Professional Development

Syracuse City School District Volume 22-23 Issue #3

The Professional Development Department is committed to coordinating efforts to provide daily opportunities for training and support for our SCSD staff that would help them to maintain continuity in communication and learning for our SCSD students and families. The following is a summary report of that work for the past two calendar months.

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Professional Development Session Topics

The following professional learning offerings were available to staff:

  • Accountable Talk

  • Aggression Replacement Therapy

  • Building Men Most Club Training

  • Content Professional Development

  • Core 4 Captain
  • ER&D-Interactive Direct Instruction
  • ELA Questioning
  • Explore Your Own Digital Content
  • Little Bits
  • Map Accelerator
  • Management Master
  • NEO-Career Pathways for School Counselors and Social Workers
  • NEO-Creating IEP
  • NEO- ENL, World Language, Bilingual Education
  • NEO-Health and Physical Education
  • NEO- Topics in Social Studies
  • NEO-What is a Disciplinary Core Idea?
  • Pathway to Fuse
  • Restorative Justice Training
  • SCSD Extended Learning Walk Opportunities
  • Soundtrap Training
  • SyraFuse Cohort 7 -January F2F
  • SyraFusion -January F2F
  • Success Criteria
  • Teaching Strategies for Early Childhood
  • Technology Integration
  • TI-Nspire Training
  • Understanding Section 504

Overall Rating: 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent) Stars

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3.72 Average Rating

Positive Feedback Quotes

  • Time to reflect & share with other Fellows.
  • Being able to plan with other teachers and connect our curricula.
  • Learning about how to implement more Accountable Talk.
  • I learned all about the 12 moves and their functions.
  • Station rotations kept us moving and interested, and the information was concise and clear.
  • Analyzing what I already do in the classroom and how I can improve my teaching.
  • I liked the packet/forms that were provided for us for professional development.
  • The success criteria examples in the handout were very useful.
  • Making sure I’m making the most out of my lessons and hitting all the success criteria.
  • I enjoyed actively working on a document and sharing it with others because I could see how it may look in the classroom.
  • Learning about different tools for digital notetaking-- I never would have considered MS Word a reasonable option.
  • Sharing the different accommodations you can use with Microsoft (immersive reader and dictations).

Constructive Feedback Quotes

  • Include teacher and student experiences in professional development.
  • I would love to see video footage or a live in-person demonstration with teachers, etc.
  • Provide more time for discussion and questions. Also, discuss applicability of Accountable Talk across a wide spectrum of classrooms.
  • More time to talk about chapters.
  • Accountable talk focused in ENL setting... at what level should Accountable Talk be introduced to ENL students?
  • There were a lot of different tabs to navigate so maybe a slightly slower pace would have been helpful.
  • I would love to see a video of a teacher using Nearpod in an ELA classroom.
  • I would like to do this more than once. Repetition helps me remember.
  • An hour really isn't enough time for this PD. I could spend an hour just exploring the resources.

District Professional Development Feedback Responses by Building (248)

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School Spotlight

Each issue we will highlight the principal, coaches and lead teachers in an SCSD school building. The spotlight school for this issue is:

Frazer K-8

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Teresa Sauro, Instructional Coach, Frazer Pre-K-8 School

Professional Superpower: Reflection and resiliency

Most rewarding part of the job: The most rewarding part of my job is working with teachers who genuinely want to hone their craft. Whether they are just starting out, or have been teaching for years, educators who want to learn new things and improve on their teaching are so much fun to work with!

Positive Impact my work has on staff and students: My role has the most impact through working together with teachers in student focused ways. Work based on instructional delivery, analyzing classroom data, finding the right materials, or just conversations about how to move one child, all ultimately target student need. My job is to keep the end goal in mind for students and to support teachers in creating the best path to reach that goal.

Something special about my school community: We have an amazing staff at Frazer. People support one another and lift each other up every day.

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Maria Alejo, Fuse Fellow, Frazer Pre-K-8 School

Professional Superpower: Motivation and Dedication

Most rewarding part of the job: The most rewarding work I do in my role is building life long connections with my students. My job is more than making sure they have learned the Spanish standards. I get to know each students' interests and struggles in and out of the classroom and support them.

Positive impact my work has on staff and students: Building relationships is so important to me. I do this by taking an interest in what is going on in their lives, listening to how they are feeling and helping out when I can.

Something special about my school community: I am lucky to be surrounded by such dedicated staff and amazing students at Frazer. They are the reason I show up to work every day.

Is there anything else you'd like to share or highlight? Participating in SyraFuse has been a wonderful opportunity. I am grateful for my coaches and the Impact Team!

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Danielle Watt, Content Liaison, Frazer Pre-K-8 School

Professional Superpower: Building Relationships

Most rewarding part of the job: Build a collaborative community that helps our students feel safe and more welcome at Frazer.

Positive Impact my work has on staff and students: As a content liaison, I am able to see all the students building social emotional skills and civic action.

Something special about my school community: Frazer is a place where teachers truly want the best for their students and help students grow emotionally and academically.

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Marie Peterson, Demonstration Teacher & Tracy Waters Content Liaison, Frazer K-8 School

Marie and Tracy Co-teach in a 3rd grade classroom at Frazer

Marie Peterson

Professional Superpower: Positive Vibes

Most rewarding part of the job: I enjoy opening our classroom door for other educators to come in and observe, question, learn, and hopefully grow from their experience in our classroom.

Positive Impact my work has on staff and students: Being a Demo Teacher, I try to implement school initiatives and district strategies, to encourage and increase student learning. Our students are benefiting from the strategies and staff are able to come in and see our students excel and how we scaffolded them to be ultimately awesome.

Something special about my school community: Our school community is a Prek-8 building. We are diverse in many aspects, but we are able to learn from each other and grow educationally and as humans.

Tracy Waters

Professional Superpower: Nearpod & Fun Incentives

Most rewarding part of the job: Running PLCs featuring work that I have done with my PL micro-credentials and helping teachers with a quick turn around to implement these strategies within the classroom.

Positive Impact my work has on staff and students: Being Pre-K through 8, I love creating relationships with students that then head up to middle school and seeing them in the hallways upstairs is amazing. I love creating those lasting relationships.

Joseph Sessler, Content Liaison, Frazer Pre-K-8 School

Professional Superpower: Cognizance

Most rewarding part of the job: It has and always will be the students. Putting them first and seeing their success motivates me to do more.

Positive Impact my work has on staff and students: I do my best to help everyone. I try to be understanding of multiple issues, and am open to changing my opinion on a matter. I think it is important to be open to change for the benefit of both staff and students.

Something special about my school community: Frazer is a family. We are all here for each other. Through the good and the bad. We support each other and build each other up.

Is there anything else you'd like to share or highlight? The other Content Liaisons and Lead Teachers. I would be lost some, probably most, days without your support. Thank you!

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Sarah Lambert, Content Liaison, Frazer Pre-K-8 school

Professional Superpower: Humor!

Most rewarding part of the job: At the end of the day, our work supporting teachers ultimately supports our kids. The most rewarding part of my work every day is seeing connections being built between students, and having that lead to a confidence in their role as scholars!

Positive Impact my work has on staff and students: Students often assume that they “aren’t good at math”, but the reality is they just haven’t had the meaning built for them as learners. Seeing those lightbulbs going off for kids. Hearing them engage and explain, or support another student during math, is the only evidence I need that consistent math education at Frazer has our kids feeling confident and collaborative during math class.

Something special about my school community: Some of our students and families have been at Frazer for so long. Whether it’s a student who has been at Frazer since PreK, or it’s family that we have had through all of their siblings. We build relationships with our students that don’t end when they leave Frazer. That support and constant cheering on in all of their endeavors stays.

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SyraFuse Cohort 7

Fuse Syracuse (SyraFuse) strives to implement and scale personalized and blended learning across the Syracuse City School District by creating and training teacher leaders as change agents. The Fuse Syracuse initiative recruits a group of educators called Fuse Fellows for a 1-year fellowship. Fellows will be trained on personalized learning models and best practices, blended learning tools and strategies, coached on classroom implementation, and supported to establish their own “Lighthouse Classroom” to serve as a model of personalized and blended instruction in their building and district.

Fuse Fellows are passionate, curious innovators in their schools who model a growth mindset, and are open to trying new things and taking their practice to the next level. They are natural change agents for their schools and welcome the opportunity to advance the field through their own leadership and instructional innovation. We are now working with Cohort 7 of the fellowship!

Learning Walks

SCSD Learning Walks are opportunities for teachers to open their classrooms and share best instructional practices. They also allow educators to visit each other and observe best practices for personalizing learning throughout our district. Learning Walks 22-23 will focus on practices, strategies, and tools that are successfully engaging students.

We asked seven FUSE fellows to comment on their experience as participants in this year's Learning Walks.

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SyraFusion is a yearlong fellowship that continues to support the SyraFuse vision. Throughout this fellowship participants continue the path to becoming change agents within our SCSD community.
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The Impact Coaching Team

The Impact Team uses a Dialogical Coaching model. This model of coaching balances advocacy with inquiry to foster improvement. Both the coach and teachers are experts and learners. The dialogical coach uses both powerful questions and shares strategies within the Impact Cycle to help the teacher reach a personally set goal based on the classroom’s current reality. The metaphor is the coach and teacher as equal partners. This confidential partnership is entirely focused on making it easier for teachers to meet the needs of their students.

Consider the following passage from Gholdy Muhammad's Cultivating Genius- “When we frame the stories of people of color as narratives steeped in pain or even smallness, this becomes the dominant or sole representation.”as educators, in what ways can we positively and impactfully "frame the stories of people of color"?
" We need to address our own level of discomfort and push past our unconscious biases. Consider how you talk about our students to other teachers. Do your stories show students of color as being unwilling to learn? Unmanageable? Uninterested in learning? Instead of contributing to this negative narrative, add value by discussing student strengths and life experiences. Turn your discussion towards how we can support our students through lessons that highlight and acknowledge their life experiences."

Stacey Marsh, Impact Coach

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"Two things I try to do are: center joy in the classroom - build a community with my students where they can bring elements of joy of their own lives into what we do (multicultural fair, sharing and celebrating aspects of themselves and their cultures, etc.) and 2: always ask myself - am I showing the full breadth and depth of what it means to be a student in this community and/or a person of the Target Language culture?"

Diana Perez, Impact Coach

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Impact Coach, Shannon Geer, Gives Her Perspective on Supporting Social Workers

As I reflect on the first few months as a new Impact Coach for the Syracuse City School District, I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside some of the most inspiring school social workers, school counselors, and teachers throughout SCSD. In the days leading up to my first day as an impact coach, I was anxious about whether or not I had made the right decision to leave my home at Meachem School for the past twenty-five years. While I miss the hustle and bustle of the school day and the relationships I built with students, staff, and families, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to use my knowledge and experiences to provide new support staff and teachers with the tools and strategies to be most effective when building authentic relationships with students and families.

My role as an Impact Coach looks different from the other impact coaches in the district because my experiences as a school social worker are focused on enhancing the student's school experiences by assisting with developing interventions that address the social and emotional needs of students and identifying barriers that are interfering with the student's success. Thus far, I have supported support staff and teachers with community-building circles, restorative strategies, the MTSS process, and other school social worker and counselor functions. Each day, I am amazed at the dedication and compassion of the SCSD staff that I am supporting as well as the talent and incredible greatness of our SCSD students!

Shannon Geer, Impact Coach

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PD Newsletter Archive 2022-2023

Content Specific PD Offerings

Contact Manami Tezuka, Director of Professional Development, for additional information or scheduling requests.

Impact Coaches Timieka Evans and Stacey Marsh facilitate SyraFusion's December Face2Face meeting.