When school is out, teachers become the students

The first week of sum­mer for the stu­dents at Neshaminy was not vaca­tion time for edu­ca­tors through­out the dis­trict. Besides fin­ish­ing up paper­work and prepar­ing class­rooms for the sum­mer, staff mem­bers spent sev­er­al days in pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment class­es learn­ing from each oth­er and out­side pre­sen­ters on a wide vari­ety of top­ics.

The two‐day Neshaminy Ignite pro­gram offered dozens of class­es on top­ics rang­ing from new edu­ca­tion­al soft­ware and cutting‐edge cur­ricu­lum to stu­dent safe­ty and child sup­port. Curricular sem­i­nars includ­ed:

  • Project‐based learn­ing meth­ods
  • Math in Focus
  • Using Google Classroom in Physical Education class­es
  • Elementary Literacy Best Practices
  • Middle School Science and Three Dimensional Learning
  • AVID pro­gram train­ing
  • Art and music teach­ing tech­niques
  • World Language Sharing Discoveries
  • Software train­ing on Canvas, Naviance, Google Tools, nurs­ing soft­ware, SeeSaw, web­site man­age­ment and more
  • Positive Behavior pro­gram (SWPBIS) best prac­tices

These class­es were an oppor­tu­ni­ty for teach­ers to share their real‐world expe­ri­ence using new tech­niques, mate­ri­als and soft­ware to max­i­mize effec­tive­ness.

Student social and emo­tion­al sup­port issues were addressed as it is an impor­tant part of the district’s strate­gic plan. There were sem­i­nars on social work, nurs­ing, phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion, sui­cide pre­ven­tion, and stress man­age­ment (for stu­dents and teach­ers).

Staff mem­bers in each build­ing par­tic­i­pat­ed in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) train­ing to learn best prac­tices for rec­og­niz­ing and respond­ing to an active shoot­er sit­u­a­tion. This train­ing even includ­ed drills in which they put their knowl­edge to work with sim­u­lat­ed alerts.

All staff mem­bers also par­tic­i­pat­ed in anoth­er impor­tant social / emo­tion­al stu­dent sup­port top­ic — an opi­oid aware­ness sem­i­nar.