Jessica Huizenga, Superintendent
100 West St.
Milford, NH 03055
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, Oct. 7, 2019
Media Contact: Jordan Mayblum
Email: [email protected]
Milford Educators Take Part in Year’s First Professional Development Day
MILFORD — Throughout the district, Milford teachers and paraprofessionals took part in the kickoff of a year-long professional development program during the school year’s first early release day late last month.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, staff at each school came together with their peers to take part in the first of several professional development days that will be held throughout the year, after students went home early.
Most teachers took part in an afternoon-long session on supporting student learning, drawing upon the methods of educational consultant Bill Ribas of Ribas and Associates, and focusing on a brain-based approach to teaching. Brain-based teaching places an emphasis on teaching to students’ diverse learning styles and capabilities.
The sessions were geared toward improving teachers’ understanding and ability to excel within the Frameworks for Teaching, which the district uses as a core tool in evaluating teacher performance.
“Enhancing our professional development program is one of our core strategic plan goals,” Superintendent Jessica Huizenga said. “It’s exciting for us to be able to strengthen our approach so that teachers can dive into these frameworks and learn from experts in the field and be the best they can be so that our students benefit most in the end.”
Paraprofessionals at each school, who work closely with students on a day-to-day basis but rarely have a chance to work with one another, had a chance to take part in an afternoon of diverse team-building exercises.
“Our paraprofessionals expressed a strong desire to have an opportunity to experience professional development that’s truly relevant to them, since their roles are different than that of a traditional teacher,” Assistant Superintendent Christi Michaud said. “At the same time, we want them to see one another as teammates and draw upon their shared experience and knowledge.”
At Jacques Memorial School, a small group of teachers and staff who make up the school’s Student Behavior Support Team were provided time to get together and explore ways they can support students with social and emotional challenges.
During that session, participants discussed the work that goes into developing multi-tiered systems of support that can be employed to provide students with the exact amount of help they need to be successful and overcome the challenges they face.
In all, the day was the first of monthly early release days scheduled throughout the year, which will give teachers and staff time to take part in a variety of professional development programs and further explore the professional learning communities the district is also launching this year.