Every school year school administrators and teachers come together to try and help students better achieve their goals. School district 93 in Idaho Falls has even implemented a new program to help students, teachers and parents work together towards those goals.
Since last year School District 93 has started implementing professional learning communities, every Wednesday afternoon classes release early so teachers can come together and focus on student achievement.
“So during those collaboration meetings, teachers discuss the data, they discuss specific student needs, and focus all of their attention towards student achievement” said Instructional Coach, Rodd Rapp.
Instructional coaches are also brought in to write lesson plans and supervise the process.
These coaches were full time teachers but now their job is to help with the professional learning communities.
“If you look at a teacher’s salary it’s quite high when you get into all of it, so we’re actually taking a teacher that could be in the classroom, taking a full teacher’s salary and putting them in” said Title One Coordinator Clarice Miller.
Each instructional coach oversees two elementary schools.
So far District 93 has implemented these instructional coaches into six elementary schools.
“We’re really looking at the middle schools especially and high schools because those teachers need just as much help as elementary” continued Miller.
District 93 has decided to use federal funding to pay the instructional coaches.
So far, they say they are very pleased with the program and the results.
“It’s been very positive feedback and the students have felt the same way, they’re always excited, they love what we do and, being able to have such ownership of their own learning has been very passionate for them” continued Rapp.
District 93 hopes to have these professional learning communities in their middle schools and high schools within the next two years.