Just ASK’s professional development work is focused on helping schools and school districts, through long-term multifaceted work, to build in-house capacity and sustainability of professional develop initiatives. The success stories highlighted on this page feature examples of schools and school districts that have accomplished just that. We are proud of our role in helping them on their journey toward excellence in teaching, learning, and leading.
New Teacher Retention
Just ASK provided four-day Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?® summer institutes in St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado, as a significant component of the district’s new teacher induction program. The district’s Office of Professional Development initiated a series of studies conducted by an independent evaluator to provide information on the effectiveness of the induction program. Of specific interest was whether the program led to teacher retention. This evaluation revealed that providing novice teachers comprehensive professional development greatly increased their retention rate compared to previous years. 100% of elementary novice teachers and 93% of secondary novice teachers were retained at the end of the 2002-2003 school year.
Students Achieve at High Levels
A Manhattan Institute Report based on 2006-2007 data identified West Irondequoit Central School District, Rochester, New York, as the only Monroe County school district to deliver higher than expected academic achievement results. The distinction is based on higher than expected NYS test scores when per pupil expenditures, size, income, and demographic characteristics were taken into account. Dr. Linda McGinley, former Associate Superintendent for Instruction, identified Just ASK’s 21 years of continuous professional development partnership with West Irondequoit as a significant contributing factor. The district’s unwavering focus on student learning, teacher capacity building, and instructional leadership has led to record-breaking results. Contact Just ASK for specific information about this long-term professional development partnership.
Orchard Avenue Elementary School in Mesa County Valley District 51, Grand Junction, Colorado, has been so successful in closing the achievement gap that it received the first Colorado Department of Education Commissioner’s Cup. In 2010, Orchard Avenue was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U. S. Department of Education. Principal Denise Hoctor credits Just ASK Senior Consultant Brenda Kaylor’s five years of work with the district as having made a significant impact on teaching, learning, and leading. To see the school in action, view our Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century DVDs which feature Orchard Avenue students and teachers.
Students Achieve at High Levels
When Prince William County Schools, Manassas, Virginia, used Just ASK’s long-term multifaceted approach to increasing student achievement, the students of a majority of the novice teachers in the district’s underachieving schools matched or out-performed the students of veteran teachers in those schools on the Virginia Standards of Learning. These novice teachers attended the four-day workshop series Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?® and their mentors participated in Mentoring in the 21st Century®. Additionally, their principals participated in Leading the Learning® described on page 6. Over 30 educators in the district were trained as Certified Local Trainers (CLTs) to sustain the work over time. Contact Just ASK for information about how to implement such a program in your district.