Teachers begin extended-day training on Achieve 180

Campuses receiving extra support and training every Wednesday

Teachers from across the district gathered at their campuses on Wednesday afternoon for their first extended-day, professional development session as part of Achieve 180, the district’s initiative to support underserved and academically challenged schools.

Achieve 180 contains six research-based best practices or pillars that provide a framework for the transformational work happening at 44 schools throughout HISD. One pillar of the plan, instructional excellence, includes two-hours of specialized and differentiated professional development for core teachers every Wednesday afternoon. The campus trainings are supported by district Teacher Development Specialists and staff from the Elementary and Secondary Curriculum Departments. Teachers at the Achieve 180 campuses receive extra-duty pay for the weekly professional development. 

Staff from Bonham Elementary gathered in the school’s cafeteria for their first Wednesday training delivered by campus instructional specialist Jererita Wilson. Wilson was provided with materials, resources, and tools on data-driven protocols for student learning, which were developed and provided by the district’s Student Assessment department.

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“Some of this is totally new for us, and it’s designed to push and challenge us, but we are all learning together, we are all in this together,” Wilson told her colleagues.

As part of the training, Wilson led teachers through a scavenger-hunt type exercise to find different data reports for students on various state-standards. After the two-hour session, teachers left with a better understanding of district provided resources, tools, and reports they can use to support student learning and growth.”

“This is awesome,” exclaimed third-grade math teacher CaShaune Murphy. “I can use this information to better know where my students are at in their learning, what concepts I need to reteach, and which students need targeted and differentiated instruction.”

Various departments throughout the district are developing future lesson plans and materials for the Wednesday professional development sessions. The goal is to align and level-set Achieve 180 campuses in areas of literacy, curriculum implementation and instruction, assessments, and use of data to drive instruction. Campuses will also receive specialized professional development designed to meet the unique needs of their campus.

“The documents provided to us and the thinking behind this training is amazing,” said Bonham Principal Anna White. “As a school leader, it really helps me to be able to strengthen and build upon what I am already doing on a daily basis to coach and grow my teachers.”