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Effective Professional Learning: The Secret Sauce for Successful Classroom Transformations
Monday December 9, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
Presented by Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent, Meriden Public Schools, CT; Barbara Haeffner, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, Meriden Public Schools, CT; and Susan Moore, Supervisor of Blended Learning, Meriden Public Schools, CT
Program Host and Moderator: Ann McMullan, Project Director, CoSN Empowered Superintendents Initiative
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Despite decades of existing research, school district professional development programs often fail to demonstrate any measurable improvement in teacher and student classroom practice. One of the most critical keys to an effective, well-designed, professional development program is a coordinated leadership strategy for planning and delivering professional learning experiences within a school district.
In this edWebinar, the superintendent, the director of curriculum and instructional technology, and the supervisor of blended learning in the Meriden Public School District in Connecticut share the collaborative work they do to assure that professional learning experiences for teachers, administrators and staff in their school district is impactful and effective in changing classroom practice across their district.
The Meriden Public Schools leadership team reviews several factors that school leaders must consider as they plan for and evaluate district professional learning opportunities. The team also shares how they implement three critical guidelines for professional learning that result in improved classroom practice:
- Focusing on specific content areas
- Hands-on learning
- Directly connecting the professional learning experience to classroom daily practice
This recorded edWebinar will be of particular value to school superintendents, K-12 school and district leaders, and aspiring leaders.
About the Presenters
Mark D. Benigni, Ed.D. has been an educator for over 20 years and begins his 10th year as Superintendent of the Meriden Public Schools. Dr. Benigni served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and Mayor of the City of Meriden. In addition to leading the Meriden Public Schools to its highest academic scores in district history, Dr. Benigni has presented at national conferences, taught doctorate classes, and published a book and numerous articles. He was recognized as CoSN’s 2018 Empowered Superintendent, a 2015 Education Week Leaders to Learn From, and one of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans. The Meriden Public Schools has received awards from CoSN, the Learning Counsel, NSBA, Digital Promise, District Administration, and Edutopia. Dr. Benigni is currently the co-chair of the Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents, as well as 1st vice president of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
Barbara Haeffner, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology for the Meriden Public Schools, has a unique position that draws on her strong background and experience with curricula content and technology integration. Her leadership has transformed the district into a 1:1 digital learning environment where technology is embedded in all aspects of curricula. As a member of central office, she was a recipient of the 2017 CoSN Team Award. She is an advisory member of the CoSN Driving K-12 Innovation Committee, CoSN Emerging Technologies Committee, and CoSN Awards Committee. Barbara has presented at numerous state and national conferences including ISTE, American Association of School Administrators (AASA), and FETC. Her work has led to the district’s recognition as Edutopia Schools that Work, Google Reference District, and Schools of TechXcellence. Barbara welcomes visitors to the district to observe digital learning in action.
Susan Moore, Supervisor of Blended Learning, supports blended learning models to enhance student-centered practices in the Meriden Public Schools. Susan is instrumental in developing district innovations including: Personalized Learning Experiences, a student-designed, credit-earning experience in which students explore a talent, interest or career option; I’m Charged!, a teacher recognition program featuring teachers utilizing G-Suite, integrating technology, and showcasing their model classrooms; and Embedded Coaching, a professional learning community of instructional coaches supporting teachers by strengthening technology skills and enhancing learning through improved integration of technology. As a member of CoSN, Susan was the recipient of the CoSN Team Award and is an advisory member of the CoSN Driving K-12 Innovation Committee. Susan’s support of G-Suite professional learning for all staff and students led to the district’s recognition as a Google Reference District. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences including CoSN, ISTE, and CT Alliance Convening.
About the Host
Ann McMullan is Project Director for CoSN’s Empowered Superintendents Initiative. Ann served as Executive Director, Educational Technology in the Klein Independent School District, near Houston, Texas until September 2013, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles, California. For 16 years Ann led the district team that provided professional development on technology and 21st century instructional strategies to 4,000 professional educators serving 50,000 students. Ann served as co-chair of Texas Education Technology Advisory Committee which developed the Texas Long Range Plan for Technology, 2006-2020. Today, Ann is based in Los Angeles working as a public speaker, writer, and education consultant focused on leadership and planning to meet the needs of today’s students. Ann serves on the Project Tomorrow advisory council and is a leadership consultant with Executive Service Corps of Southern California, serving non-profit associations. Ann co-authored Life Lessons in Leadership, a guide for leaders ages eight to 88.
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CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.