Virtual Professional Development for Teachers
ACE’s first virtual delivery of a professional development program will start on Jan. 11, when five schools will receive Strategic Intervention Team (SIT) training via webinars, with follow-up through wiki and listserv communication and even a virtual SIT coach.
Faculty from four diocesan elementary schools in the South Bend, Ind., area will participate in the interactive webinars on three consecutive Wednesdays this month. Nancy Masters, ACE’s associate program director for the Teaching Exceptional Children (TEC) program, will present this award-winning training.
The SIT coach, Lindsay Johns Will (ACE 14), will introduce herself to the participants via a visual link and then will offer her online services for these schools throughout the new year. Lindsay teaches at St. Clement Catholic School in Chicago. She formed a successful SIT team during her own coursework in the TEC certification program.
ACE’s Strategic Intervention Teams initiative provides ongoing assistance to Catholic schools that serve children with learning and behavioral problems. The initiative helps teachers develop the process, protocol, and strategies for teacher-led intervention teams, as well as the materials and strategies to help teachers evaluate and enhance their own teaching strategies.
The purposes of the team are threefold: to provide a forum for teachers to develop intervention strategies for students exhibiting learning or behavior difficulties; to provide personnel resource for determining appropriate interventions for students in the regular classroom setting; and to decrease the number of inappropriate referrals for testing or special-education placement.
The SIT initiative, established several years ago and overseen by ACE’s Ryan Director of Program Development Dr. Joyce Johnstone, has consistently used digital communications to help its trained teachers stay in touch. Numerous alumni of the teams around the country maintain online networks for sharing experiences and best practices.
Each of the four local schools will also receive several resources that have been found useful by teams across the nation. Also, the webinars will be archived so that future faculty members, or even parents at these schools, may view them.
The schools are: Holy Cross, Our Lady of Hungary, and St. Anthony de Padua, all in South Bend, and St. Vincent, in Elkhart.