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Did you know? Days off for students are days of learning for teachers

While Penn-Delco students enjoyed a well-earned two days off to end the first quarter, faculty and administrators were busy working together to improve their skills.  There are eight half in-service days and seven full in-service days on the instructional calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.  Those days may be used to train, update skills, or participate in formal professional development.  

In-service days may be held at one location where all faculty meet together, or may be in various locations for trainings or workshops specific to grade level (elementary or secondary) or specialty (like art).   The first in-service days in August included the entire faculty and staff who met at Northley Middle School where the school year was officially launched and important topics were addressed.

Assistant Superintendent Eric Kuminka explains the importance of these crucial days on the instructional calendar: 

"Penn-Delco administrators and faculty members model lifelong learners.  They continuously listen and learn new ways to improve their craft as educators. As society and the world changes, our educators adjust, adapt, and sharpen their tools in the toolbox to ensure their students are Ready for Life in the 21st Century."

The November 4 - 5 in-service featured opportunities for professional development including research supported math instructional training for elementary math teachers.  Danielle Murray, Supervisor of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, oversaw the elementary math training for this in-service and was pleased to incorporate more research-based instruction for her teachers:  

"Each of our general education kindergarten through fifth grade teachers worked to expand their knowledge on research based methods for improving math instruction," she explained.  "Teachers were led through a series of professional trainings that ensure students develop a tangible understanding of the math concepts and skills that they learn."

Secondary administrators and faculty members attended sessions in ways to help students develop purpose and essential workplace skills through career development plans.  Some administrators, counselors and faculty attended safety training at the DCIU to further support the growth of Penn-Delco's emergency procedures and practices (check out Penn-Delco's safety training initiatives in our Penn-Delco video newsletter), while special education teachers had their own workshops and instructional training as well. 

Whether it is individualized or group learning, for Murray, in-service days are invaluable opportunities to support teacher growth and improve the student experience.

"This important time away from students allows teachers to deeper their understanding and continue to be lifelong learners. When teachers learn, students learn. Trainings during professional learning like this and others will improve teaching and allow us to meet the needs of each and every one of our students."