Texas district implements professional development solution

Killeen Independent School District (ISD), serving the south Texas communities of Killeen, Fort Hood, Harker Heights, and Nolanville, is meeting its professional development goals through a new partnership withASCD. An international membership organization comprising more than 160,000 members from 140 countries, ASCD provides programs, products and services to educators.

Situated just outside of the largest military installation in the free world, Killeen ISD faces a number of unique professional development challenges. Many district staff are spouses of armed forces personnel stationed at Fort Hood who are deployed overseas; thus, the military spouse has limited capacity to attend scheduled professional development events after school due to personal responsibilities at home.

Killeen ISD also needed professional development resources that could be embedded into the district’s existing professional learning communities. To support these communities, the professional development solution needed to solve learning challenges and answer questions in real time for educators in the community.

Finally, the district sought a solution to support the district’s Lead with Curriculum, Expert Instructional Delivery, Assessments Ongoing, Respond to the Needs or LEARN model, which ensures a guaranteed and viable curriculum in every class. Developed by district principals, the LEARN model responds to all students’ needs with top-quality curriculum, expert instructional delivery, and ongoing assessments.

To meet these various requirements, Killeen ISD choseASCD’s PD In Focus®professional development solution, which the district began to implement in July. ASCD’s PD In Focus provides educators with on-demand access to hundreds of hours of videos plus related resources and activities. The program is designed to bring practical classroom applications to life, coupling examples from contemporary teaching with insights from key voices in education today. Killeen ISD now implements PD In Focus in all 32 of its elementary schools and 17 of its secondary schools, reaching approximately 3,600 educators total.

“ASCD’s PD In Focus was the logical choice to meet the district’s professional development needs,” explained Killeen ISD Chief Academic Officer Diana Miller. “We were seeking a partner that would work with us to identify our unique professional development needs and provide an effective solution, but also support our implementation of that solution.”

PD In Focus offers search capabilities and tagging to help users find the material most relevant to their needs. Because it’s web-based, users can access it anywhere there’s an Internet connection—including from mobile devices and tablets. In addition to providing specialized technical support to integrate PD In Focus content into the district’s existing information technology infrastructure, ASCD developed and delivered specialized training for school principals and other stakeholders that helped them support the implementation and use of this new professional development resource.