Delaware district partners with ASCD to support PD

Christina School District, the largest school district in the state of Delaware, has chosen ASCD as its new professional development partner. With approximately 16,800 students and more than 2,500 staff, Christina School District serves the City of Newark and its surrounding suburban areas, as well as a portion of the City of Wilmington.

To meet the goal of supporting school-based administrators and teacher leaders in their instructional leadership roles, Christina School District’s professional development team turned to ASCD and its Capacity-Building solution. Available to schools, districts, or regional service agencies, ASCD’s Capacity Building solution can be delivered on-site, virtually, or in a blended model.

“Christina School District strives to create a system of education where research-based teaching and learning cultivates students of distinction at high levels. To help us achieve this vision, we sought a professional development partner that would listen to, understand, and design a solution to meet the specific leadership development requests generated by our administrators and aligned with our district-level Race to the Top plan,” said Dr. Judi Coffield, director of K–12 services for the Christina School District. “Together with ASCD, we were able to create a leadership development program that is empowering our school leaders to support the success of each learner.”

Built upon the idea that school improvement needs structures and procedures that support sustainability, ASCD’s Capacity Building solution is customized for each partner through a process that focuses on building awareness, skill development, implementation, and maintenance of targeted educational behaviors over time. The goal is to support teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators as they become local experts in instruction and leadership.

Collaborating closely with Christina School District staff, ASCD’s team created a professional development initiative focused on supporting administrators as they work with state- and district-level coaches and teacher leaders in their schools to build teachers’ capacity for success. Highlights of this initiative include the development and support of a collaborative framework that empowers administrators, coaches, and teacher leaders as they work together; the creation and implementation of school-level action plans and follow-up activities that integrate ongoing school-based professional development activities; and the institution of leadership learning meetings to share implementation efforts. This first phase was recently jump-started with a full day of professional development led by Pete Hall, a middle school principal from Spokane, Wash., and coauthor of Building Teacher’s Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders.

In addition, a second phase of leadership development is planned for the district. In this phase, professional development efforts will be aimed at empowering school administrators to help teachers and coaches meet the needs of Christina School District’s diverse student populations through differentiated instruction.