Campus, district leaders share best practices at first-ever all virtual PLS 2020

Nearly 2,000 district and school-based employees gathered online for HISD’s first-ever all virtual Professional Learning Series (PLS), three days of professional development, team building, and preparation for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

The theme of this year’s event, which took place June 15-17, was “Virtual Learning and Beyond: Bridging Gaps with Strong Systems.” A major focus of the series included preparing for a virtual school system, as well as management best practices and guidance for schools and teachers on how to support students engaged in online learning.

“We are embracing the virtual learning space across HISD, and PLS this summer is no exception,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said during the recorded general session. “It is our goal that our leaders rejuvenate, renew and reimagine the possibilities for the upcoming school year.”

The series included trainings on digital literacy resources, building a tech toolbox, as well as addressing social and emotional learning in a virtual landscape. In keeping with the online nature of the program, over the two days of training attendees interacted via Twitter, sharing what each of them found to be inspirational, educational and helpful for the coming school year.

“Today was a great day,” Patterson Elementary Assistant Principal Chandra Reed said. “PLS is ensuring that we have all we need to support and lead our teachers, students, parents and learning communities throughout the upcoming school year.”  

PLS is the district’s ongoing professional development series designed to develop and strengthen professional competencies of campus leaders and teachers. The work that occurred during the virtual series was developed to reinforce the district’s focus on transformation of teaching and learning through the mastery of HISD Leader Competencies. 

“We have learned that we can build a new and innovative approach to learning together,” Leadership Development Senior Manager Lauren Ford said. “The technology tidal wave has reached our most valuable resource- Leaders, Teachers, Learners, for life.”