development system to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) through a blended model of capacity building.

ASCD is partnering with Atlanta Public Schools to create a customized, blended capacity-building model of professional learning to provide APS district leaders, specialists, coordinators, and coaches with the skills and resources needed to begin implementing the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards via school-based, job-embedded professional learning within the APS Professional Development System.

The capacity building for APS is a customized, blended (virtual and face-to-face) or "Flipped PD model" and is aligned with the professional development system already in place that focuses on building local capacity and expertise through developing the school teams to begin this work in their schools. These school team experts will be equipped to lead the learning in their schools through the use of research-based PD practices.

"Teachers in every building will benefit from industry best practices and the use of job-embedded PD to learn new skills, maintain and enhance learned practices, transfer what they have learned in school-based PD to the classroom, and determine its effect on student learning," said Dr. Kristal Ayres, APS's director of professional development. "In order to continue our district growth, we are pleased to maintain and strengthen our partnership with ASCD, who can provide world-class and timely professional development resources to meet our educators' and student's needs."

The content focus will be on building background knowledge and understanding of the CCSS, instructional and essential shifts, overall expectations, and grade progressive expectations, integrated with the effective PD practices needed for effective implementation in schools and classrooms.

Participants will complete assigned modules from ASCD's PD Online® CCSS courses prior to each face-to-face workshop and then apply that knowledge to classroom and school practices as well as job-embedded PD implementation plans for use with their teachers. Educators will receive tools, handouts, and PD activities from PD Online Common Core State Standards courses, ASCD webinars, EduCoreTM, and ASCD resources for implementing research-based PD and coaching practices, that will enhance participant understanding of instructional implications of the CCSS. They will also receive materials and plans that can be used as is or customized to the professional learning needs of teachers as teacher leader cadre members provide job-embedded professional development to teachers.