More than 400 Cherry Creek Schools’ teachers are not on summer break – they’re in summer school!
CCSD teachers are life-long learners; continually expanding their knowledge and skills so they can do even more to help their students succeed academically. That’s why so many of them are attending the CCSD Summer Learning Academy during the first two weeks of their summer break.
“We have a very talented group of teachers who are intrinsically interested in learning,” said John Eyolfson, CCSD K-12 science coordinator and one of the Summer Learning Academy science instructors. “They are truly committed to preparing children for success in science from elementary school, into middle and high school, college and careers.”
Among those talented teachers are Shelly Schmidt and Elizabeth Schumacher, both kindergarten teachers at Aspen Crossing Elementary.
“There’s always something new and exciting to learn, so we can bring excitement back to the classroom,” said Schmidt, who has 30 years of experience, but is taking four academy classes, including Implementing Elementary Life Science, which includes a unit using live goldfish and snails.
“Our schools are moving toward such a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) focus, it’s important to be prepared,” said Schumacher, who has 12 years of experience. “Plus it’s so much fun!”
Teachers attending the CCSD Summer Learning Academy can choose from 34 classes in Math, Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, English Language Acquisition, World Languages, Instructional Technology, Gifted and Talented and Planning and Practice.
“As educators, we’re always in the process of improving our practice,” said Eyolfson.
Although the Cherry Creek School District offers many professional development opportunities throughout the year, this is the first time it has offered such a wide array of courses at one time in one location. The goal is to make it easier for teachers to meet district, state and federal requirements for continuing education. In Colorado, teachers must earn six credits – the equivalent of 90 hours of professional development – every five years in order to maintain their certification.
“Our goal is to have an excellent teacher for every child,” said Dr. Floyd Cobb, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Cherry Creek Schools. “To do that requires continuous learning. We feel very fortunate to have such talented teacher educators to offer these sessions and support us in this work.”
The Summer Learning Academy is also helping Cherry Creek teachers prepare for the many new programs that will be implemented in the next two years. That includes the new Colorado Academic Standards - the expectations of what students need to know and be able to do at the end of each grade - and the new PARCC assessment, which will replace the TCAP test in 2015.
Posted June 14, 2013.